Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Strange Bedfellows

Color me cynical, but when Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell both desperately want the same thing, you better grab your wallet, because we're about to get royally screwed.

That "thing" is fast-track trade authority. The President wants it and McConnell wants him to have it. It will give him the right to negotiate trade pacts, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without congress being able to gum up the approval process with endless amendments. On this one weird issue, a bizarrely suspicious coalition has grown up in Congress which places the President in the awkward position of being in cahoots with the Republican establishment on one side against a handful of Republicans and almost the entire Democrat party on the other. It also places me temporarily in the nauseating position of being in agreement with the single biggest dirtbag in the history of politics...Harry Reid.( I may have to wash my fingers for an hour after typing that last sentence.)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is basically NAFTA for the Asian world. I don't want to leave the impression that I am well versed enough in the field of economics and global trade policy to site chapter and verse on something as large and complicated as T-PP, but after seeing the benefits of NAFTA, I want nothing to do with "son of NAFTA." What were the benefits of NAFTA, you ask? Basically it was a windfall for manufacturing jobs...in Mexico. 

So, while the political establishment will hail the passage of T-PP as a triumph of bi-partisanship, I'll take gridlock any day of the week.