Sunday, December 30, 2007


The Naderites Were Wrong

We moonbats sometimes wonder: was Clinton really all that much better than Bush on issues like trade? The answer it turns out is yes. The Clinton administration did produce actual fair trade deals that actually benefited both parties. On "This American Life" today, they highlighted our deal with Cambodia about clothing trade. Why didn't we try to maintain somewhat of a deal when the deal Clinton made expired (of course it wouldn't have been exactly the same with the expiration of the quota system for garments, but something could have been worked out)? Maybe because it expired when Bush was President, and we were too busy being afraid of terrorists -- 4 years after 9/11 -- and fighting Iraqis (of course, the NPR report didn't mention that as a distraction, the only mentioned negotiations about CAFTA) to mind the store, almost literally?

So note to the assorted "there's not a dime's worth of difference" folks -- whether of the Naderite or the "independent, moderate" variety: there is a difference between even DLCer type Democrats and GOoPers. Of course, it would help the Democrats' brand if they pointed out, rather than ran away from these differences. But then again, it doesn't help that on such economic issues, the media, today's "This American Life" notwithstanding, as a whole are very much on the "neo-liberal" side and when "even the liberal media" says that the Dems. should run away from "protectionism", why would you think any Dem would embrace what their (erstwhile) allies tell them not to embrace?


PS: what kind of idiots have taken over our labor movement? Some labor economist opposed re-establishing the trade agreement with Cambodia because after Clinton's agreement expired, conditions for workers in Cambodia got worse. Umm ... wouldn't that be an argument that these sorts of trade agreements are NECESSARY to keep conditions good in other countries rather than an argument to oppose these sorts of trade agreements? I guess the labor economist was thinking "we don't wanna punish Cambodia for backsliding", but WTF?

Note to the labor economist (and to Bush & CO on other issues): sometimes ya gotta give in to blackmail -- sometimes ya gotta say "ok, so you'll only do what we want if we make a favorable agreement for you, so we'll make that agreement". From that labor economist to Bush & CO on nuclear proliferation, we're playing from the Dulles brothers' playbook of "we won't reward threats". Which is all fine and good until Nasser says "ok, so I'll go Soviet then", so to speak.

It's bad enough that GOoPers get all "high minded" in order to dodge useful progress and important treaties that keep us safe (and drive the fearmongers out of business). But why are labor economists taking pages from the dull Dulles brothers' playbook?

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