Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another Reason Why I Can't Support Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the defeat of President Obama’s trade legislation in the House on Friday was the right outcome for average Americans.

“The House has put a kibosh on the Trans-Pacific [Partnership],” he said at a rally at Drake University in Des Moines late Friday, according to The Des Moines Register.

“Our trade policies over the last 40 years … have been a disaster,” Sanders said. “TPP is a continuation of these disastrous trade policies.”

Today, the good side won,” he added.
I'm cool with the idea that I disagree with Sanders about the vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers, and that - for now - that has stopped Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from going forward. I don't know whether or not I disagree with him about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement because the negotiations aren't completed yet.

But what I find completely unacceptable is his notion that he's on the "good side" in this disagreement. Does that put me on the "evil side?"

I would have understood if he said, "Today, the right side won." In any disagreement, we all assume we're on the "right side." But to infuse this difference with notions of good and evil is demagoguery. I'm not interested in a leader who goes there on an issue where reasonable people disagree.

P.S. I'll simply note that otherwise Sanders made it clear what all this is about. The obstruction over TAA and TPA is not over anything having to do with those bills. Its all about stopping TPP. And the reason is simple - "our trade policies over the last 40 years have been a disaster." So, in the end, this is all about the past (not the current agreement being negotiated). For people who call themselves "progressive," that's a sad commentary.

17 comments:

  1. Whether or not you support Sanders over other democrats is secondary. What is really important is whether you would support Sanders over the Republican candidate in the very unlikely event he were to win the democratic nomination.

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    1. Lets just say we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

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    2. The scariest thing I can think of is a republican House, a republican Senate, AND a republican presidency.

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    3. Plus I read yesterday that Mitt Romney is trying to position himself as the next Secretary of State in the new Republican administration. That and any SCOTUS nominations...yikes.

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  2. Don't you agree it would be reasonable for the American people to have a look at the TPP, so that an informed debate can take place regarding what it contains?

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    1. The thing is, we can already look at the TPP courtesy of the White House. All of the Senators and Representatives have access to it--and yet many of them freely admit that they have never read the documents (but that won't stop them from declaring how awful it is).

      A lot of the animosity regarding the TPP comes from leaked documents (courtesy of Wikileaks) that are over three years old. Also, it may come as a shock to some, but treaties are often negotiated in secret--just like the nuclear talks with Iran.

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    2. As I said, I have no problems disagreeing with Sanders about TPP. We can discuss the need for an informed debate about it. I welcome that kind of discussion.

      What I will not tolerate is demagoguery - the labelling of one side as "good" and the other as "evil" when reasonable people simply disagree.

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    3. He didn't label anyone as "evil". He didn't use the word "evil" at all. There's no significance to his saying "the good side" instead of "the right side". People use expressions like that interchangeably all the time. I'm sure Obama's done it and I'm sure you have. It doesn't mean anything. This is making a mountain out of, not even a molehill, but out of nothing at all.

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  4. Unfortunately some of the loudest critics on the left are not being honest about the whole secrecy thing. They're now using the kitchen sink strategy to gin up fear and anger just as our right-wing counterparts. Are there legitimate concerns about this trade deal yes there are but telling tall tales about it doesn't make sense to me. And the usual suspects are coming out calling one the most liberal democratic presidents since LBJ a sellout , a corporate owned politian and everything under the sun. And on the topic of Bernie the answer is No because there is not enough opposition to Clinton like media says it is look at the polls. Liberals aren't stupid at 95% of us aren't, we remember 2000 very well.

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  5. So Bernie didn't get the memo about Respect, Empower and Include? That's one of the things I loved about the Obama campaign. I always got the sense that he was going to represent and work for ALL Americans, not just the ones he agreed with.

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  6. Liberals are stuck in the pass, TPP is not NAFTA. I believe President Obama will not sign some trade deal which would hurt this country or the American workers. I trust our President alot more then I trust those Democrats who voted against the trade deal.

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  7. Well, here is what my very liberal representative (Diana DeGette) sent out this morning on TPA. I sent a lengthy response that asked why she was voting to dis-empower the most progressive president of my lifetime. Oh well.
    -- Lydia

    "On Friday, the House considered Trade Promotion Authority, or fast track, legislation. Fast track establishes a process in which trade deals are passed or failed without allowing amendments and with limited debate by Congress. I voted against this bill because Congress has a responsibility to actively protect our economy and the environment, including in the case of international treaties. Trade Promotion Authority abrogates that responsibility and fails to offer sufficient review of important and complicated deals. Fast track would simply give any president (regardless of party) too much leeway to negotiate trade deals without ensuring Congress has the ability to step in and provide meaningful review.

    I support fair trade, but I have always opposed fast track deals that expose our country to harm. I voted no on fast track, and I will continue to oppose any deal that asks Congress to sidestep the responsibilities outlined for it by our Constitution."

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    1. I just got an email from DeFazio. Based on his comments Friday after President Obama talked to the Dem caucus - I unsubscribed and gave him a piece of my mind.

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    2. I don't think they have any idea how bad this looks to those of us who trust and admire President Obama.
      -- Lydia

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  8. That's why I laugh at people who tell me ISIS are barbarians.
    Well, that and when I see Congress reduce food stamp funding during times of high unemployment/ underemployment.

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  9. I view all this TPP opposition as political theater: these guys all want to wash the stink of NAFTA off themselves, to make sure they're different from "THOSE" Democrats. So regardless of the virtues and vices of the TPP, they're all clamoring to denounce it as loudly as they can.

    But the thing is, since the TPP is not even in final form yet, even privileged information they may have is as yet incomplete and cannot possibly constitute a complete picture of the TPP. When the TPP is finalized, we'll be able to take a good look at it, and perhaps it will be as monstrous as the Democrats are all currently playing at. Or maybe it will be a mixed bag, with some laudable parts and others that are worth opposing. But until we see the final version, we really don't know, and anyone who says otherwise is a damn liar. And anyone who BELIIEVES otherwise is a damn fool.

    Still, it was nice of those Republicans to fast-track the TPP and thus prevent themselves from monkeying with the contents, wasn't it? I don't know if they even realize they did that.

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