So where are the Democrats on TPP? Hillary, Bernie, the “majority of Democrats, like the majority of Americans, are against the TPP”. Of course Obama, most Republicans and a minority of Democrats in congress are for it. So the Democratic platform does the logical thing and supports TPP. How does this continue to happen?
John Nichols of The Nation magazine goes into more detail examing this dichotomy. Many solid progressive policies were added to the Democratic platform, but not a NO ON TPP. Even though Clinton seemed to come around to Bernie’s view, most of her supporters didn’t. Instead, “the bureaucratic approach prevailed. The platform’s language was strengthened to express general opposition to trade policies that have stirred fervent opposition in industrialized states such as Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin. But proposals to add anti-TPP language to the document were rejected … at the platform committee session in Orlando, as Clinton backers (and most uncommitted members of the committee) generally opposed the amendments, while Sanders backers supported them.”
This is where the real test of whether Clinton is a progressive and how progressive she will be begins to show. It is much easier to be stubbornly progressive on social issues than it is to make similar demands on multinational corporations. “Votes on TPP amendments were among the most contentious during the two-day session” but in the end the Democratic powers that be just could not risk alienating big business, or could it be that they just don’t want to? Do they somehow believe, as Obama seems to, that this trade deal will be different? After all, corporations are not bad guys (remember their supporters think they are people).
No the Democrats continue to disregard various warnings:
- Texas populist Jim Hightower noted “that Trump has made it clear that he will campaign against the TPP and the failed trade agreements of the past in Ohio, North Carolina, and other swing states, and warned, “He is going to hammer Hillary mercilessly on…wimpy language in her platform.”
- “let’s be leaders,” declared former NAACP president Ben Jealous as he urged the Democratic Party’s platform committee to amend the document to include specific opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.”
Evidently, as Trump “intends to run clearly against the TPP” the Democratic party has decided to take their chances. Well here is one voter, suffering from “the Bern”, that is not happy and will be watching very closely. If TPP becomes reality, we are in lots of trouble as corporate power continues to escalate.