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May 12, 2015

Obama Fails, As Usual, Losing on Trade Authority Fast-Track in Senate

Obama must really like failure, because he's always doing it.

The bill would have put Obama's Trans Pacific Partnership trade bill on fast-track scheduling -- limited debate, no amendments.

Liberals, led by famous Cherokee Princess Elizabeth Warren, have objected that no one has any idea what the terms (so far) of this evolving trade deal are, because they're classified. They also object to providing protections for foreign corporations doing business in the US -- these protections do not really exist to protect foreign corporations against American litigants, but to protect American corporations from corrupt foreign litigants. (See the Chevron case.)

Republicans generally support the bill because that's what they do now, they uncritically support anything with the words "trade" or "freedom" in the title.


Senate Democrats on Tuesday delivered a stinging blow to President Obama’s trade agenda by voting to prevent the chamber from picking up fast-track legislation.

A motion to cut off a filibuster and proceed to the trade bell fell short of a 60-vote hurdle. Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) was the only Democrat to back it.

...

Labor unions and other left-leaning groups have declared war on the fast-track bill, which they argue has shipped jobs overseas. The Senate is generally a more pro-trade body than the House, and it has been easier to move trade agreements through the upper chamber.

...


The White House downplayed the defeat, with press secretary Josh Earnest describing it as a "procedural snafu."

"It is not unprecedented for the U.S. Senate to encounter procedural snafus," he said. "We're going to continue to work through these challenges."


The White House are very experienced at downplaying failures.

They're also very good at insulting people. As David French has observed, and I will never get tired of quoting, the left -- particularly the academic left, which Obama likes to think of himself a part of -- does not argue, it simply assigns stigma. It smears. It insults.

The idea is not to win on the truth of an idea, in the classic manner of philosophy, but to prove one's political power to arrange a majority of Hatred against one's opponent.

Ideas are not proven to be true or false in this small-minded, vicious little system. Rather, the people advancing ideas are either demonstrated to be the victors -- the ones who are more socially connected and better able to gin up majorities of hatred -- or the Racists.

The left does not talk about ideas; they talk about people exclusively, and they are only capable of labeling their opponents ignorant or acting in bad faith (racism, political motives, etc.).

I note this because Brent Budowsky, one of the most toxically nasty progressives permitted to write columns in major media (he writes in The Hill, usually), is complaining that Obama has done nothing but name-call his liberal opponents in this dispute.

Instapundit correctly notes that that's all Obama does when people disagree with him, whether they be liberal or conservative or politician or private citizen (like Joe the Plumber).

But Budowsky only objects when it's done to liberals, because he agrees with this tactic of conducting all "debate" not on the issue but on the subject of one's opponent's character and intelligence, like all nasty progressives.

Still, it's worth noting what Budowsky accuses Obama of here.

Sound familiar?

President Obama's performance in pushing for approval of fast track legislation of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, in which he’s allied with Republicans and has spent the last week castigating and insulting liberal Democrats, has been one of the most bizarre and ill-advised performances of his presidency.

I spent many years working for senior Democratic Senators such as Lloyd Bentsen and House Democratic leaders beginning with the legendary Speaker Tip O'Neill, and have never seen any president of either party insult so many members of his own party's base and members of the House and Senate as Mr. Obama has in his weeks of tirades against liberals on trade.

In Mr. Obama's speech at Nike last week, his comments to Matt Bai of Yahoo over the weekend, and White House press secretary Josh Early’s comments to reporters on Monday, Mr. Obama and his White House staff have repeated a string of personal insults directed against prominent liberal Democrats in Congress, liberal Democrats across the nation, organized labor, and leading public interest and environmental groups who share doubts about the TPP trade deal.

Mr. Obama's tirades on trade have included accusations that these liberal Democrats are ignorant about trade policy, insincere when offering their opinions, motivated by politics and not the national interest, and backward looking towards the past.

Gee I've never heard any of those insults before.

Obama's repeated attacks against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in which he charged that Warren’s concern about the trade bill is motivated not by a reasoned view of what is right for America but by her personal political motivations, is one of the most dishonest and repellant examples of character assassination and contempt by any American president, against any leading member of his own party, in my lifetime.

Again, so long as it's directed against conservatives: Game on, right?

Update: As David French observed (see? never gets old), the left is just an nasty backbiting university department, writ large, with hyperpersonalized social smear campaigns against all and sundry.

Obama did it to Warren; now it's Warren's allies' chance to get their own back.

Sherrod Brown just accused Obama, who is by the way a sexist, of being a sexist.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the top Democratic opponents of President Barack Obama’s trade agenda, criticized Obama on Tuesday for what the senator saw as "disrespectful" comments toward Sen. Elizabeth Warren and indicated that Warren's gender may be at issue.

...

"I think the president was disrespectful to her by the way he did that," Brown told reporters during a news conference following the failed procedural vote. "I think that the president has made this more personal than he needed to."

...

"I'm not going to get into more details," Brown said. "I think referring to her as first-name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps? I've said enough."

The first-name thing is his evidence for the Sexist smear?

I mean, don't get me wrong; Obama is a sexist, but this isn't any kind of evidence of that.

But again, that's all these people know.

Without this-- what are they?


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posted by Ace at 03:41 PM

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