Progressive Democrats may not have seen their candidate, Bernie Sanders, achieve the victory they wanted him to, but his issues won't go away. Chief among them is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and it's more apparent every day that the centrist leadership of the DNC is taking a huge risk by continuing to flirt with the trade deal, which Hillary Clinton has repeatedly insisted she no longer supports. But Clinton's word isn't enough for rank-and-file Democrats.
John Nichols at The Nation does a splendid job describing, visually, the energy that has converged around the DNC:
When President Obama looked out across a packed hall at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, he could not have missed the large square signs opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They could be seen throughout the sprawling arena. ... Mid-way through the president’s well-received address to the convention, delegates in a stand directly opposite the stage unfurled a sign that read: “TPP Kills Democracy.” And right up front, wearing his “Stop TPP” T-shirt, stickers and pins, was retired lawyer Stephen Spitz from Falls Church, Virginia.
Beyond the spectacle, it's obvious that the Democratic Party knows continued support of the TPP could cost Hillary Clinton the election. Donald Trump has been rallying against it in every speech, alongside his pledge to scrap other trade deals. Public opinion on the TPP tilts negative; although 48% of respondents say they know nothing at all about it, that negative tilt suggests that those inclined to vote ON it are more likely to vote AGAINST it. Clinton has now expanded her promise to oppose TPP, clarifying that she will do so both "before and after" the election. Tim Kaine had to pinky swear he'd reverse his stance on it in order to get the VP nod.
On the Republican side, VP nominee Mike Pence is doing publicly what Democratic nominee Kaine allegedly did privately, reversing course on the deal he used to cheerlead.
The corporate media isn't happy about this, and you'll see plenty of editorials in the business and general OpEd sections of the New York Times and elsewhere, slightly-less-than-patiently explaining to the rabble that free trade works--it just takes some time. If the TPP is NAFTA on steroids, neoliberal rhetoric is trickle-down economics on antidepressants.
Share this blog post with your friends!