Let me finish with the President’s big defeat.
I suppose we should have seen it coming. For weeks, the labor unions have been making a hard-to-argue-with case that America has been watching its traditional manufacturing base head for the nearest cheap-labor horizon.
Except for the president’s calm and general assurances, there have been few voices raised with anywhere near the passion from the pro-trade side.
It seems that the Democratic senators who see the value in the export trade see more value in avoiding the hostility of the labor unions as well as the partisan pressure from Democratic colleagues who oppose trade measures on their merits.
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I’m referring mainly to those who represent the hard hit northern and Midwestern states often referred to as the “rustbelt.” From Buffalo to Oshkosh, they’ve seen too many factories closed with the sign saying “gone to Mexico” or God knows where else, leaving a lot of unemployed men and women in the dust.
So tomorrow, I figure, the battle resumes, especially in the Democratic party where leaders and troops and allies need to decide where this party wishes to stand – and be seen standing in the 21st century: a party of trade or a party opposed to it.
In the aftermath of a mighty defeat for trade, and a mighty victory for its enemies, I don’t except many minds have changed.