Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What Do The TPP Backers Do When They Lose? Punt and Delay!

" we shall have six more weeks to twist the arms of the weaker ones to get this deal passed! Then our corporations can rule!"

The "unholy alliance" (of a putative Dem Prez and his usual R-enemies) behind pushing fast track TPP lost big yesterday and they knew it.  Despite pushing, cajoling and bribing  D- House members over the weekend, when Tuesday arrived the pro-TPPs knew it was a lost cause. Did they let the acknowledged result go through and finally allow this demonic 'baby' to be put out of its misery? No way!  Boehner, McConnell and Obama finagled the legislative loopholes to come up with a 6-week delay  - during which time interval they are sure they can sway enough votes (of fence sitters) to their pro-abomination side.

Can you say cheat? One Dem Rep (Doggett, TX) put it bluntly, quoted in The Financial Times:  "Looks like the fast trackers have become back trackers".

Indeed, and make no mistake we've seen this before, some 12 years ago in the drive to push through another abomination:  the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act.  This beast provided one of the largest corporate welfare handouts ever, while ostensibly giving seniors a "drug benefit" - IF they didn't fall into the "donut hole" - wherein they'd end up paying the full cost for all their drugs. 

The top pusher of this grubby bill, Billy Tauzin (R-La), after numerous delays,  eventually succeeded in getting it through by holding congress critters "hostage" until 3 a.m.  after a late  'no' vote and then making the specious promise that the total cost would come in under $500b.  The weaklings,  including Dem weasels, finally caved and the corporate enclave and its lobbyist rats broke open the champagne. (Goldman-Sachs in one WSJ piece at the time predicted a $13.6b windfall for Big PhrMA over ten years - even as millions fell into the donut hole).

What exactly is this whole TPP kerfuffle about? It is basically about whether we still have any kind of democracy or whether we have moved to a full Neoliberal corporatocracy.  Bill Moyers, in a recent article on the  blog smirking chimp, put it thusly:

"The issue before us is not “free trade,” which, like any policy, has its pluses and minuses. The issue is that a multilateral trade agreement should not be negotiated in secret, but in the open by our State and Commerce departments, with input from all organizations concerned, including those representing workers and environmentalists.

Then there should come a draft document for all to see, to be laid before the people’s representatives in Congress assembled. If and when a majority of them ratifies the agreement, it can go to the president for signature. This is how democracy should work....

This whole affair is outrageous. After 226 years of constitutional government, is this where we’ve finally arrived?"

Moyers, in his piece, also called out the Republican Constitutional purists (or constructionists), for not robustly fighting against this perfidy.  If they were indeed so firm on the defense and provisions of the Constitution, why were they not fighting tooth and nail against this piece of crap bill that removes citizens' will and delivers it to corporate powers? Good question! One can only surmise that they have been bribed or threatened just as the holdout Dems will be over the next 6 weeks.

What it means for the rest of us is this fight isn't over, not by a long shot. No one can rest on his or her laurels including the moderate successes so far. We must be prepared to fight to the bitter end, until this TPP turd is finally laid to rest, and its unholy alliance quieted - once and for all.

In the meantime, energized readers can use to contact their reps and insist they hold strain.  Tell them to vote the right way- against TPP!

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