Lori commented on the blog post Job-Killing Trade Deals Pass Congress Amidst Record Democratic Opposition
There certainly has been some drinking – with the unions folks and the exhausted team at Public Citizen – all of whom have been working to kill these devastating NAFTA-style trade agreements since Bush signed them in 2007 and the push to pass them first started.
There were no cocktail weenies or media glitterati and the discussion was about Democratic primaries, which GOP freshmen could be taken out over these votes, what the hell else we could have done to force CNN, NYTs, USA Today, Post et al to cover these incredibly damaging agreements – and about next steps.
And it does matter that that 2/3s of the House Dems voted against the Korea FTA, the biggest trade pact threat to US jobs in a decade – for two reasons.
Thousands of activists across this county have been busting their asses these past four years to stop these agreements against nightmarish odds and tsunamis of corporate money. When Obama betrayed the hard-won commitments to replace the poisonous NAFTA trade model extracted by a year of bird-dogging the primaries by folks across the country, people worked even harder to build votes against the deals in Congress – the last strategy available to avoid the damage these pacts will cause. Their efforts and success in their congressional districts holding their Representative accountable to vote “no” for them deserves to be noted and celebrated. Getting congressional representatives to vote FOR their district and against a major initiative of their party’s president is hard. We may not like it, but that is the reality.
Second, many folks across the country have worked district by district since before NAFTA in 1993 to try to build a majority in Congress whose prospective no votes could force whomever is in the White House to negotiate “trade” deals for us rather than for offshoring multinationals, banksters, Big Pharma and agribusiness – and failing that to build a majority of no votes in the House (where trade fights happen) to stop a GOP OR Dem president’s destructive trade agreements – agts that mainly are not even about trade any more, but are expansive Trojan horse mechanisms to implement a whole array of new corporate rights and protections and gut the non-trade public interest policies us 99 percenters rely on.
There is NO good news on a night like tonight.
But all progress towards that ultimate goal needs to be recognized because we will never get there unless we stick to it, grow the effort and do better. And, if all of this work had not been done by people throughtout this country for all of these years, all three of these disgusting deals would have passed in 2007 and their damage would have been slamming us since. And, the damage of the planned expansion of the WTO that was stopped in Seattle in 1999 and that worldwide activist camapigning has helped derail since would be slamming us. And the hemispherewide Free Trade Area of the Americas expansion of NAFTA from the Artic to the Antartic would not have been derailed, etc etc.
Sorry for the delay in joining the conversation. Senate votes on the agreements started shortly after the House damned us.