By “Dumb” I mean specifically: “Strategically and Organizationally Dumb”. I don’t mean that Tea Partiers or Progressives can’t solve math puzzles, graduate college, etc.
I don’t follow the Tea Party that closely nowadays (I used to pay more attention), but some guy that I’m friendly with at the local YMCA is an outspoken Tea Partier, and so today I popped a question that had been troubling me. And that question is “Where is the Tea Party on the Trans Pacific Partnership”?
His reply was, “What is the Trans Pacific Partnership?”
Not good! As we’ve recently seen, unlike mousey progressives, Tea Partiers can be politically quite aggressive. It would be a GREAT THING to have them fighting the TPP, tooth and nail, as noisily as possible, and calling it what it is: Economic Treason.
Just like it’d ALSO be a GREAT THING to have progressives fighting against it tooth and nail , as noisily as possible, and calling it what it is: Economic Treason.
In spite of having lots to do, I just spent some time searching for “Trans Pacific Partnership” on the Tea Party Nation web site. There’s actually a fair smattering of forum comments by members of that web site, apparently all of them decrying the Trans Pacific Partnership. Also, the principal guy there, Judson Phillips, has come out against the TPP.
Perot was right. NAFTA was the first of a series of free trade agreements we signed. All of them have been disasters. Our trade deficits have shot up, our manufacturing base has been destroyed and the American blue-collar middle class is disappearing.
TPP is NAFTA on steroids. The only difference between steroids and NAFTA is that steroids do some good.
In March, the Korean Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Guess what? Our trade deficit with Korea has exploded since then. In May, our trade deficit with Korea had jumped to $2 billion, which is a 53.5% increase over what it was a year earlier. Meanwhile, thanks to this great deal, American exports to Korea are tanking.
This is a 90% issue.
90% of Americans agree that we need to protect American jobs.
Later on, Judson Phillips makes his action recommendations:
Call your Senators and Congressman. Tell them you want them to demand that the Trans Pacific Partnership be stopped. August is the Congressional recess. Many Congressmen and Senators will be holding town halls or campaign events where constituents can speak to them. Go and tell them you want TPP stopped.
Which is also well and good, as far as it goes.
So, why isn’t metamars happy, at least wrt the Tea Parties and the TPP?
Simple: The TPP is SO Bad, that I believe that politically inclined citizens should be mobilizing en masse against it. To me, this means that there should be pervasive attempts at educating the public, as well as nurturing explicit credible electoral threats against any Dem or Republican who would vote for it.
That is my standard view about what constitutes necessary (though not necessarily sufficient) political muscle flexing by the demos.
However, there’s additional failing, in evidence here, that points to the (strategic) dumbness of both conservatives and progressives. And that is, there is a lack of leadership and/or grass roots movements towards conservative and progressive jointly acting against the TPP. Doing so, of course, would immediately give anti-TPP sentiments credibility as a trans-partisan POV.
If I had more time and patience, I’d spell out what could constitute joint efforts. But any reasonably intelligent person should be able to quickly come up with a list of things conservatives and progressives could cooperate on, which would underscore the point made by uber Tea Partier Judson Phillips:
This is a 90% issue.
Like it or not, you are stuck on the same sinking ship with people who disagree with you on many, many points.
Boo, hoo. That is reality. That is life.
If conservatives and progressives allow their mutual antipathies to inhibit cooperation on issues where they DO agree, then they have their own dumb selves to thank and blame for their resulting disempowerment vis-a-vis corporatists, banksters, and plutocrats.