Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I know all about the feud within the Democratic Party on trade -- but I'm curious as to why the far right is relatively quiet about the trade deal. Yes, you can see it denounced at Alex Jones's Infowars, which says that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is "Congress giving away its authority" and "surrendering to 'global busybodies.'" Yes, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America is warning that "UN-style gun control [could] be rammed down our throats" under TPP. And yet there don't seem to be any angry town-hall meetings, nor are there guys with "Don't Tread on Me" flags and "Molon Labe" T-shirts marching on D.C. brandishing AR-15s in order to stop this. Right-wingers are much more concerned that Jade Helm 15 -- an exercise conducted by our own military -- is a threat to U.S. sovereignty than they are about a trade deal in which U.S. laws actually could be nullified as the result of an agreement with ... furriners!

You know the far right is relatively calm about this because elected Republicans are unafraid to back the trade deal -- there was overwhelming GOP support for the bill that failed yesterday. And even the GOP presidential aspirants from the state where you have to pay lip service to fears about Jade Helm to remain in good standing with the voters are backing the trade deal:
In an April 21 Wall Street Journal op-ed co-authored with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., [Ted] Cruz said the TPP and another potential trade pact with European nations “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”

[Rick] Perry also came out in support of the deal. “Gov. Perry has always supported free trade and its positive impact on economic growth and job creation,” a spokesman told Breitbart. “He believes America can achieve robust economic growth and job creation, similar to what has occurred in Texas, with trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Yes, but what about Rand Paul, who regularly sides with the far right? Hasn't he declared his opposition to fast-tracking TPP?
“I’ve told leadership I’m a 'no' vote” on trade promotion authority,” Paul said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
Well, yes -- but that seems to be strictly because the agreement has been kept secret:
“I’m hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven’t seen,” he said.
Paul, in fact, supports TPP:
Last fall, in a foreign policy address to The National Interest, Paul urged President Obama to make the U.S. pivot to Asia by completing the TPP.

“Instead of just talking about a so-called pivot to Asia the Obama administration should prioritize negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership by year’s end,” he said.

“Trade is a critical element of building a productive relationship with other nations, including China,” he said.
I don't get it. I'd say it's because far-rightists don't want to be on the same side as progressives, but that didn't stop some of them from opposing the Iraq War, and there's far-right opposition to NSA surveillance, drones, and GMO foods, all of which also show up on the left.

The far right is usually furious about real or imagined threats to U.S. sovereignty -- but I guess that when the threats come from large corporations, far-rightists stop being Alex Jonesians and revert to pure Foxism, believing that whatever's good for business is good. That's the only explanation I can come up with.


Victor said...

Anything that makes the rich richer, is ok with them.

After all, they're sure they'll be rich after winning Powerball this week!

Professor Chaos said...

Wow, Rand Paul is both fir and against the TPP? That's so unlike him, he's usually so consistent in his positions! (sarcasm)

Yastreblyansky said...

It could be explained easily enough in terms of the distinction between the private GOP (corporate interests) and the public GOP (USA fuck yeah). The former supports the treaty because it's in its interests, the latter doesn't oppose the treaty because (a) they serve the former and (b) they can get away with it as it's too hard for the teahadists to grasp. Unlike immigration, where the teahadists are uncontrollable. (I find myself edging weirdly closer to favoring the treaty, in fact, as sometimes what's good for business actually is good, and the national sovereignty arguments make me feel a little sick.)