Trading Barbs: Obama's Nafta Slip

Share this post...

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
The Long Campaign: Obama's Fair Trade Challenge
by Jack Random
Many have lamented the long arduous campaign that will eventually lead to a temporary residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the one who survives.  It is a marathon, a grueling test of endurance, strength and resilience, a brutal and relentless assault on the psyche, and a journey through dark and dangerous terrain.  It is in short an excellent test of character for any man or woman who would be leader of a faltering superpower nation.  

Maybe there was a time when the press was sufficiently independent and vigilant to test a candidate in a more limited campaign – or maybe that is mere myth as well.  Maybe a long campaign in 2000 would have been adequate to expose the outright fraud of George W. Bush before he assumed the reigns of power and led the nation over a cliff.  

In the unpredictable annals of politics, it is not certain.  What has become clear in the 2008 campaign is that the candidates have evolved.  The electorate has had sufficient time to inform the candidates and shape their policies to the will of the people.  


 
 
  
At the beginning of this ordeal Senator John McCain was still clinging to the Straight Talk Express, taking a dissenting point of view on immigration, abortion, tax cuts and the separation of church and state.  The long campaign has forced McCain into full retreat on every front that distinguished him from the Republican crowd save the one that defines his mission:  A hundred year war against Islamic extremists.  

At the beginning of this campaign the Democratic position on the Iraq War was so tepid that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama nor John Edwards would commit to withdrawing our military forces within four years.  None of the leading candidates opposed permanent bases or permanent occupation.  The long campaign has informed the surviving Democrats that the chosen candidate must be against both the war and the occupation.  


By March 5, 2008, it should have been over.  Obama had weathered the storm, absorbing the best punches Clinton could muster, and delivering an effective combination of counter punches.  

 
The charge of plagiarism missed the mark.  The charges of false and below the belt campaign flyers on NAFTA and health care ran shallow and insincere.  The red phone, fear baiting television ad should have boomeranged if not for a self-inflicted wound delivered with perfect timing to trigger a collapse of support in Texas and Ohio.  

The story leaked by the Canadian embassy to the Canadian press that Obama was practicing political double speak on NAFTA was crushing on two accounts:  First, it meant that Obama was no different than any other pandering politician and, second, it meant that he could not be trusted on the most critical economic issue facing the electorate.  

If Obama thought he could finesse Free Trade all the way to the nomination, he was wrong.  If he fails to recognize the seriousness of the breach, his campaign will sink like a stone in dark waters.  

As if on cue, the most dangerous man in America (and therefore the world) picked up the mantle of Free Trade and planted his staff.  Senator McCain will make his stand for endless war and the globalization scheme that has impoverished American workers, exported millions of jobs and put our economy on the precipice of catastrophe.  

If neither Clinton nor Obama is willing to stake his or her claim to the fertile ground of Fair Trade, the central issue of economic collapse, then Senator McCain has an opening and the worst president in history may be followed by the second worst.  (Not since Fillmore and Pierce has there been such a deadly combination.)  

Obama should have fired the individual responsible for the breach on the spot.  As it is, if he expects to recover, he will have to become a Fair Trade champion.  He will have to spell it out in no uncertain terms:  The absolute right to organize the labor force (note:  McCain’s Arizona is a union busting “right to work” state), the right to a living wage, the right to decent working conditions, and the necessity of lifting up labor in other nations to lift up labor here at home.  

Obama must go where Hillary Clinton fears to tread.  He should begin by convening the leaders of the Fair Trade movement, including Senators Russ Feingold, Sherrod Brown, Byron Dorgan and Bernie Sanders.  

If Obama tries to mimic the nuanced and nebulous approach of his rival now, he will lose and rightfully so.  

This is the greatest challenge of his campaign thus far:  Embrace Fair Trade with all his heart and he will become the next president of the United States.  Finesse the issue like a typical politician and he will stumble and fall.  

Jazz.  


JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS).  THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON NUMEROUS CITES OF THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, BELLACIAO, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH, DISSIDENT VOICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS AND PACIFIC FREE PRESS.  SEE WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM
 

Share this post...

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn