Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TPP Hysteria: a Paper Tiger?

That's certainly one interpretation of last night's Dem primary results. All the pro TPP Democrats won. 

"Pro-trade Democrats call Labor’s bluff."

"Dem lawmakers who gave Obama fast-track sail through labor-challenged primaries."

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I've wondered this entire race if the media wasn't giving anti trade hysteria more credit than it warranted. It was never proven that TPP is this lighting rod beyond the noisy Bernie base-and Donald Trump.

No doubt my favorite race last night was Debbie Wasserman-Schultz easily beating Tim Canova. In the last week Canova has been complaining that Bernie never materialized on the campaign trail for him.

However, he did then suggest the truth: that might not have helped so much in a district that had voted 70% for Hillary Clinton in the primary anyway.

Although Canova sounded like Bernie after he lost last night:

Tim Canova "not quite ready to concede anything yet."

Organized labor made a lot of political threats on trade. So far, they’ve flaked on them all.

"Just ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who Tuesday clocked an easy win in Florida over the most Bernie Sanders-identified primary challenger in the country — even after her booting as Democratic National Committee chair. She voted to give the president fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals as a precursor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and despite all the noise in Washington, every union in her district still endorsed her."

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Every union still endorsed her.

"Cutting against what has quickly become the political conventional wisdom that Sanders and Donald Trump were propelled by widespread opposition to new trade deals, of the 28 House Democrats who were targeted by organized labor and the progressive base for supporting fast-track, Wasserman Schultz is now the 28th who either skated through a primary challenge or didn’t get one at all."

"Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), the man the AFL-CIO promised to make an example of for supporting fast-track last spring? He did better in this year’s primary than he’s ever done before, in a race happening as his father pleaded guilty to illegally funneling money to his campaigns. (Two weeks ago, though, the anti-TPP group Fight for the Future did show up with what it called “a 25-foot inflatable protest blimp” outside his office in Sacramento.)"

"And Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, the leader of the New Democrats who made up most of the trade votes, drew a single-issue trade primary challenge from retired teacher Myron Buchholz. Kind eviscerated Buchholz in the Aug. 9 primary with 81.25 percent of the vote."

So what happened?

“They’re liars,” Buchholz said of the labor leaders who promised to support him. “The Communication Workers of America sent me a letter and no money. The AFL-CIO shut me out completely.”

"Buchholz said he begged. After receiving a mailer from the state AFL-CIO addressed to his late wife, an AFSCME member, with an attached postcard to send to Kind’s office to protest his fast-track vote, he says he told the union’s state director, “’I’m in this race because of that.’ And I got no support: Not an email, not a tweet, not a thing.”

“Other than the uncomfortable instances, people protesting, getting in my face — at the electoral box, it had very little impact,” Kind added. “There is a very strong vocal minority that knows how to get attention, but I think the impact on the general electorate has been pretty minimal.”

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This is something I've suspected all along: labor makes a lot of noise about trade deals, but in truth they know the rhetoric is overblown. The anti trade hysteria was always a noisy minority that punched way above its weight in coverage. Shockingly: the media has been had.

The second best result last night? Alan Grayson losing in a landslide.

He whines he won't endorse Patrick Murphy because he's a Republican.

Brilliant. Little Marco doesn't believe in climate science and thinks rape victims should be forced to carry the rapists' baby.

Sure, there's no difference between Murphy and Little Marco.

Harry Reid told Grayson to his face he hoped he lost. Mission accomplished.

When you look at someone like Canova, you realize that there was never any strategy in supporting him. It was just revenge against Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz, who while the Berners try to blame her, had nothing to do with Hillary's primary victory.

Rick Tyler made an important observation last night on  Chuck Todd's Meet the Press: the Trumpsters-who also have done nothing in this year's primaries-are not organized and savvy about electoral politics like the Tea Party was. I say was as the Tea Party also has not done well this primary cycle.

The Berners don't seem to have any clue either and the Bernie Sanders group to elect Berners has already split apart. When Chuck Todd asked Nina Turner about the failure of the Berners so far her answer was: revolutions take time.

That's what we pragmatic Democrats have been saying all along. That Obama's win in 2008 was a revolution and is taking time; Hillary's win will consolidate his accomplishments.

But in 2010 and 2011 the Emoprogs were already out of patience declaring Obama a failure, and demanding that someone primary him.

Finally, I take TPP hysteria turning out to be a paper tiger as more proof of the reality that the media has gotten things completely wrong this election cycle.

They have focused so much on Bernie supporters and Trump supporters. You know who you never hear about: Hillary supporters.

Jeff Jarvis has a great piece on this.

Yes, we are the silent majority, the Hillary supporters.

But Sahil Kapur stumbles kicks a hornet's nest by touting the fact that Trump leads Hillary ins pressers  17-0 this year.

The hyperventilating over this banal observation is enough to dispel the notion that HRC fans aren't enthusiastic.

We may not demand that political opponents and those we disagree with are locked up or call everything rigged but we pay attention, we're engaged, and we vote. 

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