Senator Ben Cardin (D) – Maryland
Those of you have given even a couple of bucks to help finance a progressive candidate or support a progressive initiative know how many e-mails you will get forever asking you to donate, call your Congressional representative or sign a petition.
Like me, I’m sure you wonder what good it does in view of Citizens United, banks, corporations and billionaires pouring money to buy congress.
Well today you can no longer doubt that congress is indeed bought lock, stock and barrel.
“Yesterday was the worst day for citizen activists perhaps ever, with
the passage by exactly 60 votes of cloture for Fast Track for the
secret TPP. But in the midst of it all, two astonishing facts stand
First, despite the perhaps millions of their constituents speaking
out in protest, not one single Democrat in either the Senate or the
House changed their vote on this from yes to no, even though the
bills were different. Two Republican senators actually listened to
their constituents, Cruz of all people and Collins, but the Democrats
blew us off in totality.
Second, if you think all we had to do was change one vote in the
Senate you are wrong. Senator Cardin held off voting, standing right
by the podium until AFTER they reached 60 and ONLY then did he vote
no, and for this has to qualify as the biggest slug of all time.”
The Pen – Actblue
Now how many of you got urgent e-mails BEGGING you to sign a petition against fast tracking TPP? Geez, I did.
After all, why would congress be willing to fast track a massive trade bill they have not even read, which has been negotiated in secrecy from the people and their representatives but which had massive input from corporations and banks?
Commenting in the New Republic, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Lori Wallach, said
“We consider it inappropriate to elevate an individual investor or company to equal status with a nation state to privately enforce a public treaty between two sovereign countries”, …“[ISDS] gives extraordinary new privileges and powers and rights to just one interest. Foreign investors are privileged vis-a-vis domestic companies, vis-a-vis the government of a country, [and] vis-a-vis other private sector interests”,
In 2014, Noam Chomsky warned that the TPP is “designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who opposes fast track, stated that trade agreements like the TPP “have ended up devastating working families and enriching large corporations.”[ Economist Paul Krugman reported, “… I’ll be undismayed and even a bit relieved if the T.P.P. just fades away,” and said that “… there isn’t a compelling case for this deal, from either a global or a national point of view.” Krugman also noted the absence of “anything like a political consensus in favor, abroad or at home.” Economist Robert Reich contends that the TPP is a “Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits.”
In a letter to Michael Froman, a US Trade Representative, Senator Bernie Sanders wrote: “It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.”
So in the face of such opposition on an agreement negotiated in and remaining secret, why would congress fast track the bill?
And why would 28 corporatist Democrats vote with most of the GOP even as their phones were melting in their hands with calls from irate constituents?
Because their vote was bought and paid for – they know on which side their bread is buttered.
Your petition don’t mean diddly-squat. That’s how free we are.