September 2, 2006


Bush faces struggle in trade politics (JIM ABRAMS, 9/02/06, Associated Press)

The Bush administration's winning streak in getting Congress to go along with trade agreements may be in trouble, particularly if Democrats make the gains predicted for them in November's election.

It took anguished debate and an uncomfortably close vote in July for Congress to pass a trade agreement with Oman, an Arabian Sea nation of 3 million people. For
President Bush's team, which views free trade as a means to promote prosperity and democracy around the world, it was not a good sign.

Critics of the administration's trade agenda saw the 221-205 House vote in late July to approve the trade pact with tiny Oman as a turning point.

It's no coincidence that the quarter century since Ronald Reagan unleashed a new era of free trade has been one of unprecedented and uninterrupted economic growth. The surprise is that the Democrats want to take us back to the 70s.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 2, 2006 8:28 AM

President Bush's team, which views free trade as a means to promote prosperity and democracy ... In another news flash, the team also views gravity as a means to promote things falling down and going boom.

Someone once tried to explain a particular mental deficiency to me by saying people with it can't distinguish between cause and effect. Is it possible that modern media types are all suffering from this obscure malady.

Posted by: erp at September 2, 2006 10:23 AM

The labor unions' hayday in terms of gaining contracts that didn't jibe with economic conditions was in the early 1970s, just before globalization made those contracts impossible to maintain because you could build and ship cheaper items from overseas (or from non-union sections of America) at the same or better quality. That's why the Democrats are so nostalgic for that era on domestic policy grounds (as opposed to their anti-Vietnam war nostalga on the foreign policy front).

Posted by: John at September 2, 2006 10:58 AM

Why is it a surprise? Except for the period between 21 January 1993 and 03 January 1995, it was the last time the Democrats were in power of any kind. And not just running all the government, but in the "hearts and minds" of the people, too. The '70s was before that Evil Ronald Reagan showed that the unions and Keynes and the Soviet Union all weren't as invincible as the Left wanted or claimed them to be.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 2, 2006 3:07 PM