May 8, 2007


For Democrats, New Challenge in Age-Old Rift (ROBIN TONER, 5/08/07, NY Times)

Almost nothing rouses as much passion, anger or history for the Democrats as the issue of trade.

Defining the rules of engagement in a fiercely competitive global marketplace, trade policy cuts to the heart of the Democrats’ identity, how they view their party’s past and envision its future. It can divide them along regional and economic lines — Midwest vs. Pacific Rim, manufacturing vs. agriculture, Main Street vs. Wall Street.

Nobody knows this better than Representative Sander M. Levin, chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade and a 24-year veteran of the House from the suburbs of Detroit.

Mr. Levin is one of the newly empowered Democratic leaders trying to find a trade policy that can unite their party and heal a painful rift between those who see a globalized economy as inevitable and good and those who see the cost under current policies, in lost jobs and unsettled lives, as simply too great.

Yet at the same time that at least half the folks on the Left and a not inconsiderable proportion of the far Right think they can stop globalization we feign disbelief that so many in the Islamic world are likewise resistant.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2007 8:05 AM
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