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April 14, 2008
Colombia: The Left’s Alphabet Soup Base Demands No Less
Last Wednesday, a
carefully negotiated trade deal with Colombia, which was repeatedly
re-calibrated to account for Democratic labor and environmental
concerns, was nonetheless killed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And in a most
disgusting way – by unilaterally changing the House rules after the fact
so the requirement of an up-or-down vote within 90 days of the president
submitting the signed agreement to Congress could be avoided.
It would have been one
thing to simply vote it down, but that would put Congress on the record
and in a position of culpability for the consequences, and we can't have
that, now can we? So Pelosi even screwed over her own Ways and Means
Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, who had negotiated at length in good
faith. Not to mention giving the finger to our best ally in Latin
America, and causing them to doubt anything the U.S. says to them in the
future since our word has now been made worthless in their eyes.
And most importantly,
she has single-handedly wrecked the entire apparatus by which all
administrations can negotiate in good faith on trade with other nations,
since no one will be able to trust that Congress won't simply yank the
rug out from under the whole thing whenever it pleases.
Why would Speaker
Pelosi do such an irresponsible thing, real-world damage be damned?
Because the AFL-CIO demanded it, and as they are one of her party's
biggest donors, she obeyed in the most servile fashion. Treating an ally
honorably, and strengthening an established foothold in an otherwise
hostile area where it's badly needed to counter the growing influence of
Venezuela's communist dictator Hugo Chavez, meant nothing to Pelosi. The
AFL-CIO said “Jump!” and her response was an immediate: “How high, sir?”
And this is far from
the only area where policy has been completely hijacked and held hostage
by the veritable alphabet soup of interest groups that make up the base
of the Democratic Party. For all intents and purposes, the policies and
actions of our nation are being dictated by a handful of far left groups
that are all but disconnected from reality.
Want to wiretap
terrorist cell phone conversations in order to stop attacks in the
planning stages and save lives? The ACLU will have a cow over that.
Want to shield the
telecom industry from class-action lawsuits for having shared that data
at the government's request? The trial lawyers (ABA) will bury that one.
When the Department of
Homeland Security was created after 9/11, the whole thing was almost
derailed by Democrats demanding it all be unionized at the behest of
AFSCME. Never mind the requirement to adjust on the fly to security
needs – a flexibility that never exists in a union shop.
Want to drill for oil
domestically so we can be energy-independent or build more refinery
capacity to better withstand the next Hurricane Katrina? The Sierra Club
and the radical greenies will wage jihad to stop that.
Want to substantially
change the ungodly expensive, horribly performing government monopoly on
schools? The teachers’ unions (NEA) will chew you up and spit you out.
And if you want to
finish the job we started in Iraq, which by all accounts (save for the
mainstream media's) is going well and for which the vast majority of
people of Iraq are grateful beyond measure, then MoveOn.org and Code
Pink will do anything to undermine the effort.
Heck, even the
Democrats' two presidential candidates are de facto demographic
interest group standard-bearers: Barack Obama (NAACP civil rights crowd)
and Hillary Clinton (NOW feminist crowd).
So long as Democrats
remain in the majority, the entire apparatus of the federal government
will effectively be the puppets of this bunch of groups. They have shown
quite clearly that they are utterly incapable of doing anything that
diverges from what these groups want in even the slightest way. The
marching orders are issued, and loyal Democrat foot soldiers in the
House and Senate mindlessly obey their masters.
To hell with the
potentially disastrous consequences – from terrorist attacks to
betraying new allies – liberals have to please and placate their base.
Our future as a nation
depends upon breaking free from this far-left chokehold. And given the
GOP's recent inexplicable determination to move hard left as well,
simply swinging the pendulum back won't accomplish that by a long shot.
Nor can these groups be reasoned or bargained with in any meaningful
way, as Pelosi's dishonest shenanigans prove.
I fear that
substantially altering the status quo will require a measure of force
that most of us aren't yet willing to employ.
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