The Rust Belt
Before plunging into the midterm elections, I think now would be the opportune time to discuss my reservations about sending the Republicans back to Congress. After all, the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 hardly produced the type of society we wanted. Eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shattered the Right and destroyed all sympathy for the Republican Party in White Nationalist circles.
On immigration, I can say with a high degree of confidence that there has been a remarkable turnaround. Even during the Bush years, there were always Republicans like Tom Tancredo and Jeff Sessions who were opposed to amnesty. In the next Congress, there should be even more hardliners and the emerging debate over birthright citizenship and legal immigration will push the mainstream even further in our direction.
On the wars, I don’t see much to worry about either. For the first time since 9/11, foreign policy has been off the radar screen on the campaign trail. Neither the Democrats or Republicans want to talk about America’s imperial presence abroad. The wars divide Democrats and throw Republicans off message. Americans want to talk about jobs, the faltering economy, federal spending, and the growth of government – domestic issues and little else.
Barack Obama is already in hot water with his base on Iraq and Afghanistan. Barring another 9/11, I can’t see him starting a new war with Iran. Given their campaign promises to radically cut federal spending, I can’t see the Republicans busting the budget with a new war either, especially after how warmongering turned out to be an electoral disaster for them in 2006 and 2008.
That leaves the sacred cow of free trade.
In this area, there is some cause for concern. Under George W. Bush, Corporate America dominated the Republican Party and was able to pass much of its agenda. Will a Republican Congress return to its old bad habits and work with Barack Obama to pass new free trade agreements?
The Democrats and Free Trade
It was a sigh of relief to learn this morning that Barack Obama is even more clueless than I thought he was. While Democratic candidates are railing against “free trade” on the campaign trail, President Obama will be traveling to Seoul next week to wrap up talks on a new free trade agreement with South Korea. Apparently, he plans to “get the car out of the ditch” by passing more job killing free trade agreements over the next two years, kneecapping his own supporters in the Midwest on the eve of a tough election.
While he is in Asia, Obama also plans to swing by Indonesia to visit the Istiqlal Mosque, the third largest mosque in the world, an act sure to quell suspicions that he is a Muslim in certain quarters of the Right. After receiving a stunning repudiation by voters on Tuesday, Obama will respond by inflicting more damage on the Democratic Party, as we move into a new election cycle where Democrats will be forced to defend even tougher seats to hold in the Midwest and South.
Hitherto, the Obama administration has appeased the Democratic base by neglecting the unpopular trade issue. Obama hasn’t pressured Congress to push through free trade deals that were negotiated under George W. Bush. At the same time, he hasn’t taken any action to repeal the free trade agreements that already exist. In spite of his campaign promises, he has done little to stop the hemorrhaging of American jobs overseas.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran against Wall Street and as a strong rhetorical opponent of free trade. His first action upon arriving in the White House was to bailout Wall Street with TARP. He has done nothing about free trade in his first term, the primary cause of the present blowout in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and now seems bent on actually making matters worse.
Whispering in Obama’s Ear
Meet Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and Jewish economic adviser to president-elect Barack Obama, the sage who counseled in January and February 2009 a huge stimulus package that would discriminate against White males in favor of core Democratic constituencies like blacks and women.
Now that Democrats are on the verge of losing their majority in Congress, Robert Reich is back with more pearls of wisdom for the Obama administration. I have been following his columns as they are increasingly filled with prophecies of doom.
What is Reich so worried about?
In “The Emerging Anti-Trade Coalition and Its Dangers,” he sounds the alarm that the Tea Party and the Democratic base might find common ground in the next Congress and attack free trade agreements:
“Traditional big-business Republicans support trade. But the tea partiers who are taking over the GOP don’t. An astonishing 61 percent of people who describe themselves as “Tea Party sympathizers” say trade is bad for America. That’s close to the 65 percent of union families who are against trade.
Think about it. The ground troops for both parties — tea party Republicans and union Democrats — believe free trade is bad.”
Reich is scared that America is on the cusp of “a new isolationism” and “a backlash against free trade, immigration, and maybe even international bodies such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and IMF.” He continues, “isolationism and nationalism are the handmaidens of an economically anxious and frustrated middle class. That was the lesson we learned 80 years ago, but forgot.”
The lesson that Reich is referring to here is Germany’s experiment with National Socialism. I saw this column at the time, considered responding to it, but got distracted by other matters.
Today, Robert Reich has an ever scarier article in The Wall Street Journal, “Why Business Should Fear the Tea Party.” He warns the business community that the Tea Party is against corporate welfare, free trade, bank bailouts, the IRS wealth redistribution pump, the Federal Reserve, and global institutions and agreements like the UN and WTO:
“Wall Street may be furious with the Obama administration but at least Mr. Obama (and his predecessor) bailed it out. By contrast, tea party activists consider the Troubled Asset Relief Program a betrayal of America. In the Bloomberg poll, nearly 70% of tea partiers said that they’re less likely to support a candidate who voted for the bank rescue.
Underlying all of this is a deep tea party suspicion that big government is in cahoots with big business and Wall Street, against the rest of America. This has been the conventional view among leftist conspiracy theorists for years but it’s now emerging full-throttle on the right.
Lesser known is that a higher proportion of tea party adherents believes that free trade agreements hurt the nation overall (61%) than does the general population (53%), according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month. In a poll earlier this year by the Mellman Group, a majority of tea party supporters favored putting taxes on imports from countries with lower environmental standards than the United States.”
If the Tea Party gets in power, it could team up with blue collar workers led by demagogues and go after … THE JEWS!
“History has shown that people threatened by losses of jobs, wages, homes and savings are easy prey for demagogues who turn those fears into anger at major institutions, as well as individuals and minorities who become easy scapegoats—immigrants, foreign traders, certain religious groups. Were it not for their economic stresses, Americans wouldn’t be receptive to abolishing the Fed and the IRS, or believe that government and big business were conspiring against them, or turn isolationist.”
Corporate America better stand “up to this dangerous idiocy” and support “policies to relieve the economic stresses that fuel it” before it “threatens the stability of our economic and political system.” Before it threatens powerful and privileged Jews like Robert Reich.
I’m looking forward to next Tuesday.