Finally, President Obama has had enough- he's not going to take it anymore! This advocacy for the middle, and working, classes has to end. Therefore, in his typically low-key fashion, on Tuesday, President Obama claimed "I love Elizabeth. We're allies on a whole host of issues, but she's wrong on this... When you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts, they are wrong."
You'd hardly expect the cheerleader for the jobs-destroying Trans-Pacific Partnership to concede the Senator is "right on this." Still, it was a little disconcerting when Barack on Thursday whined
The one that gets on my nerves the most is the notion that this is a ‘secret’ deal. Every single one of the critics who I hear saying, ‘this is a secret deal,’ or send out emails to their fundraising base saying they’re working to prevent this secret deal, can walk over today and read the text of the agreement. There’s nothing secret about it.
If "the truth shall set you free," Barack stands chained in a 4' x 8' cell. Too polite to call him a liar, Charlie Pierce comments
In fact, there's been a lot that's secret about it ever since the negotiations began. It was negotiated behind closed doors, and for reasons that benefited nobody except large corporations and the politicians, dictators, and provincial satraps who do their bidding. (The fact we know much of anything at all is because the good folks at WikiLeaks threw some of the treaty out into the world, which is hardly a proof that the TPP isn't a "secret" deal. WikiLeaks doesn't do a lot of work with stuff that's in the public domain.)
On Friday, Barack added to his earlier remarks
Every single one of the critics saying this is a secret deal, or send out e-mails to their fundraising base that they're working to stop a secret deal, could walk over and see the text of the agreement. When I just keep on hearing people repeating this notion that it's secret -- I gotta say, it's dishonest. And it's a little concerning when I see friends of mine resorting to those sort of tactics.
Of course, it's not secret- not to the people who really count to Barack. Jim Hightower explains
Top executives, lawyers, and lobbyists of 500-some major corporations who serve on 16 Industry Trade Advisory Committees do have access to the secret texts and to the negotiators themselves. They get to review and amend official proposals, submit their own drafts, and generally look after their own very special interests.
Practicing his stand-up routine, Barack maintained "The notion that corporate America is going to be able to use this provision to eliminate our financial regulations and our food safety regulations and our consumer regulations -- that's just bunk, It's not true."
That would not be so funny had the Senate Finance Committee (which ended up approving the fast track bill) not voted on two measures, approving one and defeating the other). They were aimed at deterring currency manipulation and the Administration so concerned about financial regulations opposed both. At the White House Correspondence Dinners, the President kills with his jokes. When ostensibly serious, he's even better.
Finally, flush with a deal which is a veritable wish list for multi-national corporations, Barack turns into a tough guy, discovering his inner Incredible Hulk (below). An exasperated Sherrod Brown of Ohio, according to the Huffington Post, called it "maddening" and
told reporters that the Obama administration was putting on a full-court press unlike anything Democrats have ever seen in his presidency in order to win the authority to fast track enormous trade deals.
"I think if you could get my colleagues to be honest, on the Democratic side, with you -- and I think you can mostly -- they will say they've been talked to, approached, lobbied and maybe cajoled by more cabinet members on this issue than any issue since Barack Obama's been president," Brown said...
"I wish they put the same effort into minimum wage. I wish they put the same effort into Medicare at 55. I wish they put the same effort into some consumer strengthening on Dodd-Frank," Brown said.
Evidently, Barack would have, were he interested in truly universal health care or regulating the financial sector. Alas, we finally have found out who the real Barack Obama is, and it's not pretty.