The Fast Track Battle Is Not the TPP War
"This is your captain speaking..."
by Gaius Publius
It would be easy to be deflated after the recent loss of the Fast Track battle. Our 2008 Democratic hero and Corporatist in Chief has managed to shove a Fast Track bill down congressional throats — which were, I must say, mainly eager recipients.
But the battle is not the war, as explained above, and it's always true that if you fail to fight to the end, you will always lose. On the other hand, this is what sometimes happens when you do play hard to the end:
Auburn returned a missed field goal 100 yards on the last play of the game to upset number one Alabama 34-28 in the 2013 Iron Bowl.
There's no way they win if the Auburn players are checked out during that field goal attempt.
Meteor Blades, keeper of the progressive flame at Daily Kos these days, has this to say (my emphasis throughout):
Some progressives threw up their hands Tuesday after the Senate voted for closing debate on fast-track trade legislation. It's all over, they said: The nearly completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is certain to pass now.As evidence, he quotes George Zornick in The Nation, who lists a number of reasons to be optimistic that TPP could fail, especially in the House. Here's the schedule and the possibilities:
Not so fast.
Although the Senate will undoubtedly approve fast-track legislation today—the trade promotion authority bill only needs 51 votes—the despair and talk of surrender on the TPP shouldn't be on anyone's agenda. Certainly, it's true that blocking that agreement will be exceedingly tough. But it is by no means impossible.
Sometime in the late summer or early fall, the Obama administration will finally release the full TPP text, after the president signs it. After 90 days, Congress can vote on it.Again, there's more at the link.
Without question, fast track makes the TPP much more likely to pass. No amendments can gum up the process or chase off support, and we already can easily see there are 50 votes in the Senate based on the fast-track votes. But the House remains no sure thing for the TPP. Fast track twice passed by only two votes.
When the TPP actually comes out, there will be some really ugly details that are likely to enrage liberals and solidify opposition among Democrats. For months the White House has been dodging some criticisms of the TPP by stressing that the text isn’t final, but that will no longer be an option.
The unknown details of the TPP, incidentally, are what Hillary Clinton cites for not yet having an official position on the trade deal. If the Democrat base gets truly riled up when the details do come out, she may end up opposing the deal. This would give cover for every congressional Democrat to do the same.
Members of the House will also be in the thick of their reelection campaign this fall, and increased progressive activism and actual primary challengers will no doubt make a TPP vote even harder. ...
At the risk of overdoing the sports metaphors, the only way to win is to play. And the only way to play is — block to the whistle; tackle to the ground; play to the end of the game. This game is not over.
AMAZING BUT TRUE: The Supreme Court looks into the
Constitution and finds some rights for people who aren't rich
I'll be poking around today's decision at 3pm PT/6pm ET. -- Ken