Remember these aren’t your parent’s Democrats. And when Democrats rebelled against Obama’s bipartisan trade initiative this week and voted to stop debate on a fast-track bill, we learned that senate is now run by Elizabeth Warren, who is not your average liberal.
Obama is correct. Warren’s arguments on trade don’t stand up to scrutiny. But they also stand well outside the traditional Democratic Party stance on free trade. Actually, according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll (though, admittedly, these polls often have as much to do with who is president as they do with strongly held ideological positions) show that Democrats are less likely today to be averse to trade than Republicans. Asked whether free trade between the U.S. and foreign countries helped or hurt the country, only 26 percent of Democrats said it has hurt, but 36 percent of Republicans.
But it’s farfetched, to say the least, to believe that Warren or Sherrod Brown rallied their party to shut down the TPP because of a deep-seated concern about transparency or executive abuse, or because she believes it will hurt some provision in Dodd-Frank. When it comes to climate change, for example, the administration functions without any congressional oversight as it implements legislation by fiat –not to mention a possible international deal –yet the duo is not only quiet, but supportive of the effort. When it comes to Export-Import Bank, cronyism and a lack of transparency the duo support it. The reason there is no deal is obvious. Warren, like many progressives, is a protectionist and now Senate Democrats are also protectionists.