Obama’s bizarre sales pitch for TPP

Sometimes you get offered “a deal you can’t refuse.” Then there’s the deal that Barack Obama has offered to congressional Democrats.


For some bizarre reason, Obama is staking his presidential legacy on a trade scam called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It’s a corporate wet dream that would let profiteering giants in Japan, Vietnam, Brunei and eight other Pacific nations sue to overturn our national, state and even local laws that they claim might pinch their profits. These challenges would not be filed in our courts of law, but in private, corporate-run tribunals set up by the UN and the World Bank.

Unsurprisingly, the great majority of House and Senate Democrats are saying “Hell no” to such a power grab. So the President, who is famously disinclined to do the sweaty work of rounding up votes for progressive legislation, invited 30 wary-but-wavering Democratic lawmakers to the White House to make a two-hour personal plea for support of this honker. Vote with me on this highly unpopular giveaway of the people’s sovereignty, he told them, and I will personally come campaign for you if your vote prompts a real Democrat to oppose you in the 2016 primary election.

Wow, that’s a double dose of political hemlock! First, he asks them to vote against the people by increasing corporate power. Then, the very President who led this highly-unpopular effort will come tell your constituents what a fine public servant you are for voting to impose foreign corporate power over them. Good grief, why not just have the corporate chieftains themselves come thank you for selling out to them? Apparently, Obama has thought of that, too — the week after his plea to Democratic lawmakers, he flew all the way across the country to Beaverton, Oregon to the headquarters of Nike, the champion of offshoring American jobs, to promote its endorsement of his bad TPP deal.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.