Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Defeat? OK; Free trade? No way

Wall Street Journal:
It is now respectable for Democrats to assert, even to welcome, military defeat (see here). But if a Presidential campaign functionary so much as hints at support for free trade, he's banished to policy exile.
That's the meaning of Sunday's sacking of strategist Mark Penn from Hillary Clinton's campaign. In his noncampaign job with a PR firm, Mr. Penn had met with Colombia's ambassador to the U.S. to discuss the free trade agreement that President Bush sent to Congress yesterday. When word of that meeting leaked to a Wall Street Journal reporter last week, big labor went bonkers and Mrs. Clinton gave him the heave-ho despite more than a decade of loyal service. Maybe if Mr. Penn had called General David Petraeus a con man, he'd still have a job.
George F. Will:
Penn's actual beliefs about free trade, whatever they are, pro or con, certainly accord either with those that Clinton holds now or with those that she held back in the 1990s, when she was in the White House's East Wing acquiring the semi-demi-quasi-presidential experience that makes her just the person to answer the red telephone that, judging by her campaign ads, rings constantly in the West Wing.
She favored the North American Free Trade Agreement until she opposed it: She favored it back when she was a Cub fan, before she imagined being senator from New York and discovered, or remembered, that she had always been a Yankee fan. She opposes NAFTA and the Colombia agreement now that she is a presidential candidate, but her views might change again in a few weeks, when her status does.
It is impossible to know anything about economics and oppose free trade. Unfortunately for Hillary, she's 13 days from a primary in Pennsylvania, a union stronghold. Labor unions are based on opposition to economic reality. Among other things, unions are a coercive attempt to create an artificial shortage of labor; unions therefore actively discourage work, so as to extort higher prices (wages) for the work that occurs.

The union goons have forced Hillary to act as if expanded trade with Colombia is a bad thing, simply because to acknowledge economic reality might cause the rank-and-file to start questioning the nonsense propaganda they've swallowed over the years.

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