Home | About | Donate

Democratic Platform Fight over TPP Will Show What Democracy We Really Have


Democratic Platform Fight over TPP Will Show What Democracy We Really Have

Mark Weisbrot

The insurgent candidacies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and real estate mogul Donald Trump in the Democratic and Republican primaries, respectively — one uplifting and the other disturbing — together with the Brexit vote, have brought forth an unusual outpouring of discussion on the weaknesses of democratic governance in the high-income countries.


Trade deals have created a new class of citizen. This citizen is not subject to local laws or law enforcement. No, a separate court is established to adjudicate claims. Further, this new super-citizen, can sue a government for laws they implement and thus trump democracy.


Chiming in here. I doubt there is anyone anywhere who believes that Clinton actually opposes the TPP; I'm sure she and her team hope it will pass in November so she won't have to (visibly) lobby for it. I don't believe Clinton as President-elect will be a major factor, as she likely won't want to cut short her honeymoon by (visibly) betraying the people who vote for her before she even takes office. I imagine the plan is for her to be somewhere else, not (openly) lobbying at all when the vote comes. Don't forget, the vote won't just be during the lame duck; it will be late on a Friday, or possibly on Christmas Eve. Quite possibly there will be a big --HEY WHAT WAS THAT?! OH MY GOD!--incident to distract the public while it goes down. Not like the DARK act, being voted on tonight to make it illegal for states to require labeling of GMOs--an outrage, but not controversial enough to require that kind of handling.


This really isn't about the TPP it's about Sander's goal of transforming the Democratic Party. Delegates are naturally going to be reluctant to adopt a platform of a primary loser. Platform fights over the TPP, a ban on fracking, and single-payer health care are being used to edge this transformation along. Of course the main problem is that the majority of delegates do not support this transformation. Probably the main thing that they fear it would involve boosting taxes to levels seen in countries like Denmark and Sweden and the Democratic Party would be back to where it was during the Reagan and Bush years, seemingly unable to win the presidency because they were getting hammered on taxing and spending and programs like welfare. I can't remember when either politicians or voters were very concerned about party platforms. It is hard to believe that the wording of the platform on the TPP will somehow affect the vote in Congress on the TPP.


Why does the U.S. Congress even have a lame-duck session? As far as i can ascertain, no other country in the world has anything like this, and for obvious reasons. Maybe getting rid of it should be in the platform, too.


While platforms are non-binding, they do indicate SOME preferences. Failure to condemn the TPP by the democratic platform will mobilize the Never Hillary


Of course she will risk it. She worked on the TPP for years. That's a good reason for Obama to do it before he leaves office. She won't have to take the heat for it if he does it.
But even if he didn't she would do it when in office. This is too important in the plan for Globalized dominance to let anyone interfere. It will be passed just like Clinton walked on the emails. The pretense is falling and leaving a huge opening for the elites to do what ever the corporate masters like. In other words they don't have to care what we think, they just stole an election right before our lying eyes.
Never Hillary


“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.” ~ James Madison

“In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions.” ~ Andrew Jackson

“We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood… It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiased exercise of political opinion – the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government – would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities.” ~ Martin Van Buren

“As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.” ~ Grover Cleveland

“A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor – other people’s lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

“These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower


This election is unlike any other. There has never been a Bernie Sanders campaign. There has never been a Trump campaign. There are now left/right antipodes with an unstable center. This is new and has many consequences.


Can the prospect of authenticity be applied to a political chameleon?

What I'm suggesting is that EVEN if Mrs. Clinton makes the tactical decision to wax lyrical in opposition to TPP and TIPP in the same way that Obama talked a good game about deescalating foreign wars: the proof is always IN the pudding.

When Leaders lie or shift their policy positions like chameleons, they are seldom held to account. Heck, those who advocate for wars of aggression, should-be felonious bank deals, and torture these days pay no price. Where does that put lying on the scale of political sins executed often?


That super citizen is a non-human corporation. The rest of us lack agency entirely and will be tasked with picking up all the alleged lost profits that the world's most heinous polluters generate with increasing impunity.


You have ZERO respect for law, the rules of fair play, honesty, or even the appearance of propriety.

If FAIR rules of play were engaged, Sanders would hardly be the "loser."


Indeed it would. Unfortunately, Killery is smart, maybe even smart enough to see the handwriting on the wall and put rejection of TPP in the platform. Frankly, I hope she's not that shrewd.


At least in the Scandinavian nations and several other socialist democracies in Western Europe, high taxes go to social programs that benefit average citizens. Clinton's hawkish foreign policy will result in high taxes on average Americans with money going toward the military, which will be supported heartily by the GOP and blue dog Democrats.


and so, the "man with the orange tan" is on the right side of this issue? And yet, we are still supposed to support the warmongering liar just because she's a Democrat? Third Party all the way!


Yes, but what about Obama? Why is he pushing the TPP? His Democratic Party is against it. He could stop it. Take it off the table. What payoff is he getting from corporate America? Let's have some investigative reporting on that. Expose Obama. Pressure him to stand with the people, not corporate America.


How? His appointments were mostly pretty bad but he didn't lobby for something like TPP after claiming to oppose it--although I DO recall when someone from the Canadian trade office leaked that his people had told them, "Don't worry about Obama's anti-NAFTA talk, that's just rhetoric for the campaign. Once he's President he'll be on board." And hius people claimed it was an evil lie from the McCain campaign, and I wondered who was lying. In retrospect it was obviously the O.


I doubt the "family threatened" thing, because it seems unlikely someone who's been in the game as long as he has could have been naive enough not to know the score when he started. There is a third possibility, which is that he knew he wouldn't be allowed to win but he figured his campaign could galvanize a movement--which it largely has.


Give it up. In 2015, before launching her campaign, Clinton was hard at work selling the TPP to Congress. This was not a secret, was routinely reported on the news. No one was surprised, since her husband had stuck us with NAFTA. (For the details, Google "Hillary Clinton and the TPP," and read through the established, reputable news sources.) As liberal opposition to the TPP heated up in late 2015, Clinton was asked about this, and claimed to be "noncommittal." Soon afterwards, she was pressured to claim that she opposed the very trade agreement that she had worked so hard to sell. Granted, all things considered, Clinton might not know that people are able to check this information online.


The TPP is the logical next step to B. Clinton's NAFTA, and it was Hillary Clinton's puppy. She is the one who worked on helping to negotiate NAFTA and to get the TPP through Congress.

Seriously, the Clinton Teflon wore off years ago. Hillary Clinton has devoted many years to NAFTA and the TPP, and deserves the most "credit."