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Dan Gilmore / May 13, 2015

Democrats Undermine Obama’s Pacific Trade Deal Effort

Like it or not, Barack Obama’s trade deal is needed if the U.S. is going to maintain influence in the Pacific Rim as a counterweight to China. But the community organizer in chief can’t even muster the support of his own party. Obama attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying she’s wrong on the matter. The Wall Street Journal says Obama’s polarization tactics worked better when there was a Democrat majority in Congress. Now that the playing field has changed, he’s attacking his own party. As a result, Democrat lawmakers voted against their president Tuesday, refusing to fast-track the trade legislation.

Without the up-down, yes-no vote, the Obama administration has a more challenging task. Charles Krauthammer opined, “It would help if when the president says [Warren] is dead wrong, he would actually make a case to explain why, rather than say, ‘I would never sign a deal that’s not good for working Americans. Trust me.’ That’s what he does with Iran, that’s what he does with everything. … [O]n this, acting in the national interest as president, he knows that in the end free trade is a good idea. And this agreement, in particular, is extremely important geopolitically as a way to hold our Pacific Rim allies, who will be cut loose and will enter into China’s orbit if we don’t.” But Obama is such a narcissist, he can’t help but demean his own party. If that keeps up, then the last two years will quickly become a lame-duck presidency. More…

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