The populists were out on Capitol Hill yesterday, assuming control of the Democratic Party and refusing to settle for anything less than transparency when it comes to trade deals.
In his Washington Post column headlined “The populists capture the Democratic Party,” Dana Milbank wrote
It was another one of those rallies on Capitol Hill where lawmakers line up to take shots at the Obama administration. But this time the lawmakers were all Democrats.
A quartet of senators and a dozen members of the House took the stage in a park across from the Capitol midday Wednesday to join hundreds of steelworkers, union faithful and environmentalists in denouncing President Obama’s bid for fast-track approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
“I’ve never seen a trade agreement that is more secretive than this one,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told the crowd. “What are they hiding? What they’re hiding is a huge shift from democratically elected governments to corporations all over the world, and that’s why we’re fighting.”
“The administration is engaged in new transparency with this agreement — transparency — so I brought a copy,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said, holding up — nothing. “Oh. It’s transparent. You can’t see it.”
Ouch! The Hill covered yesterday’s rally, roundly ignored by the TV media, noting
Very few Democrats in the House have expressed support for fast-track, and labor unions are trying to wipe out any shot that a bill could get through Congress and boost the chances that a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal can get done.