“It is a step backward for workers,” Pelosi said. “If the president wins this vote, he will have expended enormous resources to do so. He has all the power of the presidency, and all we have on the House Democratic side is the fact that we are right.”
CAFTA, like NAFTA, is a step backwards for workers in all the countries covered by CAFTA—no worker will come out of this deal earning a living wage.
But all it would have taken is for one Democrat to vote in opposition for the Democrats to have stuck by their words and possibly to have blocked CAFTA from passing. But again we see how corporate owned and operated this “opposition” party is.
Progressives hate CAFTA. Will progressives remember this when election time rolls around?
Update: There is some controversy about the CAFTA vote (skip to 47m38s into the show), but Democracy Now! did a particularly poor job of explaining why the 15 Democrats should not be held to their line about standing with the workers. Instead, the interview focused on a few Republicans whose votes were not counted properly or who were not able to reach the floor for the vote. The self-satisfied interviewee, Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, spent no time describing how these 15 Democrats sold out the public image of their party (note, the image of their party, not the reality which is right in line with multinational corporate interests to exploit the cheapest labor the world has to offer).
Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, had an interestingly self-destructive quote which DN! failed to explain:
“The Republicans turned the floor of the House of the Representatives into a “Let’s Make a Deal” set that was reminiscent of what happened at the time of the medicare prescription drug legislation that evening and again this time they kept the vote open a long time. But many of the overtures that were made to members was made before even going to the floor. So this is about again an abuse of power, an unethical way of passing legislation and depending on what members decide to do, may require further attention.”
This vote was reminiscent of a previous contentious vote. This vote’s “overtures” were made prior to going to the floor. So, why, exactly, didn’t the Democrats see this coming? Why didn’t they complain about this behavior last time it occurred?
Again, I have to wonder if this really considered to be important by the Left. Given the discussion the Left is making of this bill, will they vote in line with their stated ethics? Or will this be yet-another-issue to blow over come election time?
Do find the time to read Liza Grandia’s summary of congressional debate on CAFTA.