An acquaintance from my days in the Clinton administration, who has been advising Hillary, phoned this morning.
ACQUAINTANCE: “Don’t you think your blog post from last night was a bit harsh?”
ME: “Not at all. The Democratic Party is shooting itself in the foot by not officially opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
ACQ: “But you know why. The Party can’t take a stand opposite the President’s. He’s the leader of the Party, for chrissake. And he wants the TPP.”
ME: “Yeah, because he sees the TPP as a way to limit China’s economic influence. So he made a Faustian bargain with big global corporations who want more protection for their foreign investments. But he’s wrong. The TPP won’t crimp China. Global corporations will give China whatever it wants to gain access to the Chinese market. The TPP ….”
ACQ: “Look, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. The President wants the TPP, and the Party isn’t going to oppose him.”
ME: “You mean Hillary won’t oppose him.”
ACQ: “Hillary won’t, and Debbie [Wasserman Schultz] won’t, and neither will Nancy [Pelosi] or Harry [Reid] or Dick [Durbin] or Chuck [Schumer].
ME: “But it’s terrible policy. And it’s awful politics. It gives Trump a battering ram. Obama won’t be president in six months. Why risk it?”
ACQ: “They don’t see much of a risk. Most Americans don’t know or care about the TPP.”
ME: “But they know big corporations are running economic policy. They think the whole system is corrupt. Believe me, Trump will use this against Hillary.”
ACQ: “He can’t. She’s inoculated. She’s come out against the TPP.”
ME: “But it’s her delegates who voted not to oppose it in the Democratic platform. Her fingerprints are all over this thing.”
ACQ: “I think you’re being too cynical.”
ME: “Actually, the real cynic is you.”