Well, this is awkward. A few days ago President Obama literally laughed off Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s concern that his so-called “fast track” provision, which would limit Congressional power regarding trade deals for the next six years, endangers 2010’s Dodd/Frank financial reforms.

“I’d have to be pretty stupid” to sign an agreement that did that, the President said. He was reportedly laughing as he said it.

Just four days later Canada’s finance minister used a similar trade deal to challenge the “Volcker rule,” a key provision of Dodd/Frank. “I believe—with strong legal basis—that this rule violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement,” Joe Oliver told a banking conference.

As we were saying: awkward.


One thought on “Obama’s Trade War Against Warren Wounds His Party – and His Legacy

  1. Richard Eskow concludes his editorial thusly:

    “The war for the TPP and fast-track – and against Warren – is not the only one the president is currently waging. Obama is also in the process of shaping his presidential legacy. That may be why he’s ‘unusually irritated’ with Warren and other progressives. He may recognize that he is at risk of being remembered as a president who, when the nation stood at an economic crossroads, cast his lot with the corporations.

    The president’s Wall Street legacy has already been largely shaped by two actions: the bank bailout, and his administration’s refusal to prosecute individual bankers for acts of widespread fraud. Even now, eight years after that fraud brought down the economy, the government continues to reach settlement agreements that protect big banks from the consequences of their criminal actions. (The latest reported deal, involving the criminal manipulation of currency exchange rates, is a case in point.)

    Now the president is staking his reputation on a trade deal that is increasingly likely to be seen as a joint Obama/GOP initiative. If he succeeds, his legacy may suffer a mortal blow, and his party is likely to pay a terrible political price in years – and elections – to come.


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