Young Einon: The peasants are revolting.
Brok: They've always been revolting, Prince. But *now*, they're rebelling.
There probably aren't too many Americans further from being a peasant than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, married as she is to a financier and real-estate mogul worth many tens of millions of dollars. Given her friends, her vast wealth, and most definitely the desires of her fellow-Democrat President Barack Obama, one would expect her to support his vaunted Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
But no. In an astounding political development, Nancy Pelosi led a sizable contingent of Democrats in joining hands across the aisle with a fair few deep conservative Republicans, to scupper Mr. Obama's TPP.
From the standpoint of political grand strategy, the TPP offers a case study of how not to get something through Congress. For one thing, it's classified - that's right, the terms of the proposed treaty are secret including being kept away from most sitting Congresscritters! Yes, some of the leadership have been made privy to the draft, but only after first swearing on the life of their firstborn never to say anything about it.
This may have made sense once upon a time, but in the age of Wikileaks, secrecy is just asking for trouble. Sure enough, some Boris Badenov came through with the goods: Wikileaks has released what purport to be parts of the pact. Mr. Obama now suffers from the flip side of secrecy: since nobody who's officially read the thing is allowed to say anything about what's in it, Wikileaks can make it say anything they please and there's no way to prove them wrong.
The Wikileaks version of the TPP has something for everybody to hate. If you're an environmentalist, you won't like the mooted granting of corporations the right to sue in international courts against any environmental regulations that add to their costs. If you're a populist, you won't appreciate hearing the giant sucking sound of yet more American jobs going overseas. If you're an aficionado of electronic entertainment, you'll be angered by even more restrictive copyright regulations. If you're a traditional American conservative, you'll hit the roof when you hear that the treaty supposedly enshrines free trade in human beings, which is another term for open borders, under a "Movement of Natural Persons" clause. If you believe in freedom of speech, you won't like what the TPP says about controlling Internet content.
Is any of this true? Quite honestly, we have no idea - and that, in and of itself, is cause for us to oppose the TPP in its current form and to applaud Ms. Pelosi's rebellion. We may disagree with her about her reasons perhaps, but the end result is worth three cheers.
The TPP isn't dead yet; news reports say that Mr. Obama is trying to get more support from Republicans who traditionally support free trade. While we try never to underestimate the stupidity of the Stupid Party, for them to give Mr. Obama a victory in the teeth of popular anger and Mr. Obama's proven track record of dishonest negotiations would be spectacularly dumb even for the intellectual midgets that currently misrule the GOP.
What's far more interesting is for Nancy Pelosi, as long-serving and senior a Democrat mover and shaker as exists, to so publicly flip her own president the bird with both hands. Can it be that she has finally realized that not everything Mr. Obama does is good for America - or, even, good for her next election?
Better late than never, anyway! The TPP provides a great example of an opportunity for conservatives to make common cause with the furthest left of liberals to the betterment of America. Let's see more of this!
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.