Bill Keller, the former Executive Editor of the New York Times and current columnist for the same, has some advice for President Barack Obama. In order to, as Keller puts it, “salvage his presidency” Obama must destroy accountability for corporations. This is ironically claimed to be some bizarre argument for domestic prosperity.
The biggest item awaiting some Washington juice is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an immense, stalled, Asian free-trade agreement that would do more to counter burgeoning China than any number of battleships.
Like most free-trade agreements, it has opposition, from critics who fear it would insufficiently protect labor, consumers, the environment and intellectual property. It’s time for the administration to cut some deals, crack some heads and open up those Asian markets.
For whom? Keller doesn’t say. Though it seems as though he believes, counter to all available evidence, that free trade deals are beneficial to the American people. Tell that to Detroit.
But more to the point, does Keller know something we don’t? Does he have access to secret documents that even members of Congress can not get a hold of? If this plan is beneficial why not allow an open debate in the free market of ideas? Keller doesn’t say.
What Mr. Keller may not know is that TPP is not just an effort to “open up those Asian markets”, it is much more that. TPP seems actually to be a quiet coup that would suck power out of democratically accountable institutions and hand that power over to corporate tribunals. Tribunals that will be able to overrule and sanction sovereign governments.
Mr. Keller and the liberal establishment with whom he identifies and for whom he often apologizes for should be more concerned with salvaging the independence of the United States of America than a termed out presidency.
Image from hughesp under Creative Commons license.