By Whatever Means Necessary

The House passed CAFTA, but it was how it was passed that matters more in the short term:

The House narrowly approved the Central American Free Trade Agreement this morning, delivering a hard-fought victory to President Bush while underscoring the nation’s deep divisions over trade.

The 217 to 215 vote came just after midnight, in a dramatic finish that highlighted the intensity brought by both sides to the battle. When the usual 15-minute voting period expired at 11:17 p.m., the no votes outnumbered the yes votes by 180 to 175, with dozens of members undeclared. House Republican leaders kept the voting open for another 47 minutes, furiously rounding up holdouts in their own party until they had secured just enough to ensure approval

To win, the White House and GOP congressional leaders had to overcome resistance from dozens of Republican members who were also loath to vote for the accord because of issues ranging from the perceived threat to the U.S. sugar industry to more general worries about the impact of global trade on U.S. jobs.

Rep. Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.), the chief deputy majority whip, said as members left the Capitol that trade votes are always hard but that this one was especially so for Republicans because “the other side really ramped this up and made this a political vote.”

Before the vote, GOP leaders, who had negotiated deals in recent days to sway Republicans, made it clear they were prepared to twist arms. “It will be a tough vote, but we will pass CAFTA tonight,” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) told reporters yesterday morning. “And we will do it with very few Democrats on board…”

Underscoring the importance that Bush attaches to the pact, he put his prestige on the line by making a rare appearance with Vice President Cheney at the weekly closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference. Bush spoke for an hour, lawmakers said, stressing the national security implications of CAFTA, which are rooted in the concern that growing anti-American sentiment in Latin America would flourish if the United States refused to open its markets wider to the nations that negotiated the pact.

I really long for the day when we were the good guys. Now we are nothing more than a bunch of arm-twisting thugs, big mouth bully boys, and we simply bend the rules to suit our needs. We look less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs.

CAFTA may or may not be a good bill, but it wasn’t worth selling our soul to pass. These sorts of shenanigans have got to stop, and we have got to stop acting like a bunch of arrogant goons who think they have a divine right to rule. I am sick of it.

*** Update ***

From the comments, this history lesson:

In the 22 years that Democrats ran the House after the electronic voting system was put in place, there was only one time when the vote period substantially exceeded the 15 minutes. At the end of the session in 1987, under Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, the vote on the omnibus budget reconciliation bill—a key piece of legislation—was one vote short of passage when one of the bill’s supporters, Marty Russo of Illinois, took offense at something, changed his vote to no, and left to catch a plane to his home district in Chicago. He was unaware that his switch altered the ultimate outcome. Caught by surprise, Wright kept the vote tally open for an extra 15 to 20 minutes until one of his aides could find another member, fellow Texan Jim Chapman, and draw him out of the cloakroom to change his nay vote to aye and pass the bill. Republicans went ballistic, using the example for years as evidence of Democrats’ autocratic style and insensitivity to rules and basic fairness.

In 1995, soon after the Republicans gained the majority, Speaker Newt Gingrich declared his intention to make sure that votes would consistently be held in the 15-minute time frame. The “regular practice of the House,” he said would be “a policy of closing electronic votes as soon as possible after the guaranteed period of 15 minutes.” The policy was reiterated by Speaker Dennis J. Hastert when he assumed the post.

The reaction to the abuse of the vote limit in 1987? Predictable:

In 1987, when then-House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) employed a pale version of this practice—keeping the vote open an extra 15 minutes—Republicans denounced this as an outrageous departure from regular order. Then-Rep. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) railed against “Jim Wright and his goons.” And a Republican congressman named Dick Cheney denounced the move as “the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.” Funny, but Vice President Cheney doesn’t seem nearly so outraged now.

What just happened on the House floor was nonsense.

52 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ says:

    “I really long for the day when we were the good guys.”

    We still are, John. CAFTA is good for America, good for the economy. If we had to twist a few arms to get it passed, so be it.

  2. 2
    Sojourner says:

    GOP democracy in action. It will be decades before they can claim to be the moral authority once again.

  3. 3
    Stormy70 says:

    Give me a break, John. Politics is not a bed of roses, and this is how it’s been done from the gitgo. Hell, the framers of the Constitution twisted arms, cajoled, and threatened each other to get it written. They are not there to hold hands and pick out china together. At least noone pulled a knife or challenged someone to a duel.

  4. 4
    Sojourner says:

    Politics is not a bed of roses, and this is how it’s been done from the gitgo.

    Evidence please.

  5. 5
    Yet another Jeff says:

    Arm twisting doesn’t bother me. That’s been pretty common since the inception of the Republic. This on the other hand bothers me

    [quote]The last-minute negotiations for Republican votes resembled the wheeling and dealing on a car lot. Republicans who were opposed or undecided were courted during hurried meetings in Capitol hallways, on the House floor and at the White House. GOP leaders told their rank and file that if they wanted anything, now was the time to ask, lawmakers said, and members took advantage of the opportunity by requesting such things as fundraising appearances by Cheney and the restoration of money the White House has tried to cut from agriculture programs. Lawmakers also said many of the favors bestowed in exchange for votes will be tucked into the huge energy and highway bills that Congress is scheduled to pass this week before leaving for the August recess.[/quote]

    So in exchange for CAFTA we get more pork, and what sounds like a promise not to cut agricultural subsidies. Which of course would completely go against the spirit of CAFTA

    This is one time I actually hope Bush breaks his promise

  6. 6
    Stormy70 says:

    cut agricultural subsidies

    I wish, what a peice of crap bill that was!

  7. 7
    Steve says:

    In the 22 years that Democrats ran the House after the electronic voting system was put in place, there was only one time when the vote period substantially exceeded the 15 minutes. At the end of the session in 1987, under Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, the vote on the omnibus budget reconciliation bill — a key piece of legislation — was one vote short of passage when one of the bill’s supporters, Marty Russo of Illinois, took offense at something, changed his vote to no, and left to catch a plane to his home district in Chicago. He was unaware that his switch altered the ultimate outcome. Caught by surprise, Wright kept the vote tally open for an extra 15 to 20 minutes until one of his aides could find another member, fellow Texan Jim Chapman, and draw him out of the cloakroom to change his nay vote to aye and pass the bill. Republicans went ballistic, using the example for years as evidence of Democrats’ autocratic style and insensitivity to rules and basic fairness.

    In 1995, soon after the Republicans gained the majority, Speaker Newt Gingrich declared his intention to make sure that votes would consistently be held in the 15-minute time frame. The “regular practice of the House,” he said would be “a policy of closing electronic votes as soon as possible after the guaranteed period of 15 minutes.” The policy was reiterated by Speaker Dennis J. Hastert when he assumed the post.

    But faced with a series of tough votes and close margins, Republicans have ignored their own standards and adopted a practice that has in fact become frequent during the Bush presidency, of stretching out the vote when they were losing until they could twist enough arms to prevail. On at least a dozen occasions, they have gone well over the 15 minutes, sometimes up to an hour.

    The Medicare prescription drug vote — three hours instead of 15 minutes, hours after a clear majority of the House had signaled its will — was the ugliest and most outrageous breach of standards in the modern history of the House. It was made dramatically worse when the speaker violated the longstanding tradition of the House floor’s being off limits to lobbying by outsiders (other than former members) by allowing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on the floor during the vote to twist arms — another shameful first.
    link

    In 1987, when then-House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) employed a pale version of this practice — keeping the vote open an extra 15 minutes — Republicans denounced this as an outrageous departure from regular order. Then-Rep. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) railed against “Jim Wright and his goons.” And a Republican congressman named Dick Cheney denounced the move as “the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.” Funny, but Vice President Cheney doesn’t seem nearly so outraged now.
    link

  8. 8
    Bernard Yomtov says:

    I really long for the day when we were the good guys. Now we are nothing more than a bunch of arm-twisting thugs, big mouth bully boys, and we simply bend the rules to suit our needs. We look less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs.

    CAFTA may or may not be a good bill, but it wasn’t worth selling our soul to pass. These sorts of shenanigans have got to stop, and we have got to stop acting like a bunch of arrogant goons who think they have a divine right to rule. I am sick of it.

    Yeah. Who knew DeLay and Hastert were such assholes?

  9. 9
    Stormy70 says:

    Evidence please.

    Here is one famous duel by political enemies.

    Here is a book that goes into the colorful history of congress, including a brawl that went on until someone yanked an opponents wig off.
    This is good brawl that happened in 1860.

    I like this annedote for obvious reasons :)

    Immediately, Reed’s action produced an uproar in the House that lasted several days. “Tyranny,” “scandal,” and “revolution” were some of the words used to describe Reed’s action. Democrats “foamed with rage,” wrote historian Barbara Tuchman.

    A hundred of them were on their feet howling for recognition. ‘Fighting Joe’ Wheeler, the diminutive former Confederate cavalry general, unable to reach the front because of the crowded aisles, came down from the rear leaping from desk to desk as an ibex leaps from crag to crag. As the excitement grew wilder, the only Democrat not on his feet was a huge representative from Texas who sat in his seat significantly whetting a bowie knife on his boot

  10. 10

    If CAFTA doesn’t piss some of you off, then perhaps the new Energy Bill will. In that bill, we basically handed $80 billion dollars to the already disgustingly profitable oil companies. Thats right, more corporate welfare. If you aren’t disgusted, you aren’t paying attention.

  11. 11
    albedo says:

    “I really long for the day when we were the good guys. Now we are nothing more than a bunch of arm-twisting thugs, big mouth bully boys, and we simply bend the rules to suit our needs. We look less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs.”

    John –

    OT, but I’m curious why you self-identify as a republican. Your clear disdain for the social conservative side of the GOP alone puts you on the fringe of the party. If I had come to this blog without being forewarned that you were a “moderate republican,” read some of your posts, and then been forced to guess what party you belonged to I’d have said you were either a right-leaning democrat or a libertarian. Not that it matters, I guess. Just curious.

  12. 12
    Yet another Jeff says:

    If CAFTA doesn’t piss some of you off, then perhaps the new Energy Bill will. In that bill, we basically handed $80 billion dollars to the already disgustingly profitable oil companies. Thats right, more corporate welfare. If you aren’t disgusted, you aren’t paying attention.

    $80 billion? Where are you getting that figure from?

  13. 13
    jg says:

    There are real republicans and then there are the republicans in charge right now. Johns a real republican.

  14. 14
    Yet another Jeff says:

    Here’s a summary of the energy plan, since there seems to be some confusion:

    The bill gives the lion’s share of the $14.5 billion in tax breaks and incentives (about $9 billion) to traditional oil, gas, coal and electricity companies over 10 years. Less than $5 billion is earmarked to promote renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and cleaner-burning vehicles.

    The Senate, in a version of the energy bill approved last month, sought far higher tax incentives for conservation and alternative sources of energy.

    The House bill includes incentives aimed at encouraging the nuclear power industry to build the first new plants since the 1970s. Companies would be offered loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear plants and risk insurance to protect them against regulatory delays for the initial units.

    The bill would also offer tax breaks for the production of energy from wind, biomass, solar and geothermal sources.

    So it’s $15 billion of tax breaks. $9 billlion which goes to traditional energy companies, and $5 billion which goes to alternative sources of energy

    Still pretty pathetic, but it’s not a complete giveaway to the oil industry.

  15. 15
    fouroboros says:

    “…less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs…. it wasn’t worth selling our soul to pass.”

    John, I loves yer selfless candor, but your guys are on their 4th or 5th refinance by now, soul in some unknown escrow alongside Indiana Jones’ Ark of the Covenant. And they make union thugs look like Pikers. A more apt anology might be Jay Gould and his Pinkerton’s circa 1886-87. Now that was a team Tom Delay could get excited about.

  16. 16
    Sojourner says:

    Good grief, Stormy. You have to go back over a hundred years to find evidence for your position?

    Steve provides a more relevant summary.

  17. 17
    Bob says:

    Weren’t all those rich Mexicans gonna be buying all our Cadillacs after NAFTA passed?

    By the way, I get that DougJ is a put-on, but is Stormy70? Is there some kind of joke involving the old Classics IV song?

  18. 18
    Stormy70 says:

    I said politics has never been a bed of roses, and I went back into history to prove the point. You guys act like politics is supposed to be sweetness and light, but it isn’t. LBJ would be a more current figure to study then. As you like to say, look it up.

    Frist has to prove to the base he has some balls if he wants to win any primaries. The base is spoiling for a fight.

  19. 19
    Mike says:

    John, I hope that soon you and the seemingly vanishing others like you will understand that They Don’t Want You. The Rethuglican wing of the GOP, which used to stand for Grand Old Party but now seems to stand for Greedy Old Pricks, has taken over, just like the DLC scumbags took over the Democrat Party and are turning it into the Democraps. Us Independents who will vote for the person rather than the party are getting screwed by the morons on both sides who only do their civic duty and vote every 4 years because they can check one simple box for D or R and be lazy bastards who reap the fruits of democracy without doing the necessary work required by all citizens to maintain and improve it.

  20. 20
    Sojourner says:

    I said politics has never been a bed of roses, and I went back into history to prove the point. You guys act like politics is supposed to be sweetness and light, but it isn’t. LBJ would be a more current figure to study then. As you like to say, look it up.

    Couldn’t find any more recent evidence, huh?

  21. 21
    james richardson says:

    stormy70:

    it’s not the arm-twisting, it’s the hypocrisy.

  22. 22

    […] Hopefully, this will be my last post on CAFTA for a while. I know I’ve been on a bit of a CAFTA binge, but I have to link to this John Cole post. He truly is one of the most honest and thought-provoking conservative bloggers out there. Plus the fact that he’s a responsible and accountable Republican, unlike the Washington Republicans in power. “I really long for the day when we were the good guys. Now we are nothing more than a bunch of arm-twisting thugs, big mouth bully boys, and we simply bend the rules to suit our needs. We look less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs. […]

  23. 23
    Jim says:

    What they did to get CAFTA passed was far less than what they did to get the Medicare changes a few years ago. While CAFTA may be consistent with “republican” values and therefore the arm twisting was worth the arm twisting, I am not sure the Medicare changes can be described as consistent with “republican” values.

  24. 24
    Stormy70 says:

    it’s not the arm-twisting, it’s the hypocrisy.

    Hypocrisy switches positions all the time. Think about it.

    Suddenly the left trusts the CIA. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

  25. 25
    fouroboros says:

    Jim said: “What they did to get CAFTA passed was far less than what they did to get the Medicare changes a few years ago.”

    I’ll buy that for a steel tariff-adjusted Dollar.

  26. 26
    Sojourner says:

    Suddenly the left trusts the CIA. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

    Huh? I certainly expect the CIA to know the status of their own employees.

  27. 27
    jonrog1 says:

    You hear that, John? You;re about to get kicked out of the club for believing that people should make their own moral decisions, not the government; for believing in rule of law; for believing in fiscal responsibility and moderation.

    Cross the aisle, Joooohnnn, theeeey’re not yoooour party anymooooorre

  28. 28
    john says:

    1. The Democrats don’t know how to wage a war or win.

    2. Further, the Democrats don’t know what war to wage and which one to let go. With such a “brilliant” strategy they can’t win the Congress and the White House.

    3. For example, Sen. Biden (D-MBNA/Bank of America) wants to be the Presidential nominee. He didn’t lead a filibuster (cloture vote) in the case of CAFTA, but led another one against Bolton.

    The latest news is that President Bush will nominate Bolton to the UN Ambassadorship in a recess appointment. What did the Democrats achieve? Nothing, because

    (a) Bolton will still be the next UN ambassador;
    (b) the PR defeat – the Republicans will portray the Democrats, right or wrong, as obstructionist or leading a filibuster.

    4. Can you answer Sen. Biden, the “smartest man” in the Senate:

    (a) why you didn’t filibuster CAFTA but filibustered Bolton?

    (b) why you waged a losing battle against Bolton (with a goal that Bolton should not be the UN Ambassador), but did not wage a war against CAFTA?

    Bolton leaves his job as Bush leaves the White House in 2008. CAFTA is more important because it affects people losing their jobs.

    4. A wise man once said “choose your battles carefully.”

  29. 29
    Matt says:

    Until these guys are voted out, they’re going to keep doing this, and get bolder each time.

  30. 30
    Redleg says:

    The really sad thing besides the way the Republicans change the rules to suit them is this: CAFTA is a bad bill and will be bad for the country. It will not create new or better jobs in the USA. It will not improve out balance of trade. It will not really help anybody except corporate America and by extension, the GOP.

  31. 31
    UNCoRRELATED says:

    Democrats Lose CAFTA

    News reports indicate CAFTA narrowly passed the House of Representatives on a 217-215 vote. This was bitterly opposed by the Democrats and organized labor.

  32. 32

    CAFTA, like NAFTA and other “free trade” agreements before it, will continue to undermine US economic security, and eventually military security. Here’s why, along with farm subsidies, it will.

    NAFTA opened markets in Mexico to highly subsidized (despite the 1996 Republican “Freedom to Farm” act that was supposed to eliminate subsidies … subsidies are now higher than ever) and therefore cheap US farm products. Small Mexican farmers, being unable to compete, are forced off their land and go to the cities and form a lost cost workforce for the “offshoring” of work to Mexico. Work still being scarce (especially with work subsequently going to China thanks to other “free trade” laws)and wages low, they are motivated to illegally immigrate to the US. Here their low pay labor undermines wages so they take the jobs that now pay so little that, as Bush says, Americans are unwilling to take (note they used to do them).

    In addition, the offshoring of relatively high-paying jobs to China and India is undermining domestic purchasing power which puts companies under even more price pressure, prompting even more offshoring. This has put the US economy into a death spiral.

    And note, there is no magic wall between the loss of manufacturing jobs and engineering / design jobs. For a more complete explanation why current “free trade” policies are individually logical, but collectively irrational, see “The Fallacy of Composition” on my site.

  33. 33
    Randolph Fritz says:

    “I really long for the day when we were the good guys.”

    <snark>1860 was a long time ago.</snark>

    More seriously, John, why are you surprised? This is what DeLay did for the prescription drug bill. Worked then–why not again? Truth of the matter is, the Republicans haven’t had any claim to be the good guys since Nixon’s devil’s bargain with Strom Thurmond, which puts it back a bit.

  34. 34
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Damn it, John, you cut out the single best line from that Post article (and after I sent it to you!). To reprint the whole paragraph (with that line as the climax):

    “Before the vote, GOP leaders, who had negotiated a number of deals in recent days to sway Republicans, made it clear they were prepared to twist arms and, if necessary, extend the voting period. ‘It will be a tough vote, but we will pass CAFTA tonight,’ House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) told reporters yesterday morning. ‘And we will do it with very few Democrats on board.’ Asked how long the vote would be kept open, DeLay replied, ‘When we get to 218,’ one vote in excess of a majority.”

    Yeah.

  35. 35
    Stormy70 says:

    Nancy Pelosi is freaking out over that vote. Hee, hee. Can’t have free trade with the brown-skinned people if you’re a Democrat. One more way to lessen Chinese imports is fine with me.

  36. 36
    Smoyster says:

    Both major parties are sorely lacking. Of course, Bush and these Republicans are going to look very, very bad in history for getting us stuck in Iraq.

  37. 37
    The Tonic says:

    “Bush spoke for an hour, lawmakers said, stressing the national security implications of CAFTA, which are rooted in the concern that growing anti-American sentiment in Latin America would flourish if the United States refused to open its markets wider to the nations that negotiated the pact.”

    Hang on a minute … Bush spoke for an hour, and the gist of his case for CAFTA was that it will help defuse anti-American sentiment in South America? He didn’t talk about how it would affect the economy – which is as good as admitting that it’s going to cost jobs in the long run – but he said it was a way of negotiating? Negotiating with people who harbor anti-Americanism amd might be a threat to national security? Like, “terrorists”? CAFTA is negotiating with terrorists? Is that what he said? I’m sure he didn’t mean that Peru was about to declare war and invade Texas ….

    If the best argument you can make for CAFTA is that it appeases South American terrorists, it sure doesn’t say much for the thing. But I guess it still sounds better than “corporate welfare” or “access to cheaper labor.”

  38. 38
    John S. says:

    Can’t have free trade with the brown-skinned people if you’re a Democrat. One more way to lessen Chinese imports is fine with me.

    Brown-skinned people? Could you do a better job of hiding your obvious ethnosentric tilt? I guess not…

    Anyway, all this CAFTA agreement amounts to is the United States making someone else do their dirty work for them. Or as you would put it, pit the brown skinned people vs. the yellow-skinned people. Because clearly, the white-skinned people stand no chance of competing in the manufacturing sector on the international market. Hopefully, the brown-skinned people can give us the leverage against the yellow-skinned people to succeed where the white-skinned people have failed.

    It is disconcerting to think that people actually think in terms like this. And I’m not talking about Nancy Pelosi.

  39. 39
    The Tonic says:

    CENTRAL America. I meant Central America. That was a series of unfortunate typos.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Ya know it isn’t the arm twisting that bothers me so much – it has been going on for what seems like eons and predates this country and because this is Congress after all. What bothers me more is the stunning double standard and hipocrisy. This is just the latest in a long line of things the GOP (now that it is in power) does to perpetuate and aggrandize itself.

    Military service is only good of you are Republican – if you are a Democrat it means nothing.
    Speaking out against government waste, fraud, abuse, etc only counts when the government is run by Democrats and the accusers are Republican. When Republicans run the government it it borderline treasonous.
    American tactics against prisoners is not to be questioned because we are Americans and Americans are always right.
    Republicans who “finess” money out of government it is a good thing, when Democrats do it it is pork and wasteful.
    When Democrats control the WH and Congress and the country runs a deficit it is dangerous and profligate. When Republicans control government and there is a big honking debt it is somehow a good thing.
    When a Democratic president uses military force it is “wagging the dog” when a Republican president it is a noble endeavor.
    When a Republican Member of Congress has ethics trouble it is political but when the Member with ethics problems is a Democrat it isn’t.
    Changes in filibuster rules that have served the Senate for decades only need to be changed when it is Republicans who control Congress because somehow a filibuster in a Repubican Congress is an affront to Democracy while when Democrats control Congress it is more of a way to try and defeat those terrible Democrats and their liberal policies that are destroying America.

    I could go on but I won’t…..

    All this is not saying that Democrats are perfect or somehow better at running things – because I definitely don’t believe that.

  41. 41
    Luddite says:

    “As the excitement grew wilder, the only Democrat not on his feet was a huge representative from Texas who sat in his seat significantly whetting a bowie knife on his boot”

    Now THAT is my kind of politician. Actually Wilbur Mills is my all time favorite. Any politician rolling in the Tidal Basin, drunk, with his secretary Fanny Fox “The Argentinian Firecracker” (former stripper) gets my immediate vote.

  42. 42
    Throatwarbler Mangrove says:

    “Bolton leaves his job as Bush leaves the White House in 2008. ”

    I think a recess appointment is only good until the end of the current congress, which will be the end of 2006.

  43. 43
    james richardson says:

    i get it now stormy.

    when democrats are hypocrites it’s an outrage and disgusting.

    when republicans are hypocrites it’s just the way things are done and democrats should get used to it, in fact bend over and take it while saying please sir may i have another.

    got it. thanks!

  44. 44
    BoZ the Rider says:

    “Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, 1812

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

    -Sir Alex Fraser Tytler

  45. 45

    […] Thursday, I wrote about the underhanded methods used to extend the vote in CAFTA until leadership like the outcome. Today, let’s look at what CAFTA cost. According to the Opinion Journal, it cost billions right off the bat: […]

  46. 46
    BoZ the Rider says:

    The United States’ original form of taxes were based on imports and exports. Trade. Why? Because America was a trading center, and continues to this day.

    When you have Free Trade agreements, you in effect put the burden of those tariffs on the people in the form of taxes, like income tax.

    Secondly, Free Trade does nothing to help our economy. When you’re at the top, the only way to go is down. These agreements thus HURT Americans in the job markets, their infrastructure (by removing manufacturing capacity and thus products to sell), and stunting economic growth.

    So whats the deal with Free Trade? Simple, companies want to sell their products here, but they want to make more profit as well. Americans not only work for too much cost per head, but because we’re in the terrible process of switching to a “service economy” we don’t have as much money to buy American made goods for the higher cost, so we buy foreign items that are cheaper. This forces the companies that make goods to move offshore and do the same.

    A vicious cycle that can be stopped simply by ending Free Trade agreements and imposing tariffs on imports and exports again.

    “And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

  47. 47
    waynels says:

    And wouldn’t you know that one of the two that put it over was from good, old Cornhuskerland: Rep. Tom Osborne. Whose only claim to competence, it seems to me, is that he prays a lot and was a football coach who happened to win a few national college football titles. To a reporter for the Omaha Wierd-Herald, he admitted that a sugar beet ‘grower’ kept him on the phone for an hour to get him to change his vote on the bill.

  48. 48
    John Murray says:

    Is this a Democrat or Republican blog site? I came here by accident, and based on the comments,I can not tell if this site is liberal or conservative. Actually, I like that for a change. I think both Democrats and Republicans can agree that NAFTA and CAFTA = SHAFTA.

  49. 49
    BoZ the Rider says:

    I’d have to say this is an everybody website. Democrat, Republican, whatever… we can all yell equally loud at each other here.

    Second, CAFTA is a bad agreement, as all free trade is. The big guy get’s shafted while the little guys prosper. I’m all for helping poor coutries, but only after you help the people you’re suppose to be representing first!

    For instance, certain Marines will be receiving an immediate paycut of about $250. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have said they can’t get benefits they were promised.

    Yet who gets the billions in tax breaks? Big energy companies like Enron, who screwed over thousands.

    Representative Democracy or Neocon Facism in disguise? You be the judge.

  50. 50
    trembeling timberdoodle says:

    The new world order is in power to take away our soventry we should get ourselves out of the UN pernamently

  51. 51
  52. 52

    […] Regardless, how soon we forget- this is neither unprecedented nor a new low. Remember this: […]

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  1. […] Regardless, how soon we forget- this is neither unprecedented nor a new low. Remember this: […]

  2. […] Thursday, I wrote about the underhanded methods used to extend the vote in CAFTA until leadership like the outcome. Today, let’s look at what CAFTA cost. According to the Opinion Journal, it cost billions right off the bat: […]

  3. UNCoRRELATED says:

    Democrats Lose CAFTA

    News reports indicate CAFTA narrowly passed the House of Representatives on a 217-215 vote. This was bitterly opposed by the Democrats and organized labor.

  4. […] Hopefully, this will be my last post on CAFTA for a while. I know I’ve been on a bit of a CAFTA binge, but I have to link to this John Cole post. He truly is one of the most honest and thought-provoking conservative bloggers out there. Plus the fact that he’s a responsible and accountable Republican, unlike the Washington Republicans in power. “I really long for the day when we were the good guys. Now we are nothing more than a bunch of arm-twisting thugs, big mouth bully boys, and we simply bend the rules to suit our needs. We look less like a national governing party than a bunch of union thugs. […]

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