Comments: An Appeal to Authority

And, I suggest, an appeal to faith. Faith that Washington politicians will do what they promise.

And then there's this:

"Pro-growth policies have been all to rare in the Obama era..."

Forgive me for being suspicious that the president's demonstrated statist tendencies will somehow metastasize into laissez-faire international trade agreements.

In short, I believe our loggerheads can be distilled into the following terms: For you, it is "Trade, uber alles." For me, it is "Constitution, uber alles."

Posted by johngalt at June 24, 2015 2:36 PM

While we're on the subject of authority.


Posted by johngalt at June 24, 2015 2:42 PM

What is Unconstitutional? Was the base closure compromise an affront to Madison as well?

66% of the term of this agreement applies to the next president. In the meantime, they get a vote on every deal, they are bargaining away the right to amend.

"Politics ain't beanbag." There are consequences for bucking leadership. A guy who doesn't wear high heels ought to be able to handle a little crap.

Posted by jk at June 24, 2015 3:31 PM

Not UNconstitutional but rather, SUPRAconstitutional. The "living commission" I excerpted about in the Hinderaker piece nb linked is an international body, and will have the power under TPP to supercede U.S. law and Constitutional limits.

Posted by johngalt at June 24, 2015 5:38 PM

Dude. With all due respect, that is the worst appeal to authority ever. Sen. Sessions is the leading protectionist in the GOP Caucus. He wouldn't back a trade deal if it came with free pie.

Overheated rhetoric from Sessions does not constitute proof. It's rather like asking Sen. Warren's opinion on in-house derivatives trades or opposing fracking because Yoko Ono doesn't like it.

Posted by jk at June 25, 2015 10:33 AM

So you object not to the messge, but the messenger, calling my citation an appeal to the "authority" of a fringe legislator? Not much authority there, but plenty of ad hominem.

Now, what are you asking for ironclad objective proof of: That President Obama does not want to "break free" from the Constitution's "charter of negative liberties" and replace it with a "Constitution that guarantees its citizens economic rights?"

Okay fine, just because those are his exact words I suppose is still not proof of his exact executive intent. You win.

Posted by johngalt at June 25, 2015 1:12 PM

The message is only overheated rhetoric from a person with whom I know I disagree. It's like the language created the European Union -- they both have vowels and consonants!

Because you posted it, I have read it three times -- what is the information in there I am missing?

Posted by jk at June 25, 2015 4:42 PM

And I read the Paul Roderick Gregory piece and agree.

I will Give Senator Sessions points for cleverness. He opposes trade, he opposes Obama. When his party is called to pull the President's ass out of the fire, it's understandable to say "I have a bikini wax and the Alabama Gay Pride rally lined up -- call your Democrat buddies."

But the benefits of trade outweigh the benefits of partisanship. We have already explored this on Facebook. The first time it was voted down, I posted my disappointment that the President's initiative had failed. My lefty biological; brother commented that he was happy the President he supports had failed.

You and he can go out for an organic smoothie and look at Ché Guevara T-Shirts.

Posted by jk at June 25, 2015 4:57 PM

You may have Senator Sessions -- I'll take my chances with Art Laffer

Posted by jk at June 25, 2015 5:01 PM
"I don't know if it's corrupt backroom dealing or not, or how that differs from anything that goes on in Washington."

That is all that Art said about TPA specifically. Everything else was about free trade as a general principle and the historical effects of protectionism, all of which you well know I agree with. He is taking it on faith that this is what the politicians say it is. I'm not.

You read what three times? Do you mean this?

Obama's radio interview offers four main take aways, which I summarize using his own words where possible:

First: "We still suffer from not having a Constitution that guarantees its citizens economic rights." By positive economic rights, Obama means government protection against individual economic failures, such as low incomes, unemployment, poverty, lack of health care, and the like. Obama characterizes the Constitution as "a charter of negative liberties," which "says what the states can't do to you (and) what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf." (Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you, to paraphrase John F. Kennedy).

Second, Obama regrets that the Constitution places "essential constraints" on the government's ability to provide positive economic rights and that "we have not broken free" of these Constitutional impediments. Obama views the absence of positive economic liberties that the government must supply as a flaw in the Constitution that must be corrected as part of a liberal political agenda.

Giving an international commission any power to supercede U.S. law would, if TPA or TPP or any of the secret "T***" treaties does this, be a significant step on the path to "[break] free of these Constitutional impediments."

NED help America if you are wrong.

Posted by johngalt at June 25, 2015 6:19 PM

Oh, and you bio-bro and I won't be shopping for the same clothes, but we'll each carry one end of the banner reading, "END CORPORATE CRONYISM NOW!"

The word corporate may be more important to him, and the word cronyism more important to me, but we'll still be singing Kumbaya, NED, Kumbaya.

Posted by johngalt at June 25, 2015 6:23 PM

Heh. He's a very good singer, good guy, and you might enlist him for your campaign.

I read the Sen. Sessions piece three times. I agree with the other and do not disagree that the President's intentions are suspect.

Still searching for agreement -- why not support the TPA and keep your powder dry for TPP? I bet we'll disagree there but at least I will understand. Opposing TPA is opposing trade, because you're undercutting how they're typically done and you're removing it for six years because one and a half will be under the other party's president.

If you really "like trade but oppose this deal" -- as I hear often on Facebook -- then support TPA to show you mean the first clause and we'll have, potentially, an honest disagreement on the second.

Posted by jk at June 25, 2015 6:38 PM

If it really were a good trade bill there would be no problem getting 2/3 support.

The super majority is required to prevent tyranny of the majority (c.f. PPACA of 2010). The nation was founded as a Constitutional Republic with numerous barriers to direct democracy. And yet, here we are.

Posted by johngalt at June 26, 2015 12:16 PM

This could be another defining moment. I'd heretofore defended Sen.Cruz, but an article at Reason tears the mask off what now appears to be a populist (of the don't tread on me flavor) screed against PPA.

Several of the things he objected to were put in the bill explicitly at his request...

Posted by nanobrewer at June 29, 2015 3:58 PM

Now that sounds like a good time -- have you a link?

Posted by jk at June 29, 2015 7:06 PM
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