Did you hear the news?
President Obama and the Republican House got together to pass the jobs bill the other day. They passed the three stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama which were negotiated by the Bush administration.
Obama traveled to Michigan with the president of South Korea (who was sporting a Detroit Tigers hat) to defend the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement as a job creating opportunity for American workers on the floor of a General Motors factory. Having lost large swathes of the American market to their Asian competitors, the idea here is that the Big Three are going to rebound by selling American automobiles in the South Korean market.
Every Democrat in the House from Michigan with the exception of Sander Levin voted against the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement. It was also voted down in the Democratic districts in Eastern Iowa and in other Yankee settled areas around the Great Lakes in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and New York. With the exception of New Hampshire, New England was strongly opposed to the South Korea free trade agreement.
KIA just opened up a big new manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. Hyundai is the biggest employer in Montgomery. Mercedes has a plant outside Birmingham. Toyota and Nissan have manufacturing plants in Mississippi. Nissan and Volkswagon have plants in Tennessee.
Dixie has always supported free trade agreements to export agricultural commodities abroad and because foreigners like the Japanese and Germans have built a ton of manufacturing plants in the South. It is less clear why Barack Hussein Obama would support new free trade agreements after campaigning against them in 2008 to get elected president.
These free trade agreements will likely create jobs in the Sunbelt and South Korea, Panama, and Colombia. They will cost America jobs in the Upper Midwest and North Carolina which have already shed hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs under Obama.
Dixie voted overwhelmingly for the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement. Every Republican in Dixie with the exceptions of Cliff Stearns (FL-6), John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), Walter Jones (NC-3), and David McKinley (WV-1) voted for it.
As for the Democrats, Dan Boren (OK-2), Mike Ross (Ark-4), Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20), Henry Cueller (TX-28), Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), Jim Cooper (TN-5), David Price (NC-4), Cathy Castor (FL-11), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), James Moran (VA-8), and Gerald Connolly (VA-11) voted for the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement.
Strangely enough, the opposition to the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement in Dixie was led by the Congressional Black Caucus: Terri Sewell, James Clyburn, Bennie Thompson, David Scott, John Lewis, Sheila Jackson Lee, etc.
The U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement cleared the Senate by a vote of 66 to 33. In the South, Kay Hagan (D-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) voted against the bill.
The free trade agreement with Panama cleared the House by a wider margin in Dixie with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus switching their votes to support the bill.
The U.S.-Panama free trade agreement cleared the Senate by a vote of 77 to 22. In the South, Kay Hagan (D-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) voted against the bill.
The free trade agreement with South Korea stirred up the most opposition in the South with Republican House members from South Carolina and Virginia joining Democrats and Republicans in North Carolina in voting against the bill.
The same dynamic can be seen in the U.S.-Panama free trade agreement where “The Blacks” split on the issue and joined with the same group of North Carolina Democrats like Heath Shuler in opposing the bill.
The U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement passed the Senate by a vote of 83 to 15. In the South, Kay Hagan (D-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) voted against the bill.
In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned against new free trade agreements and promised to renegotiate NAFTA, but after getting elected president he sold out his own Democratic supporters in the Midwest and now he is openly antagonizing them by supporting three new free agreements with Panama, Columbia, and South Korea.
How do we explain this?
In “Bankers R Us,” Harold Meyerson gives us our answer: the Democratic Party is owned by Wall Street which supports free trade agreements. It is ruled by American finance which is why Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.
That’s why Obama supports the South Korea free trade agreement and why the Democratic Congress passed the Wall Street bailout in 2008 – in the case of free trade agreements, the interests of Wall Street align with Southern Republicans, which provides a rare window for “bipartisanship” in Washington.
The black mascot of Wall Street is brazenly lying to his own base of unionized workers in the Upper Midwest. I doubt they will be so easily fooled this time around.