Rachel Marsden

Last November, when leftist union comrades around the world cheered the election of Barack Obama because he wasn’t The Man, I wondered how they could be so incredibly shallow that they forgot what he stood for in substance. And that is looking out for the interests of himself, his party, and those who voted Democrat.

Sure, Obama is a union guy. Unions represent the Democratic Party’s support, funding, and voting base. But that base is strictly limited to America. So if you’re not a comrade whom the Democrats are capable of exploiting for either cash or votes, then prepared to be treated about as well as a card-carrying Republican.

Democrats have rewarded their non-American comrades for their fawning support by slipping a “Buy American” rider into the newest trillion dollar US government cash dump that’s currently circling the bowl in the Senate. This means that steel and iron used in all these make-work projects that Obama has planned for his comrades to stimulate the economy will have to come from America rather than Canada or elsewhere.

Apparently, Obama didn’t even notice that anything was wrong -- until someone whispered in his ear (probably between autograph signings or makeout sessions with the US media) that Canada was flipping out -- at which point he said protectionism was unacceptable. This means that he either didn’t know the details of the bill he was going around promoting, or he was hoping no one would notice. Then, when he started getting flack for it, he acted indignant -- like the kid who’s been smoking weed for the past year but was busted when mom and dad found his stash: “Oh, man. How did THAT get there. That’s horrible! We can’t have that!”

Then the European Union started freaking out -- because if Obama and the Democrats can do that to their best friend, Canada, what hope do they have?

So what does the meltdown over this issue look like in Canada? The head of Canada’s socialist New Democratic Party blamed Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for letting this happen and not controlling Obama -- which is like drinking and driving, getting nailed for it, and blaming MADD. He then suggested that Canada implement “Buy Canadian” protections.

Listen, you lunatics, does it really have to be explained to you, yet again, how America got into this whole bailout mess in the first place? It started with the Carter/Clinton Democratic administrations mucking around in the home buyers market to favor minorities. Then it proceeded to tinkering with the auto manufacturers, forcing them to make cars that no one wants to buy and exporting them against massive foreign tariffs.

So now the solution, in the minds of these geniuses, is to solve Keynesianism with more protectionism?

Recession-era protectionism was already tried in the 1930s with the Smoot-Hawley tariff, and it didn’t work. World trade declined by 66% over the next four years, as the recession deepened into a depression. And what’s now to stop Canada -- the largest supplier of foreign oil to America -- from imposing retaliatory tariffs on oil and natural gas exports, and any raw materials? At this point, only sanity stands in the way of such a dumb move -- and sanity, quite frankly, is on the verge of checking into rehab for “exhaustion.”

How exactly this protectionist nonsense ever work its way into the latest spending spree, anyway?

Democratic comrade Rep. Peter Viclosky of Indiana introduced a measure ensuring that Obama’s new make-work infrastructure projects will use American steel -- which is a blatant violation of the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada. According to Bloomberg News, American labor unions and steel companies are pushing for the provisions.

Republican Sen. John McCain -- the boring old white guy for whom the comrades didn’t have any use when he was running against Obama -- defended the interests of both foreign union comrades AND common sense by requesting the protectionist language be stripped entirely from the bill. The Democratic controlled Senate refused. Instead, as CNN reports, “The bills stipulate that if construction costs would rise by 25 percent or more due to the purchase of American-made materials, contractors could receive a waiver to purchase foreign materials. The bills also allow for a waiver if buying American were not in the best interest of the economy or taxpayers.”

In what’s perhaps the most ridiculous case of political spin and semantic parsing that I’ve seen in a long time, Viclosky interprets this as meaning there are no trade barriers. What he really means is, “There will be no trade barriers…if things get really bad. Until then, suck it comrades.”

The funny thing is that the media actually believes that there’s no protectionism involved in the stimulus anymore -- apparently because the Democrats say so. And because Obama says there won’t be…even though there obviously still will be. But when the facts do battle with Obama with the mainstream media as referee, Obama always wins.

In the interim, if you’re a non-U.S. union comrade currently facing the prospect of unemployment because Obama and the Democrats’ protectionist leanings risk bankrupting your employer or industry, just think of the warm glow of victory you felt when this person and party responsible for your predicament swept into power only a few short months ago. Surely that will be more than enough to get you through the tough times. Don’t forget: “Yes, you can!”


Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
 
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