Hillary Clinton, TPP And The Lurking Elizabeth Warren

hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren

Hillary Clinton has a real conundrum on her hands. It’s her walking-on-eggs observation about the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership vote. The vote will be in tandem with another controversial trade deal with the European Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. TTIP is another secretive and offensive deal of little benefit to the average U.S. citizen.

For our purposes, the concentration will be on TPP. When you’re an announced candidate for the Democratic Party presidential primary, and when you’re a former first lady and U.S. Senator, and you’ve just come off a stint as Secretary of State, the political paparazzi is going to pressure you relentlessly on your TPP stand. Yea or nay, Hillary?

Balancing the progressive vote with giant special interest donors, is a Herculean task for Clinton. There’s also the question of possibly defying the president who has been beneficial to her political career after the hard fought 2008 presidential primary. He appointed her as Secretary of State, sheltered her from right-wing attacks and, if he leaves office with a modicum of popularity, could be an important factor in her campaign efforts.

So far, Politico and other sites, attribute to the candidate, the tepid TPP statement that “Whatever agreement is reached, it needs to protect American workers and have appropriate safeguards.” Not an endorsement, not a rejection. The issue is a building-to-building tightrope walk on a windy day.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the non-candidate who continues to behave like a candidate, shows no such reticence on the subject. She, among other Congressional critics, drew the president’s ire in their renouncing of his support of TPP. He singled out Warren in this AP-reported statement, “I love Elizabeth. We’re allies on a whole host of issues. But she’s wrong on this.”

In leaving no doubt where she stands on TPP and by extension, TTIP, she hasn’t wavered from her Washington Post opinion page statements of February 25th of this year. She begins with a question: “Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world?”

She answers her own query with this pithy paragraph: “One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

Compressing the opinion piece, this is her explanation of what would happen in a typical ISDS action: “Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.”

She pretty much limits her comments to ISDS, but there is no disguising the fact she hates TPP. And there’s a contrast with an informative, dare I say professorial, approach to the issue, as opposed to the generalized “protect workers and have appropriate safeguards.” On the other hand, the president’s enthusiastic support for fast-tracking these pacts, with no ability to change the wording, is stunning and disappointing.

Given the dearth of knowledge by the typical American of even the most important of issues that could negatively impact generations and beyond, support of TPP and TTIP probably won’t harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming president. Not having to vote as an ex-senator, she may opt to continue to occupy middle ground.

Those who do have to declare for the record, Congressional Republicans and Democrats, most of whom will also be running for office next time around, want to vote on this thing ASAP, some 18 or 19 months removed from the 2016 election. Contrary to popular belief, the political elephant has a short memory, and even a smart donkey can occasionally be a forgetful ass.

TPP is the perfect platform to mark the sharp contrast between the two women. Warren doesn’t shape her statements politically. Conversely, Hillary’s public positions and comments are political palindromes. They read the same backward or forward. No matter how the media tilts them, they’re the same careful lettering as can be seen in her TPP quote.

Then there’s a January article on Warren and Clinton, written by The Atlantic’s David Frum, a former G.W. Bush speechwriter. Frum reveals that Warren is no fan of Hillary’s (he apparently isn’t either) as evidenced by this statement: “Warren has characterized Hillary Clinton herself as a conscienceless politician who betrayed her professed principles for campaign donations.” There’s more here. Methinks Frum doesn’t mind emphasizing the conflict in the least.

If Warren does an about face and announces, we could see a replication of the contentious Obama/Clinton 2008 primary dust-up. Such candidate battles are common, however, and 2008 didn’t seem to have any lasting effects.

If you have given up hope that Warren would challenge Clinton in the primary, don’t despair. As you’ve doubtless read, Elizabeth Warren has a long and documented history or saying ‘no’ over and over. She’s taught law to varying degrees at the University of Texas, the University of Houston, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. In most cases, the original overture from the respective law schools was rejected. Some were repeatedly rejected. Harvard literally begged at one point. Even after accepting, she turned down a chance to be a tenured professor. So a ‘no’ from Warren is just the beginning of the conversation.

Her book “A Fighting Chance” is a good read on her law school experiences, her personal life and many other subjects, especially the issues of bankruptcies and the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s cynical 700 Billion dollar bailout of huge (and sleazy) banks. There are also a number of pages dedicated to her beloved Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Republican House is currently messing with future funding of CFPB. She has also authored the “Two Income Trap” and “The Fragile Middle Class,” two other informative and prescient works.

There are no Democratic male rivals who even come close to the drawing power of either Clinton or Warren. Lincoln Chafee? Puleeze! Former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, frankly, would be terrific. No chance! I heard him for the third time, live at last Saturday’s State Democratic Party Convention. Bernie Sanders was there too. A standing ovation before uttering his first word. I love Bernie. Sadly, so does father time and he’ll be hammered with the “socialist” label.

So, that leaves Hillary, and maybe Elizabeth, as our 45th president.

Hillary, if you win, please promise to appoint populist Warren to the Secretary of Treasury post. Or, if Goldman Sachs has already laid claim to Wall Street’s endowed chair, the next Supreme Court opening.

38 Replies to “Hillary Clinton, TPP And The Lurking Elizabeth Warren”

  1. Warren, Sanders, and Obama have read it and been privy to negotiations. It is available for congress. Hillary commented on it in her book in several ways. There are caveats naturally until she views it along with the rest of the public.

  2. Seems some Dems have learned the art of fear mongering – along with setting their hair on fire, AGAIN.

    Maybe it’ll will be helpful if the author reads “Spandan” over at ThePeoplesView.net. He has done several very informative articles on TPP.

  3. Lord…We(democrats)REALLY KNOW How to MESS Up A Good Thing….!!!!!!!!!!!!…repubs are just sitting back and waiting for the Bickering and Infighting to Start…..and then waltz RIGHT ON IN TO THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2016….!!!!!!!!!!!!…Give it a Frigging Break warren and sanders….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. The author would do well to read the education series on the TPP, the TTIP, and the benefits of this new trade agreements that’s being negotiated by one of the most worker-friendly, progressive presidents of our time.

    He can start here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/?offset=1426779142329

    With all due respect for Senator Warren, aside from some useless bills she’s drafted – and yelling at Wall Street banks – what Senate bill exactly has she drafted or co-sponsored that would strengthen Dodd-Frank?

    Compare her record to President Obama’s record of accomplishments, and then decide for yourself who you should trust with the truth regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would help Americans.

    I’m no gambler, but my money’s on President Obama.

  5. Clinton already has moved her position and now supports Warren’s fight against giving multinational corporations the ability to arbitrate to an untouchable position by a nation-state!

  6. Hi ICH: Some answers! Love ISDS, eh? How about permission for corporations to trash environmental and health standards? Or maybe expose American citizens to unsafe food and products,or further roll back Wall Street reforms. You want generics delayed for years? More job loss and off-shoring? Welcome obscene trade deficits.The highly respected site, Public Citizen,can add to that list. As for Warren’s “yelling” at Wall Street…indeed she has, especially in renouncing the weakening of Dodd-Frank. She attempted to get banks to move their most dangerous investment instruments to safer entities so that FDIC’s protection of citizen deposits would remain intact.Default Swaps alone could cost taxpayers trillions.To strengthen Dodd-Frank, she introduced S1282 that would restore Glass Steagall(a wall between banks & investments),repealed in ’99.The GOP killed her bill.Prior to becoming Senator Warren, she served as a top adviser on a number of Congressional issues for many years.

  7. Well this certainly will shake things up. What is the Republican test concerning TPP?

    Do Republicans Like It?
    If it is: Yes.
    Then don’t pass it.

  8. Hillary will lose the Obama supporters if she sides with one trick pony Eliz Warren.

    OFA is NOT a fan of Warren.

  9. I’ll tell you who I think would make a great vice president candidate. Rachel Maddow. It’s impossible, it’ll never happen. But she would be a great one.

  10. Vice President? Nah! Go ALL the way and make her President! She’d be great! Well, maybe in 2024! [WINK]

  11. Do you think a court in say Peru would give a fair hearing to a U.S. company in a dispute between a Peruvian and a U.S. company? As they say, ‘Just asking.’

  12. What’s Warren’s “one trick”? -Failing to be fooled by corporatist bullshit? If so, that’s one pretty damned good “trick”…

  13. That’s ridiculous. Warren and Sanders are great vehicles to get these issues into the race without Hillary having to author them personally. In the end, I don’t see either impacting the vote negatively. And if Hillary is as smart as we think she is, she can always co-opt one or both into her campaign.

  14. TPP Only benefits the 1%,( AGAIN)! Any foreign company can disregard health, labor, or product liability, and can sue the US government. WE NEED JOBS HERE to export and boost OUR economy!

  15. ISDS is a feature of agreements like NAFTA, a fact which has been used to set enough hair on fire on the Professional Left to power a small country for a month. But as I reminded the reader in last week’s piece, not a single case against the United States has ever been won through NAFTA’s ISDS process – ever. Also of note is the fact that the Obama administration has won every single international trade dispute it has brought before the World Trade Organization.

    Read more here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2015/3/16/tripping-over-tpp-elizabeth-warren-flat-out-lies-seeking-to-derail-progressive-trade-pact

  16. People don’t read. They just parrot what their heroes and sheroes tell them. Stop fear mongering about TPP and read well informed people. But even if you don’t read, if you think that President Obama is going to sell out the middle class and poor people after working for us for LONGER than he’s been President, then you have another agenda. Moreover, what’s wrong with you if you believe the President is going to throw himself under the bus for a trade deal. BTW, as Spandan says T-TIP is never mentioned because it’s a European deal. Damn near the same thing as TPP, except TPP is with ASIAN countries.

  17. We don’t need Elizabeth Warren to run. We have Bernie Sanders. He just as strongly rejects TPP as Warren does. We don’t have to beg Bernie Sanders to run. He just announced that he is running.

    Progressives are going to have to get over their love of someone they can’t have and get behind the person they can have. Just coincidentally, he is more qualified to be President than Elizabeth Warren is. Give her 8 more years in the Senate, and she will be as old as Sanders is now, and might even rise to his level of qualifications.

  18. This series by Spandan Chakrabarti is total baloney. When has a trade agreement been classified secret by a administration? When has an administration put such tight restrictions on how the Senators are allowed to read the document? They cannot take notes. They cannot bring an aide with them. The Senators are not even allowed to talk about the details openly because of the secret classification.

    When the private corporations are allowed to write the trade deal, but our Senators were kept in the dark until recently, then the wrong people are being given the power to run the government. This thing is so complicated that reading it once, and not being able to take notes is just not sufficient oversight by our people in Congress. Even the ACA wasn’t held in confidence like this?

  19. Well of course we’ll take your “word” over Spandans. BTW, ever heard of S 1900?

    Gee, maybe you should even try reading “Trade” at Whitehouse.gov or perhaps The Daily Banter – Bob Cesca – would be more to your liking.

  20. After the fear-mongering on TPP DRAFTS when WikiLeaks leaked that DRAFT (and I’m assuming you know what a draft is, yes?)…you now expect the president to give more insight in the sausage-making of this trade deal BEFORE any concrete deals with other countries are made? Seriously??

    I ask you, Dave, when has ANY president been required – outside of this Black president – to negotiate trade deals in public? WHEN? Can’t answer because it’s never happened, but you and your ilk somehow believe this president should be held to a different standard? Why?

    As for Senator Warren’s meaningless S 1282…she damn well knew it wasn’t going anywhere. But she also knew it was all about kabuki theatre to shore up her brand for people like you.

    Unlike her, though, PBO has actually gotten bills through Congress and signed into law.

    Again, I’ll take President Obama’s success rate over Senator Warren’s any day.

  21. If you’re against President Obama’s TPP, are FOR Reagan/G.H.W Bush’s/Republican/Bill Clinton’s NAFTA.

    Those be the cold, hard facts.

  22. I swear! Some Liberals act no differently than Tea Partiers. It’s their Tea Party version of “if President Obama wants it, just say NO”. If Republicans want it, just say NO.

    It doesn’t matter if a proposal is beneficial to Americans and America – just say NO!

    It’s the Horseshoe Theory, and both of these groups, who are supposed to be opposites, have more in common than they should. I wonder if they even know it.

    Ugh.

  23. Spandan has a lot of turds to shovel.

    Note that his pile of turds are over there at turd-sniffy.net, so why are you here pushing his too-pungent agenda? You’re arguments are stinky.

  24. You liberal pukes are pathetic. If Obama- Clinton told you to turn yourselves into the nearest fema camp you would behave like the gutless sheeple that you are and turn yourselves in . You had better believe states are going to seceede from your rotten , anti religious , anti gun government and I damn sure can’t wait . I live in the South and trust me we are ready to leave this sick Union. And we will fight if you liberal pukes try to make us stay. Crawl back under what -hit hole you came from. This government has committed treason and is no longer recognized by many of us . So stay the hell out of our way when we leave, or else.

  25. And you racist hillbillies would get your ass kicked again. Just try it. As a matter of fact after we kick your backward ass AGAIN we will let you go. Just remember you welfare queens would be on your own

  26. Make your move dumbass. You racist are all talk but when your welfare check is gone then your idiotic ass will know. MOOCHER

  27. The last time the dictator Lincoln unconstitutional started a war with us. John Wilkes booth made him pay for that. This time I know we will win cause you liberal pukes don’t know one end of a gun from the either. Heck that’s all we do down here is shoot guns.

  28. And screw your cousins because only someone as dumb as you the only explanation is inbreeding. And with that go find your aunt or cousin maybe your mother

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