A Response to William Rivers Pitt (.@WRPitt) | The Trojan Horse President

William Rivers Pitt, Senior Editor of Truthout, wrote an op-ed in opposition to President Obama and the TPP. Fine. I’m also opposed to the TPP. I feel that as many voices as possible should rise in opposition to it, no matter how futile, given the big cave by Senate Democrats.

Mr. Pitt builds his arguments against using quotes from generally-accepted experts on the topic, namely, Joseph Stiglitz and Elizabeth Warren. Both are fine people to quote from.

But then, we get to the conclusion, to Mr. Pitts’ own writing, and that is where things unravel:

“But no, it’s this terrible thing he has chosen for his “legacy.”

Of course, President Obama did make a choice in that he approved the negotiations all along the way and decided to go forward with the deal. Let’s not forget, while we’re at it, that the negotiations were started and well under way during Mrs. Clinton’s watch as Secretary of State. To date, while she has expressed reservations about it, she has yet to come out in opposition to it. But I digress… Yes, the TPP is indeed a policy choice of President Obama’s one of a scant few that stands a chance to pass.

“Is he getting bad advice? Does he seek finally the chance to say he crafted a bi-partisan agreement on something?”

Yes to both, although it isn’t quite as simple as that. We need to go back a few years, to when Democrats held a majority in both houses and, later, when they held the majority in the Senate only. How did either House or Senate leader play a moderating influence on the neoliberal elements of the party? How did either leader make any effort to distribute the power between the various factions within the party to give them a representation that is commensurate with the voters’ choice? How was the Obama administration steered in a different direction by our then congressional leaders?

“Or is he what many of us have feared he is for a while now: a Trojan Horse president, presented at the gates as a progressive gift? Once let in, however, an army of Third-Way “Democrats,” multinational corporations, insurance companies, banks and Wall Street masters-of-the-universe were unleashed to wreak havoc, again.”

This is where we completely part company. Did anyone call Bill Clinton a Trojan Horse president when Glass-Steagall was repealed? How about Jimmy Carter? Has anyone ever called him a traitor as a part of an expression with a policy disagreement? No?

“Res ipsa loquitur, the saying goes. The thing speaks for itself.”

It’s really sad that a reasonably well-crafted argument is destroyed by passive-aggressive racism. When other presidents have disappointed with decidedly neoliberal bents, we’ve never called them traitors, but when our current president does what may well turn out to be what comes naturally, we call him names? This defeats the argument that was built in the op-ed and proves, again, that the ugly racist underside of America is alive and well on the far left.

I understand the anger and frustration with the TPP and how things are turning out. I can’t condone this kind of name-calling.  The TPP doesn’t make President Obama a Trojan Horse. It makes him a neoliberal and you, Mr. Pitt, a racist.

Quoted text was curated from William Rivers Pitt | The Trojan Horse President

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