The Bush administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, breaking a partisan impasse that had dragged on for months, reached an agreement this evening on the rights of workers overseas to join labor unions.
Democrats hailed the accord as a major victory in their campaign to ensure that trade deals provide for the rights of workers to organize and that trading partner countries ban child labor and slave labor.
However, as always, the devil is in the details. Evidently many Democrats don't feel the concessions go far enough and this vote is likely to split the caucus:
Despite the endorsement of Mr. Rangel and Speaker Pelosi, many Democrats say that half or more of the Democrats in Congress may vote against the deal.
The deal sounds good on its face but with so many lackeys of the Bush administration championing it, and so many Democrats coming out against it, there MUST be more to the story. I don't trust Rangel AT ALL when it comes to trade - he's part of the old Clinton-led team that helped undermine the middle class by pushing NAFTA in the first place.
Many of the newly elected Democrats ran populist campaigns that promised to only support fair trade policies. This is THE biggest winning issue for the Democratic party - even more so than Iraq. Undercutting policy positions that are supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people while simultaneously supporting another disastrous Bush policy is NOT good politics to say the least.
It sounds like Pelosi could be bordering on a Steve Shine-like gaffe. If this deal turns out to be a sham (I'm betting it is) then the Democratic party should kill it - even if Pelosi stands behind it...
UPDATE: Rangel Supports Fast Track:
But Mr. Rangel said he could imagine a limited extension of such negotiating authority (Fast Track) if the Doha round talks looked as if they were shaping up to be a good deal for the United States.
Translation: Rangel will continue to undermine his party and throw Americans under the bus as long as it continues to pad his campaign coffers
Are Democratic voters watching this? We're the last line of defense...