Just saw President Obama on the Chris Matthews show making the case for the Trans-Pacific free-trade agreement… It was not an Obama I was accustomed to seeing. It was eerie — he kept talking, and I kept agreeing with what he said. I’ve never experienced that before. I wondered if I was hallucinating.
I suspect that most Republicans will agree with him, too. Indeed, when it comes to getting fast-track negotiating authority through Congress, Obama probably can count on far more Republican support than Democratic.
Good for Obama. Those aren’t words you often hear from me on this blog. When the president supports win-win economic policies, I am happy to back him.
So, if there’s a vote in Congress, and if the Trans-Pacific trade agreement wins support mainly from Republicans, what does that do to the narrative that Republicans hate Obama so much that they’ll shoot down anything he proposes? Perhaps a new narrative will emerge. Perhaps the country will come to understand that Republicans are not opposed to Obama — just (most of) his policies. If Obama were willing to triangulate like President Clinton did, perhaps he could carve out bipartisan support for his initiatives and we could get something accomplished in this country. That would be something to celebrate.
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