When it came down to it, only 40 Democrats stood with the president. Maybe that’s because the president just isn’t a very convincing arm-twister. Maybe it’s because Nancy Pelosi let it be known that she wanted this bill to fail.
That’s kind of funny, though, because I was getting cynical comments in my threads last night and this morning about what a travesty it was that Pelosi was whipping the bill for the president. I was reading articles that said that she was getting into arguments with progressives who thought she was in the tank for free trade.
It made me think, “Hey, maybe I don’t know anything about politics after all.”
Except, look what happened.
In the end, it’s the results, not the presentation, that matter. Do you seriously think that the Pelosi sprung this on the administration at the last minute after promising to get them some votes?
That’s the way it’s being reported but I don’t buy it.
Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, spent much of this year saying she was trying to find “a path to yes” on the Pacific Rim trade deal sought by President Barack Obama, her close ally.
But on Friday, with legislation central to Obama’s pact coming before the House, Pelosi revealed she would vote “no,” joining other Democrats in handing the president a stunning defeat and leaving his trade agenda in limbo.
“When Leader Pelosi announced that she was voting against TAA, for undecided members it sealed the deal,” said Representative Steve Israel, a senior House Democrat.
Yeah, for some reason I just don’t think this came as a surprise to the people in the administration who are supposed to know what is going to happen. Nancy doesn’t roll like that.
After you get done reading about what a devastating blow this was for the president and how fractured the Democrats are over the issue, look at where the rubber meets the road:
“The overwhelming vote today is a clear indication that it’s time for Republicans to sit down with Democrats to negotiate a trade promotion authority bill that is a better deal for the American people,” Pelosi wrote to Democrats after the vote.
A better deal. Or no deal.
Who’s the audience for that message?
Could it be the TPP partners? Could it be the business community here at home? Could it be the Republican leadership?
Whoever is supposed to get the message, it wasn’t a message that the president was unprepared to send.