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Bitter President Clings to Anti-trade Sentiment

November 12, 2010

What a melancholic affair this G20 summit is for the USA. President Obama’s been reduced to defending the actions of the — in theory — politically independent Fed. His attempt to reach an agreement over some sort of trade imbalance regulation was dead on arrival. China is clearly enjoying and exploiting the situation. And on top of that, Obama flunked another simple diplomacy test as he didn’t even manage to achieve a free trade agreement with South Korea.

Consider this comment on that failure:

Domestic politics may also be at play. An aide to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak blamed the trade pact’s failure in part on the U.S. elections, which he said distracted the White House at a key time.

That’s the polite Korean form for: “This clueless US president has so dug himself into a hole with his tone-deaf domestic policies that he can’t even sign a win-win trade agreement with a traditional ally for fear of losing the unions — probably his only remaining group of supporters that’s worth mentioning.”

The story’s next sentence is:

White House aides said Mr. Obama could not accept the deal on the table because it could not get through the new Congress.

Ha! I knew the GOP had increased in power, but this is really impressive. They have so much clout now that they can prevent Obama from returning home with even the tiniest bit of success in his hand even though they hadn’t even been at the summit, hadn’t spoken out against the agreement at all, and aren’t even going to be in session before next year!

The French Cowboy shouldn’t be surprised, of course, at this low tactic after the Obama White House has been blaming Republicans for pretty much everything from the fall of mankind to the Great Depression to Slurpee-induced obesity. But to portray the newly elected members of Congress as being against a free-trade agreement with South Korea is like saying that Obama had no choice but to force ObamaCare upon an unwilling America because a yet-unformed Tea Party threatened to block every alternative.

What a sad excuse those “White House aides” have given. Didn’t they realise that this makes their boss look even more pathetic? And how utterly cynical to suggest that a Congress formed in part through the Tea Party movement should look unfavourably at a free-trade agreement. The biggest anti-trade character the French Cowboy can detect on the current political playing field is Obama himself. But maybe that’s just his way to explain his frustrations.

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