Taxation Without Representation

Just as the House called a vote on Fast Track authority as the Charleston shooting became the focus of everyone's attention, it cleared the Senate's procedural barriers while no one is looking. We still don't know what it is our elected leaders are giving the President authority to do, but the last real chance to stop it (whatever it is) will be the up or down vote on the treaty. However, because of the Fast Track authority, that will be a simple majority vote -- not the two-thirds majority normally required to approve a major treaty.

This is not unique. On the Iran deal, Congress managed to work the system out so that a mere one-third of either chamber will suffice to approve whatever the President signs. Yet what little we have heard about this deal indicates that it involves a surrender of major sections of American sovereignty to foreign institutions over which voters have no control. It is taxation without representation, in other words: a betrayal of the very last, and very first, principle for which our Revolution was fought.
Everyone wants more ‘global cooperation’ but no one wants to let Big Pharma stamp out generic drugs or let Big Tobacco tell us how they’ll label their products. And no one wants some secretive global tribunal telling a state legislature how to govern. If there’s an easier case to make, I’ve never seen it. You may ask why every Democrat in Congress doesn’t make it, but we’ve gone over that. Whether they’re in thrall to their donors, their consultants, their leaders or their ambitions, whoever or whatever holds them back, they just can’t do it.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have been full-throttle in support of this, with the honorable exception of Jeff Sessions from Alabama. 'Whether they're in thrall to their donors, their consultants, their leaders or their ambitions,' the Republican party has worked harder than anyone except the President to betray the Founders and surrender American sovereignty to foreign courts.

The last vote will doubtless also occur as a surprise rush during a crisis that attracts Americans' attention elsewhere. We need to spread the word and make sure people's attention is focused on this issue, and that they are ready to deal with it at whatever black midnight it is rushed to the floor. This vote will be the last chance.


Texan99 said...

The Republican leadership has bought into this "Party of No" business and are terrified of the public's distaste for it.

I'm still hoping we'll get bailed out by the President's ineptitude at cutting a deal with anyone.

Grim said...

I don't think that will save you. It might on the Iran deal, but the TPP is being negotiated by professionals. The President just has to sign whatever they put in front of him, which he will be happy to do.

We're going to have a very short window to absorb the details once they are made public, make a determination about just how serious the threat to American sovereignty is, and make a case to the American people if it's bad. Very probably it'll be huge, like the Affordable Care Act, and voted on in such a short time that no one will have read it at the time it is enacted.

I have grave concerns about the sketch that has been presented to us. Given the SCOTUS jurisprudence around the Supremacy Clause, state laws that conflict with the treaty will be nullified. Every power this treaty grants to an international body to make rules is thus a contraction of state sovereignty. America's sovereignty at the Federal level is thus not the only form of republican self-rule under threat. It's very dangerous, and the secrecy around it is deeply worrying. I would go so far as to say that the move to pass it by fast track under secrecy is a betrayal of the founding principles of the nation.