McCain explains why the U.S. is on the "wrong track"

Americans are upset with the country's direction, he says, because Congress won't approve free trade deals. Is the man even paying attention?

By Andrew Leonard
May 28, 2008 8:46PM (UTC)
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How did I miss this?

In Miami last Tuesday, John McCain delivered a ringing endorsement of free trade:

We have made progress toward this vision by expanding the benefits of free commerce, through [the North American Free Trade Agreement], the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and our free trade agreements with Peru and Chile. But the progress has stalled; our longstanding bipartisan commitment to hemispheric prosperity is crumbling. We see this most vividly in Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s opposition to the free trade agreement with Colombia. The failure of Congress to take up and approve this agreement is a reminder why 80 percent of Americans think we are on the wrong track.

How the World Works has a much less critical view of the pros and cons of trade than the AFL-CIO blogger who highlighted this nugget (thanks to Mark Thoma for the link), but we must stand in solidarity with the union on this one: It is absolutely nuts to think that one of the reasons Americans believe the country is "on the wrong track" is because Congress won't pass the Colombia free trade agreement.


Quite the contrary -- my guess is most dissatisfied Americans believe that free trade agreements are an example of how the U.S. is steering the economy off the road. You can make a decent argument that they might be wrong to believe that, but you can make no argument of any coherence in support of the idea that Congress' newfound hesitation to approve trade agreements is upsetting to the vast majority of Americans who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

It is inconceivable that John McCain can win Ohio against either Obama or Clinton if he continues to spout such preposterous nonsense.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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2008 Elections Globalization How The World Works John Mccain