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Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's not shameful if it's true
Posted by Jill | 7:39 PM
So Hillary Clinton is playing the wounded victim card after an Obama mailer contained a snippet from a Newsday article quoting her as saying that NAFTA was "a boon to U.S. workers." The paper may have misquoted her, but Arlen Parsa at The Daily Background sent along some other instances in which this is the exact tune sung by Hillary Clinton on more than one occasion, instances documented on Obama's web site which prove that his campaign isn't just pulling this stuff out of thin air:

2006/2008: Newsday Reviewed Clinton's Statements, Concluded She Supported NAFTA. According to a Newsday issues rundown, "Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy." Newsday wrote in 2008, the word "boon" was their "characterization of how we best understood her position on NAFTA, based on a review of past stories and her public statements." [New York Newsday, 9/11/06; Newsday blog, 2/15/08]

2003: Hillary Clinton Expounded on Benefits of NAFTA, Calling it An Important Legislative Goal. "Creating a free trade zone in North America—the largest free trade zone in the world—would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization. Although unpopular with labor unions, expanding trade opportunities was an important administration goal. The question was whether the White House could focus its energies on two legislative campaigns at once [NAFTA and health care]. I argued that we could and that postponing health care would further weaken its chances." [Living History, 182]

2003: Clinton Called NAFTA a "Victory" For President Clinton. In her memoir, published in 2003, Clinton wrote, "Senator Dole was genuinely interested in health care reform but wanted to run for President in 1996. He couldn't hand incumbent Bill Clinton any more legislative victories, particularly after Bill's successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA." [Living History, p.231]

1998: Clinton Praised Corporations for Their Efforts On Behalf of NAFTA. The Buffalo News reported, "As first lady, Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with either trade move. Nor has she repudiated them. In a 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting "a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of NAFTA." [Buffalo News (New York), 7/16/07]

1996: Clinton Said "I Think Everybody Is In Favor Of Free And Fair Trade. I Think NAFTA Is Proving Its Worth." A questioner pointed out that UNITE opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement, backed by the Clinton administration, on grounds it sends American jobs to Mexico. In March 1996, three years after President Clinton signed NAFTA into law, Hillary Clinton said, "I think everybody is in favor of free and fair trade. I think NAFTA is proving its worth," she said, adding that if American workers can compete fairly, they can match any competition. "That's what a free and fair trade agreement like NAFTA is all about," she said. [AP, 3/6/96]

1996: Clinton "Vowed That Her Husband Would Continue To Support Economic Growth In South Texas Through Initiatives Such As The North American Free Trade Agreement." AP wrote, "Mrs. Clinton vowed that her husband would continue to support economic growth in South Texas through initiatives such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Rio Grande Valley empowerment zone, which allows tax breaks to businesses that relocate to the border." [AP, 11/2/96]

1996: Hillary Clinton "Touted" President Clinton's Support for NAFTA, Saying it Would Reap Widespread Benefit. On a trip to Brownsville, Texas, Clinton "touted the president's support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it would reap widespread benefits in the region." [United Press International, 11/1/96]

So was she for it before she was against it? Sort of like the Iraq War? And if so, why is she unable to admit that she was wrong?

The worst part of the sniggering misogyny that the media talking heads have exhibited towards Hillary Clinton is that it's made people defend her who otherwise would be pointing this kind of inconsistency between what she says now and her record. Untold numbers of Americans have lost their jobs thanks to NAFTA, and those of us in IT know about her connections to Indian outsourcing companies. The more she refuses to acknowledge mistakes the more she seems like George W. Bush, but as the mistakes pile up, it does call her judgment into question.

So which is it?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
First off, I am not and was not a fan of "NAFTA". The "F" should stand for "FAIR" not "FREE".. I well remember the "sucking sound" comments...

But NAFTA [as in NORTH AMERICAN] is not what's sending manufacturing jobs to CHINA and IT work to India. If Mexican IT workers were getting the software jobs, I'd view them much like the Canadians, who have been doing software along side us Americans for decades without anyone's complaint.. But even Mexican companies are offshoring work to China.

Do I "misremember", or wasn't one of the provisions of NAFTA the free and unfettered movement of PERSONNEL across the borders as well as goods? If so, doesn't that speak to the immigrant/alien problem along our southern border?

Could someone on this blog clarify that for me????

Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...
Fuck! You nailed it, Jill. The sniggering misogyny, as you label it, infuriates me beyond reason. Not that I support her regardless, but it does make me want to sit back in the sidelines just because I can't let that sort of despicable behaviour have my sanction, even obliquely.

It makes me hold back when I'd like to come out with a clear political position.