Sunday, October 13, 2013

Truest statement of the week II

At some point, Congress will have to vote, at which time the text would be made public. “So why,” they ask, “keep it a secret?” And their answer, which bears on Obama’s enlargement of Executive Power, as well as his deviousness (no disrespect intended!), is this: “Because Mr. Obama wants the agreement to be given fast-track treatment on Capitol Hill. Under this extraordinary and rarely used procedure, he could sign the agreement before Congress voted on it. And Congress’s post-facto vote would be under rules limiting debate, banning all amendments and forcing a quick vote.” Even Mayor Daley in his heyday would have blushed at such ramrod tactics. Wallach and Beachy close: “Whatever one thinks about ‘free trade,’ the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership process represents a huge assault on the principles and practice of democratic governance. That is untenable in the age of transparency, especially coming from an administration that is otherwise so quick to trumpet its commitment to open government.” But why be surprised? When I speak of Obama’s incubatory tyranny I have examples like this in mind, in and of themselves not definitive, yet that they can happen puts us on notice of the need to correlate the cases, examine the underlying interrelatedness, and, above all, recognize even a single one—be it assassination, surveillance, or deregulation–would not be possible without summoning the full political-institutional structure of society to bring it forward.

-- Norman Pollack, "The Militarization of Liberalism" (CounterPunch).
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