A Wave of Creative Destruction Heading for Both Parties

So. Curly Haugland - who is about as in favor of people power as David Harsanyi - seems to have a few supporters. The North Dakota delegate who opined that primaries are a waste of time and the GOP should go straight to smoke-filled backrooms to decide their nominee, seems to have been chatting with people like Karl Rove.

While Matt Continetti insists he's no elitist - he's William Kristol's son-in-law; sorry that does matter - Rove who is much happier being hands-on, is fine with stating that in the likely event of an open convention, any old conservative up to Rove's checklist will do as the nominee. Because ignorant voters have stupidly thrown up sub-optimal choices.

It seems Bush 43 is not the only guy who simply doesn't like Ted Cruz. It doesn't matter if Cruz manages to come close to Trump in delegates. Just get to the second round and we'll work out who to put in place. We being the establishment who really do exist.

So Ted Cruz's impressive ground game will have to fight a war on two fronts (maybe even three if Kasich hangs in). Against Trump, trying to peel off some of his delegates. Against Kasich, trying to convince them that Cruz is the real alternative to Hillary. And against the boys scheming in the backroom.

The problem is Karl Rove's checklist of: battle-tested (What does that mean? They've lost an election or two?); has strong conservative convictions (is in favor of amnesty); and the ability to articulate them (writes for the National Review). This is exactly the type of candidate that a majority of GOP voters are soundly rejecting.

But none of that matters, once you get past Labor Day. Voters in the general election will gather round Rove's boy (it almost certainly will not be a female candidate) and they will re-fight the 2004 or 2008 election. And win. Yes, they will.

They don't see it. They don't see the wave of creative destruction - a concept so loved in other contexts by writers at think tanks in D.C. - that is washing over their own party structure. The Republican Party is at the cutting edge of a revolt against the very structure of political parties. Sanders is a little behind them, unwilling to take on the Democrat establishment to quite the same extent. But the anger is just as real on the Democrat side as well.

While some commentators in places like politico are trying to bull-moose the GOP revolt into oblivion - look at what happened to Teddy Roosevelt! Ha Ha! - it may be that this revolt has staying power. Even if Trump doesn't. That Karl Rove sees both Ted Cruz and Trump as sub-optimal will only raise the anger and further fan the flames of revolt. The summer of 2016 may end up making the summer of 2015 look cool and misty by comparison.

Posted by Keeley at April 1, 2016 2:00 PM
Comment #404056

It is a little early for a post-mortem, but the most likely outcome is that Trump will have 1,237 delegates or more and win the nomination. He will then lose to HRC in a landslide.

In political terms, that will be the end of Trump. Creative Destruction? Not in any useful way. The only lasting destruction will be to the senators and governors Trump annihilated with such ease. He singlehandedly killed the career aspirations of Christie, Jindal, Rubio, Graham, and Jeb!, leaving nothing behind in his wake other than a lot of hot, salty conservative tears.

In one sense, Trump did conservatives a favor. He helped them finally get over their Neocon foreign policy and their urge to defend George W Bush and the “big fat mistake” of Iraq, but there doesn’t seem to be anything coherent to replace it. GOP foreign policy will consist of little more than xenophobia, fear of Islam and terrorists, and hatred of illegal immigrants.

Only two GOP politicians appear likely to still be viable after the debacle of 2016. Cruz will continue to pose as the true conservative, and claim the election was lost because Trump was not a true one. Good luck with that. Paul Ryan has stayed above it all, and he may thrive simply by virtue of being the last conservative on the national stage still standing.

Posted by: phx8 at April 1, 2016 6:36 PM
Comment #404057

Hillary and Bernie are doing America a huge favor. They highlight the micro-depth of the party and its platform. Two issues represent the hopes of the dem/soc.

They have racism and feminism and little else to run on. These are manufactured issues with little basis in fact, but the everyday lib/soc care little for facts anyhow.

Obama’s premier “accomplishment” which bears his name is on its last legs as insurance companies are pulling the plug on this huge failure. Working Americans hate it and the unions will soon follow suit.

Hillary accomplished little of note during her tenure as Senator and even less as Sec/State.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 1, 2016 7:28 PM
Comment #404058

Employment Report today was outstanding: 215,000 non-farm payroll jobs added. 5% unemployment rate. Nearly every other measure up. Hillary will continue supporting the successful economic policies of Obama. And why shouldn’t she? Obama’s approval rating is 53%! Interest rates are low, inflation is low, housing prices have recovered nicely, and the stock market is doing well. Naturally we all want to see that continue. In addition, she will nominate solid judges and swing the SC in a better direction, which will in turn help achieve campaign finance reform. And she will continue efforts to address Global Warming.

Like I said, I think Trump will win the nomination. He will pick up enough delegates in the northeast and CA to push him over the top. A lot of conservatives will say they will support him, but a lot of others will stay home. It is going to take a while for conservatives to recover from this one. Trump picked up conservatism like a WWF fighter, lifted its weak body over his head, and body slammed it into the mat. You know that’s gotta hurt.

Posted by: phx8 at April 1, 2016 7:59 PM
Comment #404063

Unless Clinton denounces the TPP, I mean promises to pull it off the table and shove it up Obama’s a** she will not get my vote. I will find a fourth or fifth party candidate to vote for. Maybe a Sanders and Trump ticket after Priebus and Wasserman Shultz decide who we are allowed to vote for. A pox on both parties to think Cruz or Clinton are the ones to lead us into the future.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 2, 2016 4:49 PM
Comment #404064


I am not baiting you. Seriously, what is so horrible about the TPP? The only thing that I have heard from many opponents is criticism of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. In principal, I find the concept unremarkable. Protection against a member state’s expropriation of investment, discriminative treatment, etc., through a contractually agreed tribunal seems quite reasonable if you want to promote trade and investment between partner states. We have the 5th Amendment protections against government takings without just compensation. Is there something that I am missing?

Posted by: Rich at April 2, 2016 8:46 PM
Comment #404065

Rich, the other trade agreements have worked for only a small portion of the country, the TPP is structured the same way. Investors and global corporations win and the middle class loses.

The TPP supposes to be about trade bit roughly 1/5 of the agreement is actually about trade. The corporate tribunal you mention will have the power to fine the federal government for laws enacted by states to protect labor and the environment, effectively allowing foreign corporations to supersede the sovereignty of any of the countries. We have a democracy, we elect representatives to do a job, these trade agreements with the corporate tribunal will prevent our elected representatives from doing their job.

The list goes on but this one world corporate governance doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t want to return to rivers on fire and air I can’t breathe. We have already seen the income inequality and the shrinking middle class from +previous agreements why continue on with bad agreements?



Posted by: j2t2 at April 4, 2016 12:00 AM
Comment #404078

Another interesting piece on the TPP


Posted by: j2t2 at April 5, 2016 12:55 PM
Comment #404086

Ironically, much of the criticism from the rest of the world regarding the TPP center on a perceived effort by the US to impose its hegemony, labor, environmental and intellectual property standards on its Pacific Rim trading partners. The intellectual property protections are extremely important for the US since arguably intellectual property is the most important US commodity.

The Obama administration is quite candid that the TPP is an opportunity to counter the unregulated mercantile might of China and to create a viable alternative trading bloc with Pacific Rim commercial partners under fair trade rules. I thought that China was an economic threat. Should we do nothing?

The criticism of Dean Baker on the ISDS provisions that US courts are perfectly capable of adjudicating trade disputes, government “takings” and discriminatory treatment seems to miss the important point that all countries in the pact must abide by similar rules. What we are afraid of here escapes me. Contractual agreement that all participants will affirm non-discriminatory treatment seems reasonable and in keeping with the concept of fair trade.

The countries most effected, anyway, by the TPP are third world countries like Vietnam and Malaysia which must agree to a host of painful economic reforms including minimum wage standards, labor organization, environmental standards, etc. as well as subjecting themselves to higher costs in many product areas due to the intellectual property protections of member states.

It strikes me that many critics of the TPP, like Dean Baker in the linked article, have few legitimate criticisms. After all, they can’t really come out against free and fair trade, especially an economist like Baker. So, what does he do? He says well, maybe we ought to have a trade agreement for professionals. OK, but what has that got to do with the current agreement? He says, the ISDS provisions are unnecessary since we have a great judicial system. OK, but why wouldn’t we try to ensure that the rest of the trade nations are on board with our concepts of government fair play and takings?

A person like Baker can’t really bring himself to criticize the actual agreement. So, he deflects the argument to nonsensical issues. He needs to say something to support the liberal wings opposition.

Posted by: Rich at April 5, 2016 7:18 PM
Comment #404090
I thought that China was an economic threat. Should we do nothing?

Of course not Rich. But China isn’t one of the TPP partners. So this agreement doesn’t do much to stop the mercantilism as so many American corporations get their stuff from China. Which is a problem.

The criticism of Dean Baker on the ISDS provisions that US courts are perfectly capable of adjudicating trade disputes, government “takings” and discriminatory treatment seems to miss the important point that all countries in the pact must abide by similar rules.

The TPP puts the decision into the hands of a corporate entity not local state and federal courts. IF these CEO’s decide that a local state or federal environmental law violates the trade agreement the TPP overrides the law of this country. I disagree with this approach. Does this mean we should throw the whole thing out, that without the ability to overturn sovereign laws of a country in the name of free trade these different countries cannot trade? No it doesn’t it means they do not get to create laws that benefit them over the people living in a particular country. Trade uber alles is not necessarily a good thing.

He says well, maybe we ought to have a trade agreement for professionals. OK, but what has that got to do with the current agreement?

I think his point,Rich, is these trade agreements do not bring prices down for doctors, lawyers and such yet these trade agreements bring wages down for blue collar workers in this country. This hollows out the middle class. Why not modify the trade agreement to work for more if not all Americans not just investors, the professionals and the large corporations. If we are to suffer low wages for many they will still need doctors and lawyers yet are priced out of the health and justice systems with this trade agreement.

The countries most effected, anyway, by the TPP are third world countries like Vietnam and Malaysia which must agree to a host of painful economic reforms including minimum wage standards, labor organization, environmental standards,…

This is what is said Rich but if we use the other trade agreements we see it just lowers the standards here not raises them elsewhere. I am suspicious when it comes to these claims as they never seem to pan out.

Europe seems to have mitigated the problems with globalization, when it comes to manufacturing jobs and such much better than we have. This country needs to do better but these trade agreements always serves the investor class at the expense of labor, time for the TPP and future trade agreements to reverse that.

From Investopedia-

The Bottom Line

While labor will certainly receive benefits from a TPP, the benefits are small, and may not necessarily be impactful for every individual. Income increases are too small to have an everyday effect, and job creation, even if actualized, is minute.

Capital however will see large gains from a TPP, and will benefit more than labor. Opening up new markets, restriction free, allows capital to gain new consumers. And with intellectual property laws enforced, capital can gain these customers without loss of property fears.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 6, 2016 12:19 PM
Comment #404094

After reading the bottom line from Investopedia, tell me again why we should oppose TPP. US labor’s gains are small relative the gains by capital, but they are gains. This is a reason to oppose TPP?

It is this kind of reasoning that kind of pisses me off when it comes to liberal thinking. It’s a cut your nose off to spite your face approach. Fortunately, Obama doesn’t buy into that attitude and supports a commercial alignment with Asian nations that are willing to accept negotiated trade rules generally favorable to the US and builds a geopolitical counterweight to the growing economic power of China in the region.

Sure, capital will benefit more than labor. But, that is the trend regardless of trade agreements. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, robots, integrated and more efficient supply systems are reducing the need for, and hence, value of labor. It is not just wage arbitrage that is killing unskilled and increasingly skilled labor.

The growing benefits to US capital from agreements like the TPP should be celebrated not reviled. Our flagship corporations are going to do well. What’s good for GM is good for the country, no? Well, maybe only for 1%. Therein lies the problem. It is not that agreements like the TPP are not good for the US economically. It’s that the fruits of such agreements do not flow to the majority of citizens or do so only in an indirect manner, e.g., lower consumer costs.

The solution, though, is not to stop trade agreements. It is address the absence of any trickle down to the middle and lower classes. It is a distribution of wealth or investment problem. We are richer as a nation but our middle class income is relatively stagnant while the income and wealth of the upper classes is exploding.

Let’s keep our eyes on the ball here and figure out a way to assure more equitable distribution of wealth in a changing technological and globalized economy.

As for the idea that our trading partners have not really benefited from a globalized economy or free trade agreements, the only thing that I can say is, really! Mexico has one of the largest growing middle classes in the world. In my opinion, a vibrant economy in Mexico or any other third world country will go much farther than any wall in reducing unwanted immigration to the US than any wall.

As for the Dean Baker, tongue in cheek, advocacy for a professional trade agreement in medicine and law, good! He only proposed it to generate sympathy for lower skilled worker displacement with agreements like the TPP. But, in reality it would substantially reduce health care costs in the US by breaking the back of de facto protectionism practiced by the US medical community.

Posted by: Rich at April 6, 2016 6:34 PM
Comment #404096
After reading the bottom line from Investopedia, tell me again why we should oppose TPP. US labor’s gains are small relative the gains by capital, but they are gains. This is a reason to oppose TPP?

Yes it is IMHO Rich. The TPP was supposed to be better but it is the same old story, maybe there will be some labor gains maybe not. Rewrite the treaty to include the entire country not the few. The TPP’s biggest advantage for labor is the costs of goods will come down maybe and we will get more from the same paycheck, the same paycheck that has stagnated for years so it really isn’t much is it? Then maybe perhaps well probably different jobs. It depends on the voodoo you subscribe to I guess.

Yet the investor class has no maybe, no same paycheck but the trinkets are cheaper. Same as it has been for 30 years now.

The solution, though, is not to stop trade agreements.

Rich the trade agreements are globalization. This one only adds to the problem. When do we change things if not now? I don’t necessarily want to stop trade or trade agreements it’s just free trade isn’t free it has been very costly to most of the people in our country. I want to redo the trade agreement to include the rest of us.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 7, 2016 1:21 AM
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