If the Democrats want to reclaim a progressive identity – they must own up to the dreadful mistakes of the past.
(ed:..once again – the new zealand labour party has to stop being in denial of how they screwed up in the past – with their poverty/inequality causing embrace of neoliberalism..
if/for the new zealand labour party to have any credible chances of a progressive-rebirth – there needs to be a mea culpa for those past mistakes – and promises not to do it again – and of course – policies that put ‘walk’ to that ‘talk’..
..hands up those who see andrew ‘free trade rules!’ little as the person to do this..?..wot..!..nobody..?..)
Trump is certainly wrong to assign Clinton sole or even primary responsibility for that much-villainized trade agreement.
But Clinton not only willingly signed it – he fought hard to get it passed.
During the 1992 campaign Clinton had pledged to get side agreements in the implementation process to provide job and environmental protections – which critics warned would be doomed to fail.
The day Bush initially signed it – Clinton said ‘I will pursue those other things that I think need to be done in the public interest – then I will prepare implementing legislation and try to pass it in Congress’.
Clinton struggled to get NAFTA through Congress – arm-twisting a lot of reluctant Democrats in the process.
At the time it was widely conceded that the Democratic House would never have passed NAFTA if Bush had been re-elected and submitted it himself.
The signing ceremony was attended by three former presidents — Ford, Carter and Bush — and Vice President Al Gore cited their attendance as ‘evidence of our country’s ability to support what is in our nation’s best interest over the long term without respect to partisanship’.
Clinton himself promised that ‘NAFTA means jobs.
American jobs and good-paying American jobs.
If I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t support this agreement …. I believe that NAFTA will create a million jobs in the first five years of its impact.
And I believe that that is many more jobs than will be lost’.
‘He was dead wrong in thinking that way of course.
But he was hardly the first.
NAFTA did not begin with Bush or any of the other ex-presidents on hand that day.
Its origins date back to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign – when he ran on creating a North American common market.