217-215. Bush got CAFTA through by the skin on his teeth. It is strange just how schizophrenic this administration is about free trade. It’s also amazing how Bush manages to fuck up even the positive things he has done. Our soldiers in Afghanistan have fought to a draw (charitably), and our “Free Trade” policies… we’re opening Central America, but we’re most likely going to do nothing to ensure that the governments in those countries channel their new trade gotten gains for the greater good.

Likewise, we’ve proposed all of this aid for Africa, mere monetary methodone. The US Army apparently does not have a “regime change” mission against Mugabe. Last I checked, Bush has a strong dollar policy (much like the Clear Skies initiative, I guess) that has seen the dollar tumble–and that’s the only thing he’s done for American manufacturing.

Of course, CAFTA won’t matter much. The anti-globalization (read: anti-American) left managed to kill the FTAA, with the larger trading partners in it. On the right, isolationist business interests left over from the Coolidge era manage to line up with their spoiled trustafarian children who will do anything to “help” brown people who are so dumb they can only manage to be exploited by whites to make sure that nothing ever changes in the poorer continents of the world.

It’s the successes (India, China) , not the failures (Argentina, Africa) of globalization that scare more people, especially Americans, and mutated 60s language (oh no, we must preserve another superstitious virgin-sacrificing “peaceful” indigenous culture! who my college-age son made pottery with) pushes it through the patrician-angst ridden minds of liberals who should know better.

The successes of isolationism in the middle third of the 20th century were the result of a war economy; they were a fluke, unless we want to remobilize the world to fight some illusory conflict (“terrorists?!”).

Meanwhile, leaving Free Trade agreements as the sole realm of Cato institute hacks makes sure they never include environmental and labor protections–the main flaw they contain, and something that actually doesn’t produce free trade, but gives some players an illusory comparative advantage.

If sugar grows best in Guatemala, sugar should grow there. If wheat grows best in the US, it should grow there, but sugar shouldn’t grow in Guatemala because you can pay someone 1 cent a day–that doesn’t make the sugar grow better, just the communist party.

Shit. If we’re going to be stuck with Republicans, how about one that isn’t dumb as shit?