I know I'm being redundant. But there have been two outstanding examples in the last couple of days.
Two days ago, the city government of San Francisco decided (like most cowards) that they couldn't stand to allow free speech to anyone who doesn't agree with their approved view. So they staged an Olympic-sized fake-out, changing the relay route to avoid the human rights protestors so they could have the pretense (though not the reality) of a legitimate Olympic torch relay. Pretense without reality reminds me of a show trial. Even the ACLU objected: Gavin Newsom runs San Francisco the way the premier of China runs his country - secrecy, lies, misinformation, lack of transparency and manipulating the populace. He did it so China can report they had a great torch run. They even skipped the closing ceremony, and quickly shipped the torch off to Argentina. (Zombie got pictures and described the scene for us.)
Meanwhile, San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi demonstrates abject cowardice and incredible dishonesty in single-handedly killing the free trade agreement with Colombia even after it was renegotiated to accommodate the Democrats' demands. Democrats say it would have failed anyway, but thats utter BS. If it were true, there would be a vote and the protectionist Democrats would kill the agreement. Instead, the Democrats' leadership uses an underhanded trick, and break their own word, to prevent the agreement's ratification. To get this done, and pay off those who have
bribed supported her, Pelosi has had to to trash her own Ways and Means Committee chairman, Charlie Rangel, a free-trader who has been trying to strike a deal with the Administration but keeps getting rolled by Ms. Pelosi.
These people make me ashamed to be a Democrat.
UPDATE ON PELOSI: The Washington Times quotes Pelosi as saying We believe it is possible to bring the Colombia free-trade agreement to the floor under the proper circumstance. But first, we need to address the worsening economy in our country. This is disingenuous, at best. Pelosi in her statement reiterated that she is blocking the Colombia trade vote to obtain leverage in negotiations. But she and her friends have also claimed the blockage was because of attacks on trade unionists so, naturally, theyre taking action against the government that has reduced those attacks by 80%! These present a choice between extortion and fraud.
The reality may be a little different. In place of (or in addition to) one or both of those reasons are likely to be one or more of the following:
1. The Democrats leadership is (a) adamantly opposed to free trade or (b) bought and paid for. The extent of this is captured by the Wall Street Journal in talking about Pelosis Bad Faith:
The Democratic Party's protectionist make-over was completed yesterday, when Nancy Pelosi decided to kill the Colombia free trade agreement. Her objections had nothing to do with the evidence and everything to do with politics, but this was an act of particular bad faith. It will damage the economic and security interests of the U.S. while trashing our best ally in Latin America.
The Colombia trade pact was signed in 2006 and renegotiated last year to accommodate Democratic demands for tougher labor and environmental standards. Even after more than 250 consultations with Democrats, and further concessions, including promises to spend more on domestic unemployment insurance, the deal remained stalled in Congress. Apparently the problem was that Democrats kept getting their way.
So on Monday, President Bush submitted the bill to Congress over liberal protests, which, under a bargain between Congress and the White House for trade promotion authority, mandated an up-or-down vote within 90 days.
2. Pelosi is doing Hugo Chavez bidding. The Latin American media have picked up on this aspect strongly, calling her historic move to block the free trade agreement the Hugo Chavez Rule and painting Pelosi herself as a Hugo Chavez lackey.
3. Pelosi is so fixated on damaging the Bush Administration for the Democrats political advantage that she is, at best, uncaring about damage to the United States. Indeed, the point man on Colombia for Pelosi and the Democrats was recently caught dealing with the Colombian FARC Marxist/Communist terrorists. Thats the guerilla group being funded by Venezuelas dictator Hugo Chavez. And that may not be all.
Pelosis actions are extremely damaging. They have implications far broader than this specific agreement:
For good measure, the double-cross dismantles the only process that allows any Administration to conduct good-faith negotiations with foreign nations. No one is going to take the U.S. at its word if Congress is going to change the rules when it has second thoughts and renege.