In October, Hillary Clinton announced in an interview that she was no longer supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. This came as a big surprise to many as she was a strong supporter for the deal before coming out against it. Jake Tapper identified 45 times where Hillary Clinton pushed for the deal before finally opposing it. As a progressive and a strong opponent of the TPP, shouldn't I be pleased that Hillary Clinton is finally opposing this disastrous trade deal?
But the answer is no. I am not pleased at all by that announcement. And don't get me wrong… this has nothing to do with her evolving on the issue. I know some people are sensitive to her evolving, but progressives fight every day to change people's views. I would be glad if she actually evolved on it but I don't believe her and here is why:
1. Hillary made the announcement less than a week before the first debate. The TPP was one of the main issues that her two main challengers, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, were hammering her with. Also, Sanders poll numbers were rising especially in Iowa and New Hampshire and started to become a real threat for the nomination. Agreeing with him on this issue would defuse a potential heated argument in the first debate that could hurt her chances. The very same can be said about her last minute opposition to the Keystone pipeline which she previously supported.
2. It was one of the main reasons that prevented many unions from endorsing her. The largest union, AFL-CIO, delayed its endorsement to put pressure on Hillary to oppose the TPP. The union's president, Richard Trumka, made it clear that opposing the TPP was important to gain the union's support.
3. Hillary Clinton stated that she wouldn't lobby or rally against the TPP. She would only state her position. Since she's not a member in the Congress, her position means absolutely nothing to defeat the TPP. In fact, she has the endorsement of the vast majority of democrats in the Congress, including those who voted to Fast Track it. This makes her the best person positioned to rally democrats to defeat it. However, she chooses to stay put and do absolutely nothing.
4. Until this very moment, she didn't even submit one tweet opposing or denouncing the TPP. In contrast, Bernie Sanders sent dozens of tweets in opposition to it.
5. Her opposition of the TPP was not surprising. I actually predicted it weeks before her announcement.
6. I am not alone in not trusting that her change in heart when it comes to the TPP is genuine. In his article "Hillary Clinton Comes Out Against TPP, at Least Until the Democratic Convention", Jim Newell writes "Will anyone find Clinton’s position convincing?"
That's why I believe that Hillary Clinton opposition to the TPP is dishonest and disingenuous. It’s not so difficult to see that it was a calculated decision, and not authentic by any measure. She's the type of politician that would do whatever it takes to win… where political expediency is the norm and strategy. I find it insulting and so should you.