Principalities & Powers

Poker on the Titanic

If any single act showed the essential fraudulence of the ballyhooed "Republican Revolution" we were supposed to be enjoying this year, it was the last official vote of the previous Congress, less than a month after the 1994 elections, to pass the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade by a bipartisan majority. Of course, the GATT vote took place before the arrival of the new congressmen and senators and so cannot fairly be charged against them, but it can be charged against the Republican leaders of the last as well as the current Congress, Newt Gingrich and Robert Dole, both of whom did all they could to ensure the creation of the global trade leviathan and to smother opposition to it from the right. Just in case anyone doubted the message the Stupid Party's princelings were sending, both gentlemen also hustled to endorse President Clinton's bizarre bailout of Mexico only a few weeks into the new Congress, again in the face of a somewhat more militant opposition from within the Republican right, in Congress and out. In the event, however, not even the support of the new majority leadership could salvage the original $40 billion in loan guarantees Mr. Clinton was so eager to offer the giant basket case across the Rio Grande, and the President and his millionaire advisors were finally forced to rely on executive powers over which Congress had little control to pull the Mexicans and their Wall Street dependents back from the...

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