It's not often you'll find me quoting from left-wing Daily Kos, but when I do, it's probably a sign how far out of line things really are.
This is one of those occasions, as Kos details the odd and unsettling secrecy surrounding the emerging Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact:
Senators are forced to go into a classified viewing room in order to read the full text of the document, but are not allowed to bring in key staff or take notes on what is included in the bill text. Not only this, but as you would assume for classified documents, elected officials are unable to speak to anyone without proper security clearance about the specific details of the trade negotiations without suffering potential criminal legal ramifications. This becomes a serious issue when dealing with complicated and technical negotiations regarding the largest trade deal in American history. It also raises serious questions about the legislative process and democracy generally when the public is unable to view the content of a bill introduced in Congress, but foreign government officials and private corporations are.We're not talking nuclear secrets or national security. This is supposed to be a trade treaty. And Republicans have locked arms with Obama to push it forward with deeper secrecy and less accountability than even most among the president's own party will tolerate.
The Republicans now in lockstep with Obama are the same ones who last year assured us we could trust them to hold Obama's rogue actions in check if only we gave them a senate majority.
Now that they have that majority, these Republicans snuggle up close to the president's agenda and press it forward in ways even Democrats seem to know is unwise.
We're witnessing fundamental change in American government. And no, it's not one working in favor of we the people. Quite the opposite, actually.