Democrats Have A 2006 Opening On Farming Due To CAFTA
There will be no shortage of issues for Democrats to use against Republicans in the 2006 midterms. As a party in power for six years, the GOP and White House will be vulnerable on a variety of issues for which they have demonstrated either no leadership or a preference for private gain over public interest.
The list includes an abdication of leadership and sacrificing of the public good on:
-Health care, where the GOP has favored the interests of insurance companies, HMOs, and drug companies in doing nothing to expand access to health care and bring down the cost to families and employers while watching Medicare and the states on Medicaid go broke;
-The environment, where the GOP has favored mining, timber, energy-producing companies and power plant operators over the health of families, workers, and the unborn;
-Energy, where the GOP has done nothing to reduce consumption; push for the development of alternate home-grown energy sources in four years; or strike a grand bargain involving nuclear power and an increase in CAFE standards; while doing nothing to prevent more American soldiers from dying for Persian Gulf oil;
-Homeland security, where the GOP has done little to adequately protect our ports, nuclear and chemical plants, provide additional local law enforcement and first responder resources, and protect our borders while it cuts border control agents and whiffs on immigration reform;
Farming is another issue where the Democrats will find that they have an opening next year. The Bush Administration is pushing even more free trade agreements, this time the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which will bury US farmers at a time when the family farm has been pushed to extinction. David Sirota notes that Democrats will have a major red state opening next year if they can seize upon the anxieties amongst family farmers stemming from the passage of CAFTA and fight any further trade deals that put our domestic farmers at a disadvantage.