Frequently but wrongly categorized as “conservative,” the Wall Street Journal has long promoted internationalism and loss of sovereignty for America. Such anti-American thinking shaped policies by veteran editor Robert Bartley, who passed away in 2003. While holding his elevated post, Bartley didn’t hide his preference for internationalism and its socialist companion, the guts of neoconservatism. Years ago, he told former colleague Peter Brimelow, “I think the nation-state is finished.” Brimelow admitted being “thunderstruck” by that remark.
Under Bartley’s leadership, the Journal backed NAFTA, the European Union, the World Trade Organization, and even the never-enacted Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would have been another post-NAFTA step toward world government. Real conservatives remember him with deep suspicion for agreeing with Mexico’s President Vicente Fox that “NAFTA should evolve into something like the European Union, with open borders.” As far back as 1984, he even suggested a constitutional amendment that would unblushingly say, “There shall be open borders.”
Bartley may be gone but current WSJ editorialist Kimberley Strassel appears to be his disciple. After graduating in 1994 from Princeton University with a degree in public policy and international affairs, she accepted Journal posts in Brussels and London. Back in New York in 1999, she rose steadily and won elevation to WSJ’s editorial board in 2005. Her columns now appear in one of the paper’s coveted spots where she is currently promoting enactment of two so-called “free trade” partnerships, one with a dozen Pacific-rim nations (TPP) and the other with the 28 formerly independent nations of the European Unions (TTIP).
Strassel’s enthusiasm for these two NAFTA-like pacts includes strong backing for presidential “fast track,” the dubious grant of power known officially as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This is the scheme that gives the president an enormous increase in power over international commerce by requiring Congress to cave in to the executive branch when considering trade pacts. If the president gains TPA, Congress is limited to merely a Yes or No vote on each pact. No amendments. Just hand over congressional power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” given in Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution. TPA is not only danger-filled, it’s unconstitutional. As Alexander Hamilton noted in Essay #78 of The Federalist Papers, “There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor under which it is exercised, is void.” But TPA was granted before when President Clinton relied on it as Congress caved in and passed NAFTA.
In her February 13 column, Strassel called on Congress to give TPA to President Obama so he could gain undiluted approval from Congress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Her enthusiasm for these two huge pacts, both of which would severely impact U.S. sovereignty, includes her off-the-wall claim that congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority for the President “gives Congress more say in trade talks — not less.” Just the opposite is the obvious truth.
Congress should not grant TPA to the President. And when TPP and TTIP come to Congress, members should say, “No.” If that happens, there might follow a successful move to repeal NAFTA, the 1994 pact that has cost the jobs of millions of Americans, contributed mightily to the opening of our borders, and moved America a sizable step closer to world government, the new world order.
Readers of the Wall Street Journal who still value U.S. independence must be on guard for neoconservatives like Strassel who seem determined to terminate the nation-state, certainly including ours.