Wall Street Journal – It’s Hard to Say the Republicans Played in Midfield

Kudos to Fred Barnes for his remarks about the Central America-Dominican Republic-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in “We Could Be In for a Lurch to the Left,” (op-ed, Nov. 4), which rightfully takes umbrage with those who do not support this important trade agreement.

By its very nature Cafta is designed to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers and expand regional opportunities for the workers, manufacturers, consumers, farmers, ranchers and service providers of all the countries. In fact, Cafta eliminates tariffs on more than 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products. Eighty percent of Cafta imports already enter the U.S. duty-free. It’s shortsighted for labor or anyone in Congress not to recognize the benefits of Cafta to the U.S. economy.

Neal Asbury
CEO, Greenfield World Trade
2008 SBA Exporter of the Year
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Mr. Barnes is particularly disheartened by the prospect of labor’s new power in Washington. He is, of course, correct to be concerned. If we don’t watch out, big labor will soon be calling for the bailout of whole industries to protect jobs and employment benefits. Oops, sorry! Management of some of our largest industries has already called for such bailouts. Industry has stolen the march on the lurch to the left before the “liberals” could even get started.

Julie Jetton
Princeton, N.J.

I completely agree with Fred Barnes who writes: “A sharp lurch to the left and enactment of a liberal agenda, or major parts of it, are all but inevitable.” When that happens, all Americans will be better off.

The Supreme Court will gain respectability with newer, younger members. Unions will again rebuild the middle class. The U.S. military will carefully and thoughtfully leave the Middle East. Thank goodness for that because that will provide more money for domestic issues. Liberal ideas will sweeten the sour conservative economy. Education at all levels can look at a brighter future.

Robert Wesolowski
The Villages, Fla.

Mr. Barnes’s thesis is that “for decades” American politics has been played “between the 40 yard lines,” but now, after the election, it will be played at the Democratic Party’s end of the field.

For most of the past decade, the Republican Party controlled all three branches of the federal government. It has not been what I would call politics at the 50 yard line.

Even after a Democratic Party landslide the Republicans still will dominate the federal bench, and will control at least half of the Supreme Court for another generation. Moreover, conservative ideology has dominated political discourse since 1980. We will need a long period of Democratic rule to fully drain the poison from the body politic.

Richard Joffe
New York

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