Thursday, June 11, 2015

Obamatrade: Fiction Is Looking Pretty Realistic Right About Now

That book advertised on the side of this page? “The Politician’s Pawn?” It’s fictional, obviously, a novel I just published last month. But it’s kinda scary to see how close to reality it actually is. There’s a lot of stuff coming out over the past few weeks that makes me wonder if I should start advertising it as something else.

Judging by the front cover, it’s fairly easy to tell that it’s a political thriller. I started writing “The Politician’s Pawn” back in 2012 after the last presidential election, when I was royally ticked off with both parties. An expression of my disgust for politicians across the board, it involves a kidnapping scheme to swing a congressional vote on foreign funding to Asia.

At the time, I’ll admit, I thought that particular crime was a little farfetched, but I padded my plot with real-live data about Washingtonian arrogance that I’ve accumulated over the past six years of studying politics and economics. The result is an intense, three-part narrative that shows what it looks like when “the little guys” go up against D.C.

It’s also eerily accurate considering all these reports about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as Obamatrade.

“In a scene all too typical in present day Washington, the culmination of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, along with the push for passage of related legislation such as Trade Promotion Authority (or Fast Track) have set off a lobbying frenzy.”

“While liberal organizations and members of Congress deride the TPP as the biggest boondoggle since NAFTA and President Obama defends it as ‘the most progressive trade treaty ever,’ the influence peddlers who populate K Street see opportunity.

“Policymakers aren’t simply facing a lobbying barrage from the typical slate of domestic interest groups. Foreign governments are running sophisticated operations to influence Congress and gather intelligence in Washington as the negotiations proceed.

This is now ‘par for the course,’ according to Lydia Dennett, an investigator at the Project on Government Oversight [POGO], a nonprofit watchdog. ‘If a certain country wants trade legislation that will be beneficial to them, they can hire an American lobbyist to get them the access the need.’

“Leading the way among TPP nations seeking to sway American policy makers is Japan, which signed up former Democratic Leader 
Tom Daschle’s firm as well as well-connected public relations firm DCI.

In other words, foreign powers are buying former congressmen to sway current congressmen to vote in their favor instead of the American people’s best interest. And you know that, all across the chessboard, there’s significant monetary compensation for those favors rendered.

One part of me rather wishes I could have gone on thinking “The Politician’s Pawn” was just a good read.

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