I have made no secret of my belief that Ted Cruz is a faux populist and a Trojan Horse of the Establishment, and his recent votes in favor of fast track and bulk data collection simply reinforce my opinion. But it looks like I am not the only one upset with Cruz for his Establishment pandering ways and questioning his anti-Establishment street cred. As the linked article demonstrates, Cruz is in very hot water with much of his potential base over his support of fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is now often derisively referred to on the right as Obamatrade.
What makes Cruz’s position on fast track and TPP so damaging is that the issue shouldn’t even be a close call for someone attempting to position himself as an outsider candidate battling the Powers-That-Be. As Dick Morris point out in this video, the U.S. already essentially has free trade with Asia. The global average tariff is around 3%. This agreement is not about free trade. It is about establishing supra-national mechanisms designed to supersede local laws and regulations. No true patriot should support sacrificing American sovereignty to unaccountable supra-national tribunals. TPP is a ploy by the Global Elite to make the world safer for globalism and multinational corporations, and Cruz is carrying water for them.
Free market oriented conservative outlets have generally supported free trade in theory, so some might view Cruz as simply taking the traditional Beltway conservative position on trade, but Cruz is without this excuse. TPP is a managed trade monstrosity, and it is being vociferously opposed by both free trade purists and fair traders. The biggest proponents of TPP are generally centrist supporters of increased globalism. However hard Cruz and his apologists may try to sell his support for fast track and TPP as support for laissez-faire economic policies, he looks like a flak for Davos Man.
Cruz is a smart guy, so I don’t buy that his position is simply misguided un-nuanced free market advocacy. He is carrying water for fat cat corporatist donors and trying to sell it to the masses as principled free market capitalism. Well it isn’t working. Even though Rand Paul belatedly backed into opposition to fast track, Paul’s vote against fast track is already being used effectively as a wedge between the two Republican candidates most closely associated with outsider discontent. Cruz is going to rue the day he voted "Yea" on fast track, but he won’t be able to say that nobody warned him.