Politics Insider

From impeach to USMCA is peachy

Politics Insider for Dec. 20: USMCA in the House, Trudeau asks a favour from Trump and centrist leaders won't help the Conservatives

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Just like that, the ‘Do Nothing Dems’ pass the USMCA: On Thursday the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed Donald Trump’s favourite trade pact. As Allen Abel writes, it was accompanied by a bipartisan gush of adulation for the president which was enough to make you wonder: didn’t they just impeach this guy?

As if Wednesday never happened, as if no one had voted to impeach, inhume and abolish the apoplectic capo of the American republic, as if a great fog of cannabinoid bliss had wafted over the U.S. Capitol, Democrats and Republicans skipped hand-in-hand to the podium of the House of Representatives on Thursday and sang, “Thank you, President Trump.”

The metamorphosis had taken less than a dozen hours. Where, by night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her farmhands had cast the 45th president as a deranged dotard, now, in full sunlight, the same lawgivers were commending the same satanic spawn as an architect of industrial prosperity, agricultural bounty, and 110 per cent employment.

“I am seeing today the righteousness of the members of this House,” a delegate from Chicago said, encapsulating the transformation. Read more ››

It would mean a lot: We all know how much Trump loves putting his signature on things, but Justin Trudeau revealed that his government has asked the U.S. not to finalize its trade agreement with China until the two Canadians held by Beijing, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are freed.  “We’ve said that the United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians,” he said on TVA’s Salut Bonjour.

As for the question of whether Trudeau burned any bridges with Trump when he was caught with other world leaders laughing about the president, Trudeau told CBC it’s all good: “I think we’ve been through some interesting moments in terms of the relationship with the president before [but] we were able, just a few days later, to talk about the ratification, or the approaching signing, of the new NAFTA. We’re staying focused on the big things, despite the other things.”

Trump did get a shout of support from one prominent Canadian for his stance that Canada is not pulling its weight in terms of funding for NATO, which was the original source of tension when Trump and Trudeau met in London earlier this month. Canada’s failure to meet its NATO commitment is “a disgrace,” said Brian Mulroney, in an interview with CTV. “How are you going to assert your leadership skills when you enter a room and somebody says, ‘Hey, you haven’t paid your bills”

What if the Conservatives had a ‘centrist’ leader?: Populists make up more than half of the Conservative base, write Frank Graves and Michael Valpy, and the two frontrunners to lead the party, Rona Ambrose and Peter McKay, don’t appeal to them:

As is now pretty much known, most media commentators and members of the Conservative Party of Canada establishment believe that if only the party had a leader of more moderate, sensible views like Rona Ambrose or Peter McKay in the election campaign just past, it would be governing Canada today.

In fact, that’s almost certainly not true. A centrist leader like Ambrose or McKay might well have made matters worse. Read more ››

Today’s Politics Insider will be the last one before the holidays. We’ll be back in the new decade, starting Jan. 6. Merry Christmas and happy holidays.