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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Traffic circles 

It's both ends against the middle.
Alison writes about how American wingnuts like John Birchers and Swift Boaters and Minutemen are attacking the Security and Prosperity Partnership -- and as a result, American progressives are taking the equal and opposite reaction by minimizing it.
Chet Scoville (formerly The Green Knight) summarizes the whole SPP history and controversy here.
The problem, of course, is that while Canadian progressives are worried about our social programs, our economy, our treaties, our independence -- in fact, our whole damn country -- the American wingnuts aren't thinking much about us at all.
It's the Mexican part of SPP that scares them -- just another manifestation of their hysterical "illegal brown people are flooding into our country and taking all our jobs" schtick.
Canada isn't really on their horizon at all -- we are just a bunch of weak-kneed lefties who let the 911 terrorists in. The American wingnut attitude toward Canada is summed up by this quote, reportedly from Tucker Carlson:
[Canada]"is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving … he’s nice but you don’t take him seriously."

Fear of Mexicans is a dominant theme of the 2006 announcement about the Coalition to Block the North American Union:
. . . [the partnership] would erase U.S. borders, replace the dollar with the "amero," and lead to unlimited immigration . . . the "Trans-Texas Corridor" is designed to function as a NAFTA super-highway, opening Mexican ports with Red Chinese goods from Mexican trucks and trains to move north into the center of the United States. . .
No wonder American progressives are reluctant to make any common cause with these guys.
The Americans on both sides of this divide also have a strange obsession with the "NAFTA superhighway" aspect, as if the only way that a "partnership" could be achieved between the United States, Mexico and Canada is with an actual road.
Even the progressive commenters to Chet's post demonstrate this misconception. The wingnuts envisage convoys of rattletrap Mexican semi-trailers roaring northward full of shoddy Chinese toys, while the progressives ridicule SPP as a flap about road construction.
But one American commenter on Alison's site is still very reassuring, even on that point. Orc, who blogs at This Space for Rent -- about trains and bees and other interesting stuff -- reminds us of a crucial fact:
. . . don't forget that the SPP is ... being planned by a collection of conservative governments here; modern conservatives don't build, they pillage and destroy, and I have the highest confidence that the new highways will dissolve in a whirlpool of embezzled funds.

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