October 9, 2007
Daniel Drezner is increasingly worried about the Republican Party's weakening support for free trade: "Now we live in a world where Obama's chief economic advisor is making more sense on the trade issue than rank-and-file Republicans." That's a scary thought. I am by no means a dogmatic free-trade advocate, but it is obvious that trade is generally beneficial to most people. The only question is whether we will strike good bilateral trade bargains, exerting leverage to force countries like Mexico and China to live up to higher labor and environmental standards. Some of the populists in the GOP, such as Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), are so fearful of security threats from overseas that they are blind to vast economic opportunities offered by the global economy. It is difficult to do in practice, but we simply must keep a cool head and strike a reasonable balance between U.S. national security and economic goals.
Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis, who represented Virginia's First District, along the Chesapeake Bay, passed away over the weekend after a long battle with breast cancer. The Washington Post recounted some of her main accomplishments. She was solidly conservative and yet very concerned about working people who deserve fair treatment. She had served in the House since 1997, and was highly respected by her colleagues. The Republican Party needs more leaders like her.