John Kerry has been attacking Dean on the issue of trade lately accusing Dean’s trade policies of theatening to "send our economy into a tailspin"
Kerry is actually right on this one, and Bush’s record on trade issues is hardly stellar. Kerry is also right that trade barriers and protectionist measure hinder rather than help American workers.
However, the Democratic Party has all but abandoned the open trade policies that were one of the few success stories of the Clinton Administration in favor of the AFL-CIO’s misguided love of protectionism and American economic isolationism. Dean represents the core constituency of the Democratic Party, and that rabid core wants to see America close its doors to foreign imports. While Kerry is quite correct in pointing out that the subsequent raise in prices would destroy the lives of millions of Americans, that message is falling on deaf ears.
Indeed, Kerry is rapidly in danger of becoming political roadkill. He’s now finding Wesley Clark abrogating his position as the Democrat’s national security candidate and his campaign is finding it difficult to emerge from the limelight of Dean and Clark. The Democrats want a hard-core anti-war, anti-trade, and rabidly anti-Bush candidate, and Kerry’s vote to authorize force in Iraq and his trade policies mean that the party’s activist core will deny him the momentum he needs to break from the pack.