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Opening Arguments

Welcome to hard times

It was outrageous when nancy Pelosi did it, no less so when Paul Ryan did:

Chief Obamatrade proponent House Ways and Means Committee chairman

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted during Congressional testimony on Wednesday evening that despite tons of claims from him and other Obamatrade supporters to the contrary, the process is highly secretive.

He also made a gaffe in his House Rules Committee testimony on par with former Speaker

Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) push to pass Obamacare, in which she said infamously said: “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

"It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to,” Ryan said of Obamatrade in Rules Committee testimony on Wednesday during questioning from Rep. Michael Burgess.

The difference is that many of us (maybe most) who were opposed to a federal takeover of health care are also in favor of free trade. The commonality is having to trust President Obama and his people (in and out of Congress) who write the stuff we can't see and are supposed to take on faith. Obama has showed himself capable of assuming all kinds of powers he's not entitled to, so who knows what kind of crap he'll sneak into a trade deal? Perhaps something on immigration, or something giving the United Nations extraordinary authority. Back during the talks on NAFTA (which I and many others also supported), it was pointed out by someone that truly free trade merely required nations to agree to no-strings-attached dealings. That could be taken care of in a couple of sentences -- no need for thousands of pages.

So, Ryan and other Republicans who push to support Obama on this may find out they have made a devil's bargain they wish they had stayed away from. But those who deny him authority in an area where other presidents have demanded (and usually gotten) a lot of leeway may find they have hampered a persident of their own party when he/she takes office.

Rock, meet hard place.