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David Sirota points out that among the Democratic presidential hopefuls, most have swallowed the right-wing "free trade" ideology hook, line, and sinker; Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Bill Richardson, Howard Dean, and Mark Warner all supported the grotesque NAFTA treaty, while John Edwards and Russ Feingold have better records on trade, especially Feingold.

The trade issue will be a boon to anyone willing to buck the Republican-Democratic tradition of kowtowing to big business; remember that Ross Perot managed to set a modern-day record for third-party candidates, despite being sort of insane and dropping out of the race half-way through, primarily on the strength of his opposition to NAFTA. A Democrat willing to campaign on the same kind of economic populism could win going away. But the majority of Democratic office holders are not really populists or progressives; they're welfare-state capitalists, and their allegiance to big business is as axiomatic as any Republican's.

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