Will There Be a Trucker Protest in the U.S.?
Maybe? But not like in Canada...
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The Lessons of San Francisco
SONNY BUNCH: Can a Lawsuit Against WB Slow the Streaming Tide? 🔐
RICH THAU: These Are the Issues Swing Voters Care About (And the Ones They Don’t).
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
New from me: Will There Be a Trucker Protest in the U.S.?
And what about Mexico? Since Mexican truck drivers are subject to the same COVID restrictions as their U.S. and Canadian counterparts, why is there no Convoy de la Libertad? One would assume that Texas Republicans cheering on the Canadian truckers and their sympathizers might also be cheering on Freedom Convoys at the southern U.S. border. Alas, while Cancun might be Canadian-born Ted Cruz’s favorite Texas snowstorm vacation destination, he hasn’t made the case for a Mexican Freedom Convoy.
The real reason there is no Mexican Freedom Convoy is a little-known fact of North American trucking and trade: There are almost no Mexican truckers driving in the United States or Canada. Despite Mexico being one of our largest trading partners, the United States has systematically screwed over Mexican truckers with something called “drayage.” It started with NAFTA, and it continued under President Trump’s USMCA trade deal. As the Journal of Commerce noted, holding a B-1 or B-2 visa “only allow[s] Mexican truckers to haul freight across the border, pick up freight, and return to Mexico.”
In other words, Mexican truckers are largely forbidden from operating in the United States, except within strict limits.
Stupid, right? Add to that logistical and labor shortages, and you end up with even more supply chain issues that far pre-dated COVID.
So it’s a funny visual, but if Ted Cruz had to pull a Kate McAllister from Home Alone and ride back to Texas from Mexico in the back of a truck with a polka band, it would be near impossible for him to do so without switching trucks at least once.
Just as Mexico is experiencing changes in labor supply and its trade supply chain, so, too, is the United States. It’s a good time to be a trucker: demand is up, wages are rising, and companies are offering bonuses to lure in drivers.
Which brings us to one last thing worth keeping in mind about the Freedom Convoys: The higher cost of trucking gets passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. So it’s less good nowadays to be a consumer or a producer or wholesaler of a product. And American anti-vaxxers cheering on the Freedom Convoy protesters should have in mind the cost that they themselves will be paying for goods if the disruptions continue and even spread.
Progressives revolted against progressives in San Francisco — and that could have national implications. Meanwhile, Republicans stand for only one thing, and they're shrinking their base. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
AMANDA CARPENTER: The RNC Thinks Phony Electors Engaged in ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’.
At least a few RNC members have probably been stewing about the possibility of being investigated for a while, which might explain some of the white-hot hate toward Cheney and Kinzinger.
Although both representatives were censured by Republicans in their home states a year ago for impeaching Trump, RNC member and high-profile Trump ally David Bossie started making rumblings about expelling the pair from the GOP in late January of this year. What the RNC ultimately passed by voice vote has been described as a “watered down” version of what Bossie desired.
Bossie is no disinterested character when it comes to the Jan. 6th investigation. Given his reported participation in meetings at the Willard Hotel that the committee has scrutinized, Bossie has surely thought about whether he’ll get subpoenaed himself. It may only be a matter of time.
While the committee’s interest in Bossie is hypothetical, the committee did subpoena other RNC members last month. On January 28, the committee announced a wave of subpoenas for fourteen of the Republicans who called themselves “alternate electors” for former President Trump. These individuals submitted phony Electoral College certificates to Congress and the National Archives, bestowing upon themselves the titles “chairperson” and “secretary” of fake slates representing seven states Biden won: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. (As Philip Rotner noted last month, the New Mexico and Pennsylvania certificates are perhaps less legally problematic than the certificates from the other five states.)
HILARY MILLER: The Fight Against Anti-Semitism Begins at Home.
An adequate response to the rise in Jew-hatred in America would be to create a new position that, unlike the special envoy, has an exclusively domestic mandate. While maintaining the special envoy’s global mandate, the Biden administration should heed calls from international leaders like the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and former special envoys to create a domestic anti-Semitism coordinator.
The idea for a domestic coordinator is not novel. In fact, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Greece, and Romania are among a growing list of nations that have created comparable positions in the last few years to fight what U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has aptly called a “tsunami of hatred.”
Happy Thursday! Here is a horrifying read.
Matt Labash remembers PJ O’Rourke. Worth a few minutes of your time.
Let’s not talk about that F-35… What F-35?
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.