Friday, 5 September 2003

On the way to losing my vote

Until today, I was pretty sure who I was planning to vote for in Mississippi’s governor’s race. Now, after last night’s semi-debate here at Ole Miss, I’m not so sure:

[Musgrove] also said Barbour worked vigorously in his 20 years at the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm he helped found, in support of policies that hurt Mississippi. He said the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) were “terrible policy” that sent 41,000 Mississippi manufacturing jobs to Mexico. “He wasn’t here to see the devastation brought on by NAFTA and GATT,” Musgrove said.

Now it’s true that the governor’s office has next to nothing to do with free trade. However, backwards, protectionist thinking on trade is about the last thing Mississippi needs in the governor’s office—especially since, without GATT (which actually predates Haley Barbour by several decades) and the WTO, we probably wouldn’t have the Nissan plant near Canton that Musgrove regularly touts on the campaign trail.

Granted, I haven’t been very impressed by Barbour either so far, but coupled with both candidates’ absurd posturing over the Ten Commandments monument (apparently, in their world, Montgomery is now in Mississippi)—silliness I would have thought Musgrove would be above—I’m going to have to move firmly back into the “undecided” column.