For a few months now, I've had a perverse interest in the ostensibly boring policy ruckus about steel tarriffs
. The effects of obscure policy on the Electoral College can elicit a greater thrill this election season, after we all breathlessly watched the wavering reds and blues in the map of the last presidential election. From this NYT article by David Sanger:
"Having seen the brutal politics of steel up close, Mr. Baily wonders now whether Al Gore would have won West Virginia and thus the presidency three years ago if the Clinton administration had acted more vigorously to protect the American steel producers. "We resisted the pressure on economic grounds, and it's possible that Al Gore paid for that," he said."
The thrust of the article seems to be that the WTO has seen how to exploit Bush's sensititivies to that wavering red and blue map. In Slate's Today's Papers
, summarizes the article:
"The New York Times, meanwhile, takes a moment to appreciate the Karl Rove-like moves of the World Trade Organization and the European Union, which determined that the best way to beat back the tariffs would be to go after American exports from states deemed more crucial to Bush's re-election efforts, such as Florida citrus and Michigan's automobiles."
How is the map going to be tugged and pulled this season?