The Sound of One Invisible Hand Clapping

Jackie Calmes writes: "Over the past four years, Mr. Bush has swung from free-market candidate to sometime-protectionist president and back again." But lately, on the campaign trail, "he has re-emerged as a full-throated free trader," even in "the most hotly contested states... with the biggest job losses." Why? "Advisers have made optimism a hallmark of the re-election campaign and argue that an upbeat message trumps pessimism every time, even on trade and even in hard-hit Midwestern manufacturing states." According to The Hill, 37 House Republicans urged Commerce Secretary Don Evans "to continue highlighting the many benefits of foreign-based companies choosing to 'insource' work here in America." Industry groups (including the Coalition for Employment through Exports) "are leading an informal group formed to fend off outsourcing-related measures" like Independent Bernie Sanders' Defending American Jobs Act.