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Dems + Free Trade = Death Penalty

Monday, 7 Apr 2008 | 3:35 PM ET

My pal Jerry Bowyer e-mailed me this morning with the following thought on Clinton bigwig Mark Penn: Free trade among Democrats is so completely dead in the water that any Democratic advisor favoring free trade is subject to the death penalty.

Just take a look at this morning’s New York Sun. Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa is still unhappy with Penn’s demotion, because the Clinton camp still has Penn on the payroll. In other words, Hoffa’s position — which is big labor’s position — is to take the free-trade Mark Penn back behind the barn and shoot him. Anything less will damage Hillary in the Pennsylvania primary.

Of course, it’s just like Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee telling the Canadian embassy in Chicago that Obama was really pro-free trade—despite the Illinois senator’s hard-left trade-protectionist stance out on the campaign trail. The Goolsbee flap hurt Obama in Ohio, and the Mark Penn flap is probably going to hurt Hillary in Pennsylvania.

But while Obama lived to see another day, Hillary may be doomed. Especially after her whopper about Bosnian sniper fire. And not to mention her recent falsehood about a pregnant Ohio woman dying, along with her baby, after being denied treatment from an Athens hospital. Hillary claimed the woman didn’t have health insurance, and was denied treatment because she couldn’t come up with the fee. In truth, the woman did have health insurance and was not refused treatment.

The union stranglehold over Democrats this election year is really the big news. (Check out Kim Strassel’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal.) The message is to raise taxes, end free trade, and promote the union agenda at every turn. That’s the official Democratic mantra for 2008.

All I can say is John McCain should whack away at this union craziness over and over again. On issues like the card check (which would end the secret ballot for union organizing of company workers), or equal pay for men and women, or trade protectionism. McCain ought to be whacking away.

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"