… is today obviously ashamed of himself, for he typically denies that he and his fellow protectionists are protectionists. Instead, the protectionist insists that he is really a free trader! (The protectionist makes this insistence with a straight face!)
Of course, because the protectionist has a long record of championing tariffs and of opposing a policy of unilateral free trade, even the protectionist has sufficient brain power to understand that he must somehow square his insistence that he and his compatriots are free traders with this record of supporting government obstacles to free trade. And so the protectionist showers the world with his legerdemain about how trade restrictions really are meant to make trade freer or are otherwise justified.
In this way, the protectionist is no more believable than is the thief who insists that he’s not a thief by explaining that his victims don’t really deserve the property that he snatched from them, or that he, the thief, is justified in seizing Smith’s property because yesterday Jones stole from Jackson money that Jackson might have spent on purchases of goods that the thief offers for sale.
But these verbal acrobatics and deceptions (much of it self-) do not, contrary to his protests, transform the protectionist into anything other than the protectionist that he is.