The New GOP Mantra: Criticizing Capitalism = Embracing Communism
So it’s no longer OK to criticize even aspects of capitalism. Rudy Giuliani
on Newt’s attacks on Mitt’s private-equity past: “The stuff you’re saying is one of the reasons we’re in the trouble we’re in right now — this total, ignorant, populist view of the economy that was proven to be incorrect with the Soviet Union, with Chinese communism.”
I know, I know. Huh?
But it’s the same type of mindset that’s been on gory display since the Wall Street collapse in 2008. The second someone criticizes any aspect of capitalism, some conservatives and Republicans whip out their copies of Road to Serfdom and Atlas Shrugged. You see, it’s not a debate about what type of capitalism we want moving forward (such as Too Big Too Fail vs. Not Too Big Too Fail). To free-market ideologues, it’s an all-or-nothing debate of Capitalism vs. Communism. Nothing in between. It’s capitalist freedom versus socialist gulags. Anyone who doesn’t embrace the former is embracing the latter. It’s sophomoric logic, but it’s what now dominates right-wing economic thinking these days. It’s why Republicans can’t bring themselves to reform Wall Street and eliminate the Too Big Too Fail system we have now. To reform Wall Street would be to acknowledge capitalism isn’t perfect. To acknowledge capitalism isn’t perfect is to head down a slippery slope toward socialism. Therefore … blame Barney Frank!
As for Mitt’s old Bain Capital job, it’s fair game to review and criticize his past. Granted, most of Newt’s criticisms are tired stretches. But Mitt’s the one who made his Bain experience a centerpiece of his campaign. He’s the one who says his Bain experience will guide him in his decision making once in the White House. But now we’re not supposed to even question his moves and decisions at Bain? His strategic uses of layoffs, bankruptcy filings, tax provisions, asset sales, dividend payouts, and other measures are all of a sudden off limits to discussion? He can't defend them? That’s what Rudy and the Limbaugh crowd are all but saying.