GOP Brand Should Be Pro-Market, Anti-Wall-Street
Mitt Romney lost hard. There is no love lost between him and me, but I get tired of seeing people kick a man when he’s down, especially when many of them were such flatterers to him before November 6. But we do need to learn our lessons, and I think there is wisdom to be gleaned in two unlikely sources, Alec MacGillis’ Thanksgiving piece in The New Republic, and David Frum’s editorial in The New York Times.
MacGillis’ rather unpleasant piece is entitled, “Why Democrats Should Give Thanks for Mitt Romney.” But it gives us evidence that the Left was upset and threatened by the Tea Party.
“Voters were angry and frustrated and confused, and Republicans capitalized on that confusion. Even as Wall Street shifted its support toward the GOP, Republicans ran on a populist, anti-establishment platform. The main feature of this platform was an attack on the “bailouts,” a phrase they skillfully used to refer to both TARP and the economic stimulus package, thereby tarring that mix of tax cuts and spending with the deep unpopularity of the bank bailouts that both parties had agreed to in late 2008. The brazenness was breath-taking: Club for Growth-backed candidates running as anti-Wall Street crusaders. But it worked. A wave of Wall Street-backed Republican freshmen swept into office under the guise of pitchfork-wielding insurgents.”
MacGillis tries to find excuses (transparently false ones) to keep Obama’s left-wing credentials, but he has to admit that he was a Wall Street bailout President. If it hadn’t been for Romney winning the nomination, MacGillis thinks there was a good chance that anti-establishment fervor would have led to a GOP victory. MacGillis wants us to believe that all Tea Party candidates were just like Romney, but his bias is sadly visible. I find it interesting that I can find no mention of any mention of Corzine in the magazine since 2009. This former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and heavy Obama bundler, was recently fingered by a Congressional committee for being behind the implosion of MF Global (leaving open his responsibility in illegally using customer funds as leverage). Notably, no Democrats would sign the report. Because from Soros, to Buffet, to Bill Gates, to Wall-Street corruptocrats like Corzine, the Dems are wholly owned (and provide cover for) the “one percent.”
Which brings us to David Frum’s unusually nice piece: “The Conservative Future.” He points out that, for some younger conservative thinkers, “Many of these market-oriented writers emphasize that being pro-market is not the same as being pro-business.” I’m not completely confident in the thinkers that Frum names, but I do think there are many who would share that sentiment. Frum frankly acknowledges that business often collude with the Federal Government.
You would think that after that open public looting that was TARP, such admissions would have been more common than they are. It was amazing to me how it was hardly mentioned during the campaign. While Solyndra is a scandal, simply ignoring the unprecedented money grab for Wall Street in which both parties participated, and Bush led the way, could not really sound sincere in criticizing Obama on those grounds. Obama’s base didn’t feel betrayed by such behavior, but it was hugely unpopular with both independents and Republicans. Remember, Congress actually voted it down the first time and had to be forced to vote a second time (with bribes—or “sweeteners” as Dems like to call them—in place).
While I’ve never considered Frum Tea Party friendly, his editorial shows that there is a thirst for real economic freedom and for opposition to corruption and cronyism. Even more surprising is his mention of the American Conservative magazine, a source of Republican anti-war writing (though Frum doesn’t mention that aspect of it).
I know there are many who have convinced themselves that the country is too far gone to vote against the debt and spending that both Wall Street and welfare recipients have become dependent upon. But we owe it to ourselves and to the country to offer an opportunity to choose real free markets and real cuts in spending. We’ll never know if there is life after Romney unless we decide to risk living.
And instead of blaming him, let’s talk to the people who told us to choose him.
Mark Horne has been studying the intersection of ethics and the economy since high school. He was raised in Liberia, West Africa and Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, as well as on the Atlantic coast of Florida. He graduated from Houghton College in 1989 and from Covenant Theological Seminary in 1998. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America and has pastored churches in Washington state and Oklahoma, as well as serving as an assistant pastor in St. Louis.