[Note: This column is coauthored by Buckley Carlson]
In the high-stakes poker game of Washington, D.C., power-politics, Democrats are holding a pair of deuces but telling Republicans they’ve got a royal flush. Poker is all about bluff and bluster and unfounded confidence. And the rules governing politics aren’t much different. So, good for the Democrats. What’s upsetting, though, is that the Republicans are ready to fold, despite holding a full house, aces high. It’s pathetic. And at this particular table – where the minimum bet is the future of America’s free market system – it’s unacceptable.
Watching and listening to the debate over Obama’s so called “financial reform” bill, one could be excused the impression that Republicans are “the party of Wall Street,” flush with corrupt banker cash, desperate to stymie justice, and eager to craft a reform bill that conforms to Wall Street’s specific wish list. How do we know? Well, Democrats have been making the case all week. As they did to the Politico on Wednesday:
“’Bipartisanship for Republican leaders means bringing Wall Street to the table, bring Wall Street banks into the room, and let them help you write the legislation,’ said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).”
This is akin to Eliot Spitzer blackmailing a prostitute, Nancy Pelosi calling someone else a lunatic, or Bill Clinton ascribing “political” motives to an electoral opponent. But the Democrat narrative on Wall Street – the corrupting influence of cash, and which party wallows most in the trough – is just as ludicrous, and just as blatantly dishonest. And make no mistake, it is the ONLY narrative on the subject, currently. And yet, Republicans are too timid, too disorganized or just too plain pathetic to raise even the smallest flag of protest. How can it be?
For more than a week now, we’ve been advising Republican Senators that they must demand a special prosecutor investigate the already documented connection between President Obama, Wall Street Financiers and the Congressional Democrats who have been loudly posturing that they are going after “big business.”
A brief perusal of FEC filings shows that Obama has been the recipient of nearly a million dollars from Goldman Sachs – Obama’s largest corporate contributor, the very entity under investigation by his own SEC, the same folks dragged to the Hill in televised humiliation this week — AND that the majority of Wall Street dough lands in Democrat campaign accounts. Pretty shocking revelations, there for all to witness, and yet, silence from Republicans.
Democrats have been publicly assaulting the free enterprise system for years. And now, finally, they have the votes, the political coverage and the compliant press required for them to fashion legislation that assumes control of certain businesses, allowing them to pick and choose who succeeds based solely on their record of donations to Democrats. It’s a modern-day spoils system, designed by shameless and hypocritical legislators, and guaranteed the approval of America’s first socialist president.
So often we hear the term “crony capitalism” bandied about. It’s a tired, and clichéd phrase, adopted mostly by those who are too lazy, or too uninquisitive, to observe what is really going on in the debate over Wall Street. Today, we declare that term dead. The process we are now witnessing can go by no other name than, “crony fascism.”
It’s so Machiavellian and so strategically brilliant that under other circumstances we couldn’t fail to be impressed by it; Democrats are blackmailing Republicans for the very corruption the Democrats themselves own. And the Republicans are too stupid, or too wimpy, or too insecure to cry foul, seize the issue and clobber Democrats over the head with it.
Republicans in power may refuse to acknowledge it, but we won’t: Democrats assume this populist issue of Wall Street “reform,” for show only…and to continue extorting large piles of cash from big business. It’s as if this is a pro-wrestling match, where everything about the fight is fake, but the payday is real. Too real.
And yet, the solution is simple: demand a special prosecutor to investigate Obama’s relationship with Goldman Sachs and Wall Street; the taxpayer bailouts and the individuals who profited from them; and the corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – for which Rep. Barney Frank, for one, has never been held accountable, and for which the Democrats were directly responsible. When the Democrats object, as they inevitably will, make that the issue.
Not only would this route allow Republicans to take back the high ground from the Democrats – and set the stage for a productive, national lecture to the Democrats regarding the corrupt big business/big government nexus -- it would have the benefit also of actually being good for the country. Imagine, a win for Republicans and a win for America!
The night before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid forced Republicans to capitulate on “reform,” he took a break from attacking the GOP as the party of big business, so he could jet up to New York, and prostrate himself in front of the same Wall Street firms he’d spent the week excoriating, and beg for some cash. With his reelection campaign coffers newly topped off, he returned to Washington. And, as the Politico reported, “Reid took his criticisms a step further Wednesday, calling Republicans ‘anti-American’ for blocking the Wall Street reform bill.” And in response, how did the Republicans defend themselves? They sheepishly agreed to allow debate on the bill, as though they were the ones with something to hide!
Make no mistake, the “Reform Bill” lays the foundation for this new era of “Crony Fascism.” It gives Democrats – along with their lefty, Trojan Horse friends on Wall Street -- the power to destroy the free enterprise system that they almost succeeded in destroying with ceaseless meddling in Fannie and Freddie during the past decade.
And to those conspiracy theorists out there who will protest that “Republicans are in on it, too; both parties conspire against America and take turns running the country,” let us just say this: Republicans are too stupid and too incompetent to conspire with the Good Humor man to even land an ice cream sandwich. High-stakes poker is well beyond their reach.