Making Sense of Republicans Attacking Capitalism
January 10, 2012
RUSH: Yeah, well, I guess it's gonna be up to me again today to put all this in perspective. Man, it's going nuts out there, and it's understandable. All these attacks on Romney, Bain Capital. Romney brought it on himself, and it's gonna be interesting to see how and if Romney can defend himself. I gotta tell you, folks, you think this is bad, wait 'til Obama gets hold of all this stuff. It's gonna be twice as bad as what you're seeing now. I know it's irritating to a lot of people. Here we have capitalism being attacked by Republicans, capitalism under assault by Republicans. I know a lot of people are commenting on it and a lot of people are upset about it, scratching their heads.
Romney started all of this with the scorched earth on Newt in Iowa. You could even say Romney started all this back in 2008 with his super PAC stuff. This is just people responding; it's what happens in a campaign. They try to target what they think is weak spot, and nobody's thinking about, "Okay, what are we creating for the opposition to use in the general?" Nobody's thinking about that right now 'cause they're all trying to win this. Contrary to the establishment and the mainstream media, it's not over, and the other candidates, the Newts, the Santorums, the Perrys, this bunch, they're not willing to concede yet. But anyway, I want to try to put all this in perspective. Yes, it is disquieting. Yes, it is upsetting. I understand it. There's enough hypocrisy to go around on all sides, and I'll try to apportion it fairly.
RUSH: Now, I got home yesterday and took a little break as I always do, and then started delving into the equivalent of show prep for today's program and I came across a number of pieces. Jay Nordlinger Impromptus at National Review and a number of other people, and they were good pieces. I just cannot believe that we have Santorum and Newt and Perry out attacking capitalism, out attacking Romney. What is this? Everybody is asking, "What is going on?" Republican presidential candidates attacking business? It's senseless. It doesn't make any sense -- and it does in one way.
RUSH: In starting this discussion, they're trying to explain this, dissect what's going on on the Republican side with the attacks on Romney and capitalism and so forth, with language, by the way, that's used by the left. I want to read to you some excerpts of a piece by Jay Nordlinger who writes a column at National Review called Impromptus. He says, "I was watching a clip of Romney tangling with an 'Occupy' protester last week. Romney was defending corporate profits. I was astounded. I don’t think I had ever seen a candidate do this. When the subject comes up, you’re supposed to denounce corporate profits or say, 'Hey, nice weather we’re having, huh?'"
That gave me great pause. I had to stop and think. He's right, frustratingly so. He's right. No matter who it is, when the subject of profits comes up on our side, they usually duck it and run for the hills, which is maddening. Where are our people taking the occasion to educate people who have been mal-informed, ill-informed, or lied to about capitalism from the first day they stepped into public school? Profits are evil, they are so evil that even people on our side duck the discussion. Jay Nordlinger is reminding himself here that he saw a clip of Romney arguing with an Occupy protester defending corporate profits. How unusual is this? He then goes on to point out that Phil Gramm, the former Senator from Texas, conservative and an economist by trade, "once explained to Bill Buckley why he never talked about free trade on the stump."
Now, listen to this. This is fascinating to me. Phil Gramm said, "Free trade benefits almost everybody, but they don’t know who they are. Free trade hurts a few, and they all know who they are." What he means by this is that the beneficiaries of free trade don't know how to defend it. The beneficiaries of free trade generally do not think of themselves as beneficiaries, they don't know. I don't care what happens in an economy, something that happens which affects positively a lot of people is going to affect some people negatively. I'll give you my favorite example of this. Seventies or eighties, the price of oil got so low, I forget when it was, that domestic oil producers in Texas and Louisiana capped their wells. They simple could not bring the oil out of the ground at a profit. The price was so low.
Now, that was a huge benefit to consumers. Domestic oil, price of oil plummeting, gasoline prices were plummeting, fuel prices in general plummeting, great for the consumers, but look what happened to domestic business? They had to shut down. So every economic event, while good for a lot of people is going to be bad for some, and verse vice-a. You have an economic event such as the subprime mortgage crisis. That was a disaster for most people, but some people made huge amounts money on it by going short and understanding what the future was.
So in any economy and in any economic activity you're going to have people that do well and people that get hurt. And Phil Gramm's point about free trade, the reason he never talked about it on the stump was that the people who benefited from it didn't know it. The people who were hurt by it knew it, and they were clearly able to articulate their opposition to free trade based on how it was hurting them, but the people who benefited from it, the average John Q. Citizen, wasn't able to explain it because he didn't know how it was helping him. So Phil Gramm said, I'm never gonna have an army that's gonna be able to support me, so when it comes to free trade I'm gonna have to do the right thing as a member of the Senate, but I can't talk about it on the stump or I might lose the election. Because most people who benefit from it don't know that they're benefiting from it and can easily be talked into the fact that they're hurting as a result of it.
The point that Nordlinger is making here is that "over and over, Romney defends and explains capitalism." Now, Nordlinger, I'm gathering -- I don't know this, but I'm just assuming from the way he's written the piece here -- that he's for Romney. He says, "Over and over, Romney defends and explains capitalism. And he’s supposed to be the RINO and squish in the race?" The one guy out there defending capitalism, the one guy out there trying to explain corporate profits to the Occupy crowd, he's the squish, he's the moderate, he's the guy that we have the problem with? "That’s what I read in the conservative blogosphere, every day. What do you have to do to be a 'real conservative'? Speak bad English and belch?
"In the Saturday debate, Santorum knocked Romney for being just a 'manager,' just a 'CEO,' not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. This was odd for a couple of reasons: First, Romney did have a term as governor of Massachusetts (meaning he has executive political experience, unlike Santorum). And second: Since when do conservative Republicans denigrate private-sector experience?" And a lot of people are asking, "What is going on, why is Newt denigrating private sector experience?" And then saying what Romney does, put people out of work, is a takeover artist and he slashes jobs? That's what Obama's gonna say. Now, about that, we can sit here and wring our hands and lament that this is happening, "Oh, no!" But it is happening, so we have to deal with that, and so what it does is present Romney with an opportunity to defend himself. We'll see how he does. He's gonna have to. He's being assaulted. It's gonna be very eye opening for a lot of people.
I live in Realville. I'm telling you, what happens is what is. That's literal, that's real. It may be totally stupid, it may be totally unfair, it may be outrageous, it may be self-defeating for these Republicans to start ripping into big business or ripping into capitalism, but it's happening.
RUSHL So Romney is out there saying that he likes being able to fire people. Folks, don't we want somebody in the White House who's gonna fire people? How are we going to reduce the size of government? Don't we want somebody who loves firing people in the White House? Isn't that what we're all talking about here? We don't want 'em to quit; we don't want buyout packages; we don't want severance; we want to fire people. Do we not? If we are consistent, we are limited government, we've gotta roll back the size. What the heck are we talking about here?
So here we got a guy, defends profits; we jump on him. We conservatives, Republicans, jump on him. We got a guy who talks about how much he likes firing people; we jump on him. I mean, there's all kinds of reasons to jump on Romney, but not for this. Now, the idea that Romney is some big capitalist, I have to take issue with that. Did not Romney support TARP? What was TARP? By the way, if you think what Newt's doing to Romney is bad or Santorum or any of the others, wait 'til Obama has his run. Obama wants to run against Romney, for all of these reasons that you're seeing here. That's why I say it might actually be fortunate here for Romney to develop a chance, have a chance to defend himself, 'cause this is what's coming. I don't care who our nominee is, this is what's coming from Obama: mean-spirited, extremist, racist, wants to fire people, capitalist, wants profits, wants big, rich people to get richer. This is what's coming.
Occupy Wall Street was created by Obama specifically to campaign against Romney. I don't want to hear anybody argue with me about this because you're gonna beat your head against the wall because you know I'm right about this. And more and more members of the media are starting to let the cat out of the bag that the White House wants Romney. Okay, so he's got a chance. But TARP, folks, TARP, what was TARP? TARP, there was not one thing capitalistic about TARP. TARP was the biggest failed bailout using taxpayer money of defunct businesses in history. And Romney was in there supporting it. Romney supported TARP. Bush supported, they all supported it. Santorum didn't support TARP. I'm just telling you, we gotta be real careful on how we start defining capitalism and how we plug people in. We have got to stand up. The Democrats want the economic collapse of 2008 to be laid at the feet of capitalism, and capitalism was not being practiced prior to 2008. That's not why we had the economic collapse.
RUSH: Now, see, the thing that we know now is that TARP was not a bailout. It was a slush fund. TARP was a slush fund, and a year or two after it there was still two or three hundred billion of it unspent. There was no crisis to save the world economy that TARP was going to fix. We were lied to big time about it.