Paul Marks, as regular readers know, regards the Economist as a sort of bellweather of conventional (ie, frequently wrong) wisdom. The magazine recently carried this editorial on the supposed inadequacies of the US political Right.
He sent this letter to the magazine. Somehow, I think they are unlikely to run it, but we can:
In your current edition you have as the main cover story an attack upon the “American right”. In reality, of course, it is not the fact that the people you attack are American that causes you to hate them – you hate them (and attack them in the most abusive terms you can) because they commit the dreadful crime of not agreeing with you.
You hate the British “right” just as much as you hate the American “right” – with “right” really being defined as people who do not support endless bailouts, corrupt “stimulus” government spending, and corporate welfare (such as the Central Bank producing more credit money and issuing it in various sweetheart loan forms to politically connected financial sector enterprises).
I am not really interested in the fact that you use abusive language (“mad” and so on) and cartoons against people whose only crime is to have different political opinions to yourselves, after all I have used abusive language (such as “corrupt”) to describe your editor, Mr John Micklethwait, and the only reason I have never drawn an abusive cartoon of him is that I can not draw.
No, what interests me is your claim that America needs a “better opposition” to President Barack Obama – and your implied claim that you should be the guide to such an opposition.
I could simply say that your American sales do not really compare very well to those of the people you attack (such as Sarah Palin or, of course, the evil common-as-muck Glenn Beck), but you would dismiss that as “vulgar commercialism” the sort of thing the “corporate leaders” you claim to speak for in your article, despise. And I have no doubt that you would be partly correct – for example I remember the head of General Electric’s European operations sneering that in the past companies had been obsessed with “customers” whereas “we are the partners of governments”. Sadly I suspect there are many high corporate managers who are like this – although, hopefully, not a majority even in these times. However, my objection is a more basic one. What standing do you have to claim to be a guide to an opposition to President Barack Obama?
To make such a claim a person or organization would have to have the following things to show:
Opposition to the wild spending measures of President George Walker Bush – such things as the No Child Left Behind Act (yet more unconstitutional Federal government intervention in the sphere of State and local governments) and, especially, “TARP”. This being the vast (some 700 BILLION Dollars) in bailouts that was passed by Congress on a fraudulent basis (in that the money was not spent in the way it was promised it would be spent). All this wild spending having undermined any moral case that the Republicans were the party of the free market (rather than corrupt corporate bailouts) and paved the way for the collapse in conservative morale that led to the victory of Barack Obama.
Opposition to Barack Obama himself – to claim to be a guide to his opponents one would have to show how one wanted him to lose in the election of 2008, how much one fought against him, and so on. Otherwise why should foes of Barack Obama trust a person or organization?
Opposition to the “Stimulus” spending measure of Barack Obama – i.e. the 700 to 800 BILLION Dollars of additional government spending (on top of the wild spending of George Bush) designed by the “Apollo Project” – an organization dominated by such people as the unrepentant Marxist terrorist Mr Jeff Jones (the cofounder of the “Weather Underground” along with Barack Obama’s other friends Mr and Mrs Bill Ayers, both of whom are also unrepentant “we should have planted more bombs”).
Opposition to the health care takeover. More than half of American health care spending is already from government (Federal, State and local) and the imposing of yet more regulations and subsidies will have the same effect that imposing all the other subsidies and regulations of the last several decades has done – make American health cover even more expensive (just as subsidies and regulations have made higher education so expensive in the United States) and drive more and more people into dependence on the government, as business enterprises and individuals simply can not afford the higher and higher costs – an increase in costs caused directly (and intentionally) by the “Obamacare” Bill.
This may be a noble intent (from the collectivist point of view), but it is hardly something that pro liberty foes of Obama would support.
And Opposition to the new financial bill, which will enable the arbitrary control by the government (with very little ability to appeal to the law courts) of every financial sector enterprise in the United States – on the whim of politicians and officials.
How does the Economist magazine measure up to these tests?
You supported the wild spending and regulating measures of George Walker Bush – including No-Child-Left-Behind, and even the TARP bailouts (which totally undermined the moral basis of the free market – and made the Marxist case against “capitalism”, that it was just the corrupt subsidy of “capitalists”, seem true).
You actually supported Barack Obama to be President of the United States – even against the ultra “moderate” John McCain, a man who had spent decades trying to be the friend of the “mainstream media” (such as yourselves). You pretended friendship for Senator McCain, you eagerly printed his attacks on more conservative Republicans and then (at the hour of his greatest need – other than the times of his years of being tortured in a cage in Vietnam, or his fight with skin cancer) you stabbed him in the back. And you even had the bare faced cheek to say that John McCain had “changed” and was not the “moderate” you had once known. A claim that conservatives and libertarians could only read in utter astonishment – as we watched John McCain vote (against the will of the vast majority of voters) for the TARP bailouts, thus destroying conservative morale.
You then supported the vast “Stimulus” Bill of Obama and Jeff Jones – and you still do.
You also supported what may well turn out to be the last stage in the bankrupting of American health care.
The vast majority of voters opposed such things as the disgusting “Stimulus” Bill and fully understand that the way to deal with the results of debt is not to build up yet more debt – but you (the “free market” Economist) supported it and continue to do so, the same is true of the Obamacare Bill.
Lastly the Financial Reform Bill – if you do oppose the destruction of what little is left of the rule of law in the American financial services industry (and its replacement with the arbitrary will of politicians and administrators) then you have not made your voice of opposition a very impressive one.
In short you have no standing what so ever to imply that you can be some guide to the opposition to Barack Obama.
Your only case is based upon SNOBBERY – i.e. the fact you are wealthy and Oxbridge educated, and your foes are from poor backgrounds and did not go to elite universities (where Keynesian drivel is taught as holy writ).
On all the great matters of the subject of the struggle against Barack Obama and what he represents you have, as the above shows, been on the other side. The side of Obama and his Comrades – not of the foes of this collectivist movement.
P.S. Some libertarians and conservatives may note that I do not mention the various wars of George Bush in the above. However, whatever the merits or otherwise of these wars (and I do not doubt that defences of them can be written) I do accept that they helped undermine support for the Republican party and for moderate Democrats and helped in the far left take over of first Congress and the Whitehouse. For the record – the Economist supported all these wars.