The Corner

Thanks for the Nader Comparison, But . . .

Over at Herb Croly’s formerly Republican journal of opinion, young whippersnapper Jonathan Chait takes exception to my postings on crony capitalism yesterday at the Corner: “I always enjoy the general pattern of right-wing commentators to [sic] ignore the effects of economic self-interest upon the influence of big money in politics until such time as an interest group support [sic] Democrats, at which point they will sound like Ralph Nader on coke.” As an ex–newspaper guy, Jonathan, I appreciate the comparison to St. Ralph, but at my age I have trouble with Coke, let alone coke.

Populism isn’t anything new to Republicans. Take Herb’s old buddy Teddy, the guy who busted trusts, much as I reported Thomas M. Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has recommended happen to the TBTFs. The problem of crony capitalism is a theme of our Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism, not to mention the work of regular contributor Nicole Gelinas, who chimed in yesterday that “the answer is not to rail impotently against big, bad finance (as politicians of both parties do), but calmly to make finance subject to market forces.” You could write a book about the Republican approach to reforming Wall Street. Actually, Nicole has.

The only thing that really annoyed me is that Chait seems to have ignored the main point of my posts, which is that we need to end “Too Big to Fail” and with it the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, which has persisted through the last three administrations. Do progressives have a problem with making the White House, Treasury, and the Fed a TBTF-free zone? This should be a bipartisan issue, like keeping pedophiles away from elementary schools.

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