The Spectacle Blog

Newt Wrong on Romney Gains. Very Wrong

By on 12.13.11 | 8:20AM

Newt has made another Gingrichian mistake in his latest retort to Romney.

His response to Romney's request to give back the Freddie Mac money is misguided for the newly minted front-runner. It is not a Conservative position. But is it a Gingrich position? It just might be.

Gingrich's statement in full:

"If Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him."

Surely, Mr. Speaker, you jest?

If Newt is actually attacking the work of Romney and other financiers in streamlining and re-structuring businesses, he's not carrying any Conservative position; rather, he's setting up a tent on Occupy Wall Street (OWS) territory: an extreme, anti-capitalist, class-warfare posture that's inherently un-Republican, un-Conservative, and unserious.

There's a gargantuan difference between what Governor Romney did as a private-sector agent in business exchanges between corporations, and Newt's taking money from a boil on the backside of the Federal Government -- one of the worst antagonists of the mortgage bubble tragedy: Freddie Mac.

First of all, one worked and profited by bringing companies together in market-based transactions within the parameters of free enterprise.

The other stoked the fires of a conflagration that scorched first the mortgage industry, then the entire economy. By giving strategic advice about how to further metastasize Freddie Mac's influence into the mortgage industry, market transactions were steamrolled by the nimble "persuasion" known Federal lending practices and regulations. Then, by firing a flaming missive of anti-capitalist antipathy into the heart of the free market (calling into question the actions of Bain Capital and other corporations whose purpose it is to save markets, bolster industries, and feed fledgling enterprises), Newt Gingrich turned his Freddie Mac misfeasance into Conservative malfeasance.

Newt Gingrich's attacking the re-capitalization and re-structuring of companies and corporations by market-based means should be called out for what it is: reprehensible. When companies are sick or failing or under-performing, they seek out and, if they are lucky, find ways and other companies to help them save themselves and turn a sow's ear of an idea into a warehouse of silk purses. This is how misguided companies find direction and hungry ideas find paydirt. And it's what we call a market-based solution. If that sort of market-based ingenuity and self regulation is offensive to Newt, he has some explaining to do, not only to Republicans whose support he seeks but to the Democrats whose party line he's stolen.

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