Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, January 10th, 2012.

Tonight in New Hampshire

Obama Administration

Nate Silver’s projection for tonight:

Mitt Romney 38.5% 99%
Ron Paul 18.6 1
Jon Huntsman 17.0 0

Lest we forget — Rand Paul explains his family’s antipathy to civil rights.

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Choosing Sides


Newt actually said this:

“You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?”

He was done already, but now the Right will see to it that Newt never appears on Faux News again.

The former Speaker is making the case that, in contrast to good old fashioned businesses who make stuff, Romney and his ilk have instead gamed the system to create a soulless machine that profits from the misery of others. […]

“I am totally for capitalism, I am for free markets,” Gingrich assured reporters on Monday. “Nobody objects to Bill Gates being extraordinarily rich, they provide a service.” What he instead is concerned about is when an investor receives “six-to-one returns, and the company goes bankrupt.”

One of the drones at The Corner equates an attack on Romney as an attack on capitalism itself. So, yeah, apparently, the answer to Newt’s question — is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money? — is yes. And if you don’t like it, you must be a commie.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of historians suggest that FDR probably saved capitalism in America, since his New Deal reforms created a kind of sustainable and workable version of capitalism that benefited the broadest number of Americans. But now the Right has kicked that to pieces (with help from some elements of the Left), and the old slash-and-burn, malefactors-of-great-wealth version of capitalism is back in the saddle.

And this version of capitalism is not sustainable, and it’s not workable. It’s like a cancer that gets stronger by destroying healthy tissue. It ends in death of the organism it consumed.

But on the Right you aren’t allowed to say that, or even think it, because “free market capitalism” really has been linked to God, on a not entirely subconscious level, and government regulation really has been linked to Stalinism and thereby Satan. This is not an exaggeration; this is how righties think. And I agree with Steve M that the Right will rally around Mitt and defend him from Newt’s attacks.

Mitt is going on offense, saying that free enterprise itself is on trial.

Mittens will be the GOP nominee. Count on it. The question is, of course, how the electorate at large will absorb and process this argument.

Elsewhere: Mitt made a comment about liking to fire people in New Hampshire that created some stir. See Sarah Kliff and James Fallows for more analysis of that.

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