Steve M has a great analogy in the title of a recent post — “AIG is to righties’ economic theories what George W. Bush is to their political theories.” So true.

Of course, as Steve says, to righties nothing is ever the fault of rightie ideology. In many ways George W. Bush was more Reaganite than Reagan, but as soon as he became overwhelmingly unpopular the Right suddenly discovered Bush was not a “real conservative.” Just so, in their minds the financial sector gurus who drove the economy off a cliff are traitors to free market theory, not the naturally selected consequence of it.

More fascinating — Greg Sargent reports that rightie politicians and rightie media are going separate ways on the AIG scandal.

GOP Congressional leaders have roundly condemned AIG and its executives, as part of a strategy to position themselves as heroic defenders of the taxpayers and to paint the Obama administration as weak and ineffectual. … But increasingly, leading conservative media figures are moving in a different direction: Defending AIG.

Rush Limbaugh recently said: “I am all for the AIG bonuses” and attacked the Obama administration for trying to undo them. He also blasted Dem efforts to get the names of the AIG bonus recipients as “McCarthyism.”

Fox News followed suit, also comparing Dems to “Joe McCarthy.” And Sean Hannity has now derided efforts to tax the execs by saying: “In other words, we’re going to just steal their money.”

If you were a Faux Nooz viewer, exactly how stupid would you have to be to agree with Hannity?

It gets better. Today there’s a story that the House plans to slap a 90 percent tax on the bonuses. Actual title of a Michelle Malkin post in response: “First They Came for the AIG Bonuses.” You can’t make this up.

As I said, this is fascinating; the sort of thing social psychologists ought to be studying. Put the Right under a bell jar, or better yet, on a dissecting table.

3 thoughts on “Analogies

  1. Ah… comments are fixed. I can express (relieve?) myself.

    Related to the post – read a letter to the editor in Thursday’s LA Times, written in response to a Jonah Goldberg column, where Goldberg said the AIG execs were entitled to their bonuses because “a contract is a contract”. The letter writer said that no doubt Goldberg will also stand up for retired autoworkers and others whose health and pension benefits are being threatened, because after all “a contract is a contract”.

    Of course, Goldberg is hiding behind legalisms and hypocrisy; the real issue is the immorality of the outrageous bonuses the AIG people were receiving, and the immorality of throwing members of the middle and lower classes under the bus.

  2. More than anyone, you have discussed the myths of the wingnut culture. A cornerstone of wingnut mythos is at risk; that the CEOs and top executives of Wall Street are the visionary driving force of capitalism & freedom. And in that myth, good government needs to leave those Gods of Business unfettered to produce the blessings of a free market for all.

    Enter Reality. These guys as a WHOLE -and I am referring to Wall Steet Aristocrats – not a few like Madoff or Ken Lay, the whole establishment of Wall Street has been feathering their own nests (which is fine) and NOT providing the blessings and benefits to the peasants. (big problem) The pesants are homeless, jobless, hungry & angry. Those of us with jobs & homes are angry about the predicament our fellow citizens are in through no fault of their own.

    These Princes of Finance are exposing the corrupt mess. The real problem for Republicans & Conservatives is that the myth is unraveling which is why Republicans in the House were split on the vote to tax bonus money. The myth is becoming an indefensable bit of fiction in the face of a DOW that’s half of what it was a year ago, and Wall Street execs who don’t see how anything has changed.

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