Monday, March 30, 2009


Matthew Vadum, blogging for The American Spectator:

There is a whiff of Fascism emanating from the Obama White House.

Reports say that the head of GM is quitting under duress from the Obama administration....

For the president of the United States to be able to, effectively, fire the head of a major corporation is not a road America has ever headed down before.

This outrage is widely shared in the right blogosphere, although there's the usual fierce disagreement over whether this is "fascism," "socialist dictatorship," or behavior worthy of the Corleone family. (Who said the GOP isn't a big tent?)

I'm straining to recall a similar reaction last fall when Bush's treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, forced out AIG's CEO and chose Edward Liddy as a successor. I'm drawing a blank.


UPDATE: I see that the GOP's Thad McCotter is taking the opposite tack, according to the Huffington Post:

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, a Detroit-area Republican and member of the House Financial Services Committee, was critical of the White House decision, claiming that Wagoner was a victim of a double standard:

"Mr. Wagoner has been asked to resign as a political offering despite his having led GM's painful restructuring to date. Mr. Wagoner has honorably resigned for the sake of his company's working families.

When will the Wall Street CEOs receiving TARP funds summon the honor to resign? Will this White House ever bother to raise the issue? I doubt it."

I'm happy to have a Republican focusing on the abysmal and destructive job Wall Street CEOs have done, though Mr. McCotter is a bit late in showing up:

... A Michigan Messenger investigation has found that, in two years of membership on the House Financial Services Committee, McCotter failed to attend a single committee or subcommittee hearing on topics directly related to the current financial crisis.

As a member of the two most important subcommittees -- the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity -- McCotter paid little attention as the financial hurricane gathered and grew.

He did not attend any of 13 committee or subcommittee hearings for which there are transcripts available on issues directly related to the current crisis....

McCotter’s interests seem to lie elsewhere. In the 2007-08 session of Congress, McCotter sponsored resolutions supporting National Dog Bite Prevention Week and the pope’s visit to the United States, and also the establishment of a National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month. He sponsored a resolution to wish hockey star Gordie Howe a happy birthday and submitted a bill to prohibit all government employees from attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics....

In short, McCotter has made no effort to regulate the industries whose massive losses have led to such devastating consequences for the country. Indeed, he scorned the idea of regulation. “Big government doesn’t stop chaos,” he declared in a speech on the House floor [in] December [2007]. “Big government is chaos.” ...

McCotter, by the way, was a signer of the House Republicans' sort-of budget, which called for lowering the top marginal tax rate on high-earners (Including, presumably, most of those CEOs) from 35% to 25%. And he sent a cryptic tweet earlier this month to promote one of his TV appearances:

On Fox Business, how can our economy with the burden of taxation, regulation, and litigation?

(This is either a sentence he never got around to finishing or a mysterious allusion to the equally cryptic art-rock band Yes, which once asked the immortal question "How can the wind with its arms all around me?" McCotter does, in fact, regard himself as somewhat of a rock god.)

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