Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why Progressives Oppose the Geithner Bank Plan

Glenn Greenwald has a hilariously hubristic post up harrumphing the left's "superior" principles in opposing the Obama administration's policies. That's in contrast, of course, to how the "lock-step" conservative-right laid down in submission to the Bush administration's every power grab:

Over the last month, the Obama administration has made numerous decisions in the civil liberties area that are replicas of some of the most controversial and radical actions taken by the Bush administration, and the most vocal critics of those decisions by far were the very same people – ostensibly on "the Left" - who spent the last several years objecting to the same policies as part of the Bush administration’s radicalism. Identically, many of Obama's most consequential foreign policy decisions - in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan - have been criticized by many on the Left. Opposition to Obama’s bank bailout plan is clearly being driven by liberal economists, pundits and bloggers, and much of the criticism over the AIG debacle came from liberals as well. There was pervasive liberal criticism over some of Obama's key appointments, including Tom Daschle, John Brennan and Tim Geithner. That's more independent progressive thinking in two months than the "conservative movement" exhibited with regard to Bush in six years.
Yeah. Right.

One would hope Greenwald might provide a few links to all of those on "the Left" who are so vigorously opposing the new administration's "consequential foreign policy" decisions. As far as I can tell, the criticisms, on Afghanistan for example, are more about the Bush administration getting us involved in the first place than about Obama's babbling incoherence since taking office (Matthew Yglesias is a case in point).

But on the Geithner plan, the left is not opposing Obama because of any "massive expansion of government." In fact, it's the opposite.
As James Pethokoukis shows, the left is upset because Obama's not doing enough to reward the progressives with more big government programs:

Liberals are mad that private investment funds are involved. Many liberals speak scornfully of the so-called "hedge fund Democrats" such as Chuck Schumer who are pro-Wall Street and pro-globalization. The whole Geithner plan, in that it uses private investment money, smells like a creation of the hedge fund Democrats to make fat profits for their campaign contributors with little risk. Profits are privitized and risk is socialized. And why should Wall Street, which caused the problem, they argue, profit from fixing it? The big stock market rally only emphasized the point.


Liberals are mad Uncle Sam won't get all the profits. I think this is the big one. Liberals aren't worried that the Geithner Plan won't work. They're worried it will. See, when the Paulson Plan came out last September, the Bush White House insisted the scheme would eventually make money for the government since it was buying all these artificially undervalued, distressed assets that would one day rise in price. Former hedge fund manager Andy Kessler agreed, and publicly estimated that the $700 billion toxic asset buy could generate more than $2 trillion for the government. A few days later, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was already spending that dough in an effort to "green the bailout", insisting the profits from the Paulson Plan be invested in a "smart transmission grid or mass transit." But the Geithner Plan splits the profits 50-50, and the government's share may further be eroded by $750 billion in new capital injections. Not much money left over for a Green New Deal.
So, Glenn Greenwald can just shut up. Every political constituency wants more for their cause. The right supported an expansion of state power to protect Americans. The left wants an expansion of state power to expropriate Americans. And that's the real "meaningful difference between the 'conservative movement' and many progressives."


Anonymous said...

Wow are you a dipshit. I can't believe they let you teach.

Anonymous said...

Wow mantis is a genius. I can't believe how he debunked your every argument. /sarc

Ema Nymton said...


American Power,

"The right supported an expansion of state power to protect Americans..."? Can one say warrant-less searches, disappearing unarmed citizens of USA while in USA, and electronic eavesdropping (all American Power approved actions) protects Americans from whom?

"The left wants an expansion of state power to expropriate Americans..." It was not the 'left' who cheered loudly when shrub and Co. shredded habeas corpus protections under the Constitution.

"the real "meaningful difference between the 'conservative movement' and many progressives" is that the conservative movement is busy rewriting their failed attempts at ruling while the progressives are trying to government.

"So, Glenn Greenwald can just shut up."?


Pat said...

What amuses me is that when he says conservatives said disagreeing with the president was unpatriotic, what did he link? A Joe Lieberman speech from 2005. That noted conservative, Joe Lieberman (who got a lower score from the American Conservative Union than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in 2008). But Greenwald's swallowed so much of the Lefty Koolaid that he probably thinks Lieberman's a right-winger.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. When liberals do something it is principled. When conservatives do the same thing it is because Rush or Bush forced the mindless dolts to do it. It all boils down to liberals being 1000% better than conservatives and conservatives being religious Dark Ages idiots...or so a progressive will say.

Anonymous said...

This guy's a teacher? I feel sorry for his students.

Anonymous said...

The re-emergence of anonymous, hit-and-run comments by trolls on this and other conservative blogs is a sign that the Petulant Left is frightened by Obama's popularity going into virtual free fall.

Anonymous said...

Akatsukami, how are you anything more than anonymous?