Who Loves Free Enterprise More?
The presidential debate was essentially framed by Romney around the question of who believes in Profit and Markets most. This is a great tactic for Repubs, putting Dems on the defensive because their love is not pure. Yes they believe...mostly. But they always feel compelled to add a caveat- they half-heartedly insist a couple of things can be done better without being driven by profit, such as education or healthcare. But then they stumble because guess what? Those corporate campaign contributions you were so counting on? Generated by profit. Those small businessmen whose support you need? They worship "free enterprise". They don't want to hear a lot of crap about the public sector. Had the liberal moderator been interested in uncovering some of this underlying ideology, he could have asked something like: What do you think brought about the global economic crisis of Sept. 2008? But of course he has no interest in getting to such a Real level of discourse. He just wanted the Spectacular exchange of "facts" and spin, how much Obamacare costs or saves, how much growth there will be in the economy, who will pay for Medicare blah blah. And across America, partisans cheered or booed their team and talked about who won or lost the competition. Every four years the show is trotted out and I guess there is something reassuring to folks about such regularity and predictability. Like a holiday or birthday or any other ritual, it creates the illusion that there is something solid beneath the shifting sand. I still remain hopeful that a Romney presidency will bring down the facade (legitimacy of the rule of Capital), knowing all the while his free market fundamentalism will be tempered by reality and the Rational business lobby to which he is truly allied. But it might just be he is starting to believe his own rhetoric. He is a Mormon after all!