Categorized | Opinion

Christopher C. Horner: Will the Real Crony Capitalist Please Stand Up?

In a piece at Big Government, Christopher C Horner discusses Governor Palin’s Indianola speech in which she castigated the entrenched political class — of both parties — for their rampant crony capitalism.  The media, Horner points out, immediately took this as a swipe against Rick Perry.  In so doing, they conveniently ignored the biggest practitioner of crony capitalism: Barack Obama:

That Perry, like it seems most politicians, has some things to answer for on this front seems hardly enough to neuter Obama’s awful exposure to the charge (see, e.g., his many waivers from ObamaCare going 50% to union members who only represent about 7% of the workforce, as well as “Obama’s Enron“, the $535 million green jobs boondoggle Solyndra).

It is axiomatic that crony capitalism and similar corruption is rampant, in many forms, among businesses that would not exist but-for largesse transferred to them, by politicians, from taxpayers. Such industries, and the practice of propping them up in the name of one or another fads or theories, invite this.

The increasingly popular “green jobs” schemes — the White House claims more than $80 billion of the $800-plus billion ’stimulus’ went to these, whatever their  definition encompasses — are therefore rife with moral hazard. After all, they exist for reasons other than their economic s or their merit; their pitch is “unless you give me this preference, mandate or bag of money why, I’ll disappear”.


Now on to Obama. Instead of building a stadium to relocate a team, Obama’s approach, as best embodied by his “green jobs stimulus” — or “targeted infrastructure investments in clean energy” as the new euphemism has it — is more like city leaders deciding that while fans would probably go to football games and sustain a new industry in town, well, football’s too violent. What sporting citizens really ought to want is a Women’s Professional  Jai Alai franchise, which some of the city council’s financial backers heard from their European friends is the wave of the future.

An even more accurate analogy to the bizarre philosophy propping up “new technologies” like wind- and solar-powered electricity — both commercialized in the 1890s — would be professional Jai Alai for near-sighted arthritic ladies of a certain age. But, the point shines through regardless.

So yes, Rick Perry has used taxpayer dollars in ways I disapprove of. Maybe more than I know. I sadly expect he would do it again on some level in Washington, given that’s what politicians do when given access to power and trillions of dollars. As P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, it’s like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. It is a principal reason why I cannot get excited about politicians. And I will continue to work against this.

But, for Obama supporters in the media and elsewhere to utter a word about this — seeking to protect their guy — is breathtaking. Are they unaware of what is going on, claiming equivalence with the near-systemic corruption we see with Obama’s union sops and ”green jobs” scams?

Maybe Rick Perry isn’t the one to raise this. Someone had better. It will bankrupt us. Sarah Palin can do us all a world of good by forcing an open debate.

Read Horner’s entire piece here. Governor Palin’s decision to highlight the corrupt and increasingly prevalent practice of crony capitalism in our nation’s capital is astute.  Even the Wall Street Journal is acknowledging that her highlighting of this issue has exposed a "big gap in the 2012 GOP field".  A gap which she adroitly created herself…and one she is uniquely positioned to fill.

(h/t Jules)

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  • Jen4Palin

    I think when people hear "capitalist" they automatically dismiss Obama as a possibility.

    • Nativevoice +

      They shouldn’t Jen because the Obamas have gain millions of dollars of wealth from us. He is the rich he keeps talking about. Him, Pelosi, Reid and others are millionaires from serving in congress.

  • DesertFox

    We the people just need to keep pounding the message that Palin sent out: crony capitalism and the permanent political class in D.C.  Obama, Perry, and Romney, they are different varieties of the same stinky "more of the same", "business as usual."

  • friskyness

    The media is one of the "cronies" that benefit from Obama.  Why do you think the newspapers haven’t bankrupted yet, or that MSNBC can survive on such low ratings. They all get money from Obama.  All these "Obama" people don’t care about his policies as long as he pays their bills. Its’ disgusting and only the American voter can stop this and Obama.

    • c4pfan


  • gwspfan

    "Maybe Rick Perry isn’t the one to raise this. Someone had better. It will bankrupt us. Sarah Palin can do us all a world of good by forcing an open debate"

    Sarah is the only one in the roster that has the ability to raise this issue and the only completely vetted and honest candidate out there. Yes, she can "do us a wonder of good by forcing an open debate" but she could do much more by announcing and running. At pivotal points in our country’s history God gave us leaders like Washignton, Lincoln, Reagan and now I believe he has provided us with Sarah. Let us hope the country is able to recognize her unique talents and abilities that seem to have been tailor made for the situation we are now in.

    • Leroy Whitby

      I think the crony capitalism approach guts the LEFT support of Obama even into the hearts of the 20% strong supporters of Obama. They ALL retreat to hatred of corporations as a primary understanding on the left. Galbraith is one of the few intellectuals whose ideas are still sort of standing and he was all about hating the corporate form. Obama’s crony capitalism violates the left’s RELIGION. : )

      • smokedaddy

        Good point. Not that the left is about to pull the Republican lever, but campaigning on the issue will simultaneously appeal to Tea Partiers, Independents, and demoralize the leftists. All while distinguishing Sarah from Perry, and some of the others too.

  • Dagobomb

    May be a bit off topic here. Our crony capitalist-in-chief has a distinct pose similar to one of histories crony capitalists. Notice how he turns his head to the left with his chin in the air? Now go on you tube and look at speeches given by Benito Mussolini doing the same thing.

  • Bill Steward

    Citing Obama as being guilty of Crony Capitalism was a given.. I think the reason Perry’s association with Crony Capitalism made more headlines is because of Sarah Palin’s record of cleaning up Government, irregardless of party.. We have ample politicians ready and willing to go to Washington and sling mud at their rivals while winking at their own party’s indiscretions.. What we need is a Sarah Palin who’s willing to go to Washington and actually clean up BOTH sides of Pelosi’s proverbial swamp… I’m so tired of Republicans who feel it’s only deplorable when a Democrat applies socialistic policies, only to excuse a fellow Republican when they apply those same socialistic policies.. The answer is Sarah-Palin-2012

    • wodiej

      amen, well said.

  • Quiet_Righty
  • Pete Petretich

    I like the quote from PJ O’Rourke!

    I can easily see him as part of an irreverent libertarian phalanx (including Steve Forbes and Ron Paul and others) forming up to boost our Sarah. There are many ways this phalanx might converge aside from simple and blatant "endorsements" which may or may not be effective.

    The war for hearts, minds, and ideas always precedes mere endorsements.

    • lanahi

      Since they can’t win, Sarah is the next best thing for them if they want to get some libertarian policies put into place.  She has a libertarian streak along with her conservatism.  Ron Paul says he will not start a third party run.  He probably wouldn’t endorse anyone either, but at least he won’t be in Sarah’s way past the primaries.


    You don’t mess with the Guv……never!

  • wodiej

    She’s got a tiger by the tail and she’s going to win this one.  Americans are tired of the cronyism and paybacks and they know now that both sides do it.  The only place to turn is the Tea Party and Gov. Sarah Palin.  

  • Rich Hahn

    I’m surprised Romney’s name never comes up.  It’s certainly not the little guys funding his campaign. So what do all his rich contributors expert in return for their donations?

  • porttopalin

    The brilliance of Palin’s spech was to subtly link Perry to crony capitalism by directly going after Obama. This not only separates her from present day politicians, but G. W. Bush as well. As evidence from her personal emails and overall record of reform, she can say with absolute certitude that she is not a corporatist in the vernacular of Rick Perry. Gov. Palin is not tilting at windmills. She can back up her claims and own this issue. 
    Horner, an energy expert, has been at the forefront of Obama’s green jobs charade. So I see his point, and to a degree there is difference in Perry’s approach. He wooed big business by throwing money or incentivizing that company, but in the end those companies will create jobs and pay taxes. Fair play or not Horner can reconcile that approach.
    But Palin has a better way. The elimination of corporate taxes suppresses the appetite for collusion … aka Gardasil, a Perry campaign contributor. Suddenly businesses are left to their own devices, but it won’t be the American taxpayer who falls on the sword should they run into trouble. 
    Obama always intended to tear down an industry and replace it with another … whether we liked it or not. You can’t impose your will of green jobs after your bundler hands you a campaign check. That’s precisely what happened with Solyndra, the now bankrupt solar panel company. Let us not forget the 1,400 or so wavers relating to Obamacare. But the most insidious part of Obama’s corporate cronyism to publicly force feed solar energy and windmills down our throats while destroying coal or any other fossil fuel source that doesn’t comport with his false narrative of clean energy. Think about how many jobs these indices would have created? And it wouldn’t have cost the American taxpayer one red cent.

    • Ed from justice

      Porttopalin……. how inciteful… I wish I could have put my thoughts down the way you did.  My wife always says " Ed you don’t have many original thoughts, but you can rip off the best"  I am going to read this over and over and memorize it and when I get a chance, I will rip it off and present it to people I hope I can get to help me get Sarah to the White House.  Thanx

    • lanahi

      Sarah wants government OUT of it and gives us hope that we can do this! We will need a decent congress to help do it, but Sarah will lead the charge.

      Has anyone thought about running for elected office themselves? We need a host of conservatives in office at all levels.

  • Jack Franklin

    Remember the original movie Rocky? Recall the part where Rocky is beating the hell out of a side of beef in a meat cooler while on a TV newscast. At the same time, Apollo Creed (the world champion Rocky is training to fight), is cutting some big business deal while his trainers are watching the newscast of Rocky.  Apollo’s team is watching the intensity of Rocky and tell their champ, "hey, you better check this guy out."  Apollo ignores them because he does not take Rocky as a serious threat since he is just some schmuck from the streets of Philadelphia.  For anyone who has never seen this film (if you have, go see it again anyway) there are sooooo many parallels going on today.  Ironically, this film itself was a sleeper from an unknown (Sylvester Stallone) that caught fire all over the country and became an icon of inspiration for all underdogs to this day. Check it out!

  • Leroy Whitby

    Palin will correct the error of not mentioning Obama’s crony capitalism every day between today and November 2012.

    • auntielibmt

      I think she mentioned it very succinctly – "Crony capitalism on steroids"

  • Pamela Rich Lineberry

    Just read where Michele Bachmann is losing her top two staff members.  Sounds like campaign money problems to me!

  • Burke2

    Thank you, Doug, and thank you, Christopher Horner.  It is outrageous and laughable the way the media has twisted Gov. Palin’s attack of crony capitalism to mean a not-too-subtle attack of Perry.  Our entire system is soaked in cronyism on both sides of the aisle and has been for a long while now. It is the most important issue of our day.  Perry is the tiny tip of a mammoth iceberg.  Sarah Palin has been fighting cronyism and corruption her entire career.  Reducing the significance of her clear-headed and courageous agenda as a way to get at Perry is pathetic.

    • lanahi

      I love it…it can fit MOST candidates and politicians!  Hope the voters look at all of them and see the crony capitalists in them all!  What a beautiful tactic…creating the issue herself and showing the voters what to look for in vetting them. She will have much less work to do herself this way!

      Sarah is an incredible teacher. She teaches the media, the other candidates, the establishment, and the voters…wherever she can!

  • smokedaddy

    Sarah is once again showing her political chops by making this an issue. This is Perry’s one weakness, but yes, she’d do well to specifically cite the numerous instances of cronyism with respect to Obama. This will force the media to cover this stuff and highlight Sarah’s own sterling record on the issue. With respect to Perry, a light touch would be best. Point out that Perry’s cronyism pales in comparison to Obama’s but is still a problem.

  • 4rcane

    obama also gave billions in loan to some oil company in Brazil

    • susiepuma

      Yeah and Soros was heavily invested in that company – as soon as the money was given – soros sold his shares……………………… funny how that works….

  • Kimberly Petrich

    Horner, is right, and this is WHY this tact will be so successful! She will run against crony capitalism in the primary and defeat her opponents, AND she will run against crony capitalism in the general against Obama, when the media CAN"T focus on Perry, Romney, et al. as the targets of her broadsides! It is the PERFECT line of attack, she will avoid the usual problem of having to adjust her message from the primary to the general, and thus cannot be tripped up by her own past battles in the primary! She is a brilliant tactician! (She also happens to be entirely RIGHT that everyone is focusing on the symptoms, (debt, deficits, etc,) when the ROOT of ALL of those symptoms IS crony capitalism! Way to go Sarah!

  • PattyinMD

    I think Sept 17th. Constitution day. Note all the tour stops to founding locations? the archives and Philly.  Handing out copies of the constitution.  It is only a couple weeks. 9-11 tenth anniversary stuff will be happening next weekend. She would not get enough bang and control of the news cycle if it happened this week. 

  • gwspfan

    I think she wants to wait until Perry and the others have their debates, there are 3 or 4 in as many weeks this month, so they can bloody each other and and knock each other out. I have read Bachmann has been studying up on Perry’s spending and deficits in Texas and she will be targeting him in the debate. Mini-me really has no choice since he has sucked all the oxygen out of her race. Of course, she has been doing a good job of that herself. I know I would want to watch the debates and take notes while they ding each other and others inevitably drop out of the race. I believe he will start getting some pretty bad press not long after the attacks from the other candidates in the debates happen. I hope someone brings up the letter Perry wrote to the Clintons singing his support of government health care and asked them to please not forget his constituents in Texas ! He pledged any and all support to get HllaryCare passed. IMO this is a serious nail in Perry’s coffin despite the media having downplayed it so far.


    I think Sarah wants to wait till Obama’s big  " jobs initiative" speech….she should get some good stuff from that. ;)

  • cardinalmike

    She has created a lot of good momentum this weekend.  I am interested in seeing what is next.

    I assume she is headed back to Alaska because I have not read anything to the contrary.  I wish she would keep this "mo" going but alas, I think not at this time.

    The one interesting thing to me is that her bus was in Iowa.  She flew to Iowa; flew to New Hampshire; and I guess flying back to Alaska.  Why the bus in Iowa?

    Any thoughts, Palinistas?

  • wodiej

    I’m not surprised by Iowan hand wringing when they still have a caucus to vote instead of voting machines.  for cryin’ out loud-divide into groups and then hold up your hand for the candidate you want-what are they-still in grade school? cripes, do us all a favor and get with the program of the 21st century.  If you want to be the first in line to vote, then act like you deserve it.

  • Leroy Whitby

    No matter what Palin does the LSM and the hacks for Obama, Soros, Perry and Romney will be hassling her. With each passing day things will be clearer. Will Perry do well in the debate? Will Romney? Will Bachman? 

    Palin ignored the bums rush to get her into the race with other people’s timing foremost and immediately after Perry broke his word not to enter the race. Now she’s got the benefit of that. If one of the existing candidates becomes more dominant, she’s the alternative. If Perry and Romney fall, she steps in as a Brobdingnagian in Lilliput. Either way it’s better than just stepping in now I think.

  • lanahi

    You know that she has said she’d announce in September…is that too long for you?  Two or three weeks?  What are you talking about…external or private signs of a run?  It is apparent to all who has watched her, don’t you think? 
    Keep telling everyone who is getting concerned…she gave us the timetable and will stick to it.

  • cardinalmike

    I was told on another thread that they are going to celebrate Constitution Day on Friday, September 16th.  That also happens to be my birthday.

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I would be to get Sarah’s announcement as a B-Day present!

  • Rightmindedmom

    Mine is the 17th — Constitution Day — but if she announces on Friday the 16th, I’ll consider it an early birthday present!

    So, Happy Birthday, cardinalmike.  For both our sakes, and more importantly, for America’s sake, I hope she declares on that day.

  • lanahi

    I doubt she will get much OPEN hassling from any of the other candidates.  Gosh, if I were one of the other candidates, I’d think twice, wouldn’t you?  It sure didn’t go over well when MBs staff started it.  Seems like they pay a price for it, and Sarah doesn’t even cause it!

  • Leroy Whitby

    True. The declared candidates will have to be careful I think in the way they attack Palin.

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