Newt Gingrich was ringing the warning bells of alarm while on Fox News that President Obama is creating a dictatorship by imposing regulations on the financial industry. Gingrich was in full conspiracy mode, while claiming that Obama is going to socialize everything.
Hannity’s question was about Obama’s desire to exclude Republicans by using the reconciliation process, but somehow Newt wandered into a jag on liberal fascism. He then topped it off with this, “We are seeing the biggest power grab by politicians in American history. The idea that they would propose that the treasury could intervene and take over non-bank, non-financial system assets gives them the potential to basically create the equivalent of a dictatorship. […] Look, it absolutely moves it towards a political dictatorship.”
Gingrich is going back to an old theme among Republicans. It seems that any popular Democratic president is a dictator. Here is what was said about Bill Clinton’s use of Executive Orders in 2000, “Here we go again. President Clinton continues to circumvent Congress, trampling on Constitutional checks and balances. This is no lame duck president. He can hear the clock winding down, and sensing his imminent departure, he is spending his last months in office ensuring his legacy through the use and abuse of the Executive Order (EO).” Of course let’s point out that these same people had no issue with George W. Bush’s use of Executive Orders and signing statements.
Gingrich mentioned Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism F.D.R.’s presidency was a dictatorship. The idea that Obama is going to take over non-financial assets is stupid. It is hard to believe that he has a dictatorship in mind, when he has refused to nationalize the banks. Republicans are too thick to get that right now, people want more regulation in the financial sector. Heck even Wall Street realizes that the only way this mess will get cleaned up and ponzi schemes and scandals stop is with more government oversight.
Gingrich has intentionally confused the roles of capitalism and democracy. Although they are in constant conflict, regulating capitalism is not the same as restricting democracy. This is something that many Republicans don’t get, which is why the nation goes though cycles of extreme Republican deregulation and then subsequent clean up. Deregulation is good, but it must be done in moderation. Deregulation is not the ideological cure all that Republicans make it out to be.