The Rightwing-Wall Street Alliance to Blunt Economic Reform
By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Attempts to rewrite the history of the economic crisis come in many forms; some come from the reactionary right, others from centrists and the liberal left – but all are pursued in the service of neoliberal corporatism. I’ve written previously on the efforts of right-wingers to blame the housing bubble on “big government” and community activists on the left who sought increased funding for affordable housing. Diatribes from Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Dana Perino, and other right-wingers in recent weeks seek to blame the 2008 collapse, not on Wall Street, but on the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Democrats like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, all of whom pushed homeownership for the poor and working class.
The right’s attacks are strategically timed to coincide with the discussion of Wall Street reform in Washington. As the thinking goes, if government can be effectively blamed for the economic collapse, then Wall Street can stave off long unwanted pressure for regulation and change.
Condemnations of “big government,” however, represent little more than the paranoid fantasies of those with an axe to grind against anyone even remotely linked to “the left.” In this blanket campaign, left radicals like Frances Fox Piven and Robert McChesney are lumped together with corporate socialists like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and blamed for causing America’s current economic downturn (see Glenn Beck’s recent speech to the NRA, and the recent Nation article, “The Mad Tea Party”). more