The equity sector candidate, Romney, discovers that the political right is largely for sale
Now this (link requires registration):
WASHINGTON, March 10 — In the months before announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts contributed tens of thousands of dollars of his personal fortune to several conservative groups in a position to influence his image on the right … more, much more
Not everyone on the right is for sale–we reported on that too.
But many are. As Shieber of the New Republic argues:
Jay Sekulow is hardly a household name among rank and file Republicans. True, the self-described “messianic Jew” does host a radio show popular among some evangelicals. But his primary claim to fame is the American Center for Law & Justice, an organization he founded to litigate controversial religious-freedom cases. Over the years, Sekulow has won favorable Supreme Court rulings on behalf of everyone from abortion-clinic protestors to student Bible-study groups. These victories have, in turn, landed him in such rarefied company as The National Law Journal’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” and The American Lawyer’s “Public Sector 45”–accolades that don’t necessarily turn heads at a Middle-American potluck but which definitely get you noticed in Washington.
As it happens, Sekulow is also emblematic of the kind of prominent social conservative who’s recently fallen for Mitt Romney … more
If there’s one knock on Romney, then, it’s not that he’s a Mormon, but that he hasn’t sufficiently paid his dues to unite the GOP hierarchy behind him. The combination of a fractured establishment and deep hostility from a key part of the GOP base could be a potential deal-breaker. That’s why you see John McCain, the onetime frontrunner, attacking Romney as a fraud even as he largely gives Giuliani a pass.
But, in a way, McCain is missing the point. The people he has to convince aren’t the people who watch debates on TV. It’s the people who pal around with the candidates backstage. And they already know Romney’s a fraud. They just happen to think, in the words of a certain Focus on the Family patriarch, that “he’s very presidential … more.
Conclusion: the Republican elites know that Romney is a fraud. Even those who support him know that he is a fraud. But “he’s very presidential.”
In our contribution titled Romney and Private Equity; The New Ruling Class we argue:
The new non-capitalists, in the person of Willard Milton Romney, are attempting to enter public life at the top: the equity sector may soon occupy the White House!
And we ask:
- What is the character of this new non-capitalist?
- What does he or she value?
- How does he or she articulate the historical tasks of our era?
The clues are beginning to accumulate; an answer is beginning to form, and it is a sad one—very sad.