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Twit Tyranny: How to Understand Rachel Maddow’s Liberal Fascism (True Twit, Part 9)

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Posted on March 30 2011 12:00 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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The protesters in Michigan and Wisconsin that Rachel Maddow has been giving the True Twit Thumbs Up to lately on her TV show like to carry signs that call governors Rick Snyder and Scott Walker fascists, put Hitler mustaches on them, and give interviews that say “This is how Nazi Germany started.”

Hopefully, those aren’t history teachers…

While it might not be particular to fascism to say so, Rachel’s constant harping that tax cuts to business is the same as “spending” on them, certainly displays a totalitarian impulse when it comes to your money—and one that is certainly consistent with fascism.  It assumes that whatever income you get to keep is at the good graces of Big Government.

MADDOW: He is giving it away in the form of $1.8 billion in corporate tax cuts.  He is taking in $1.7 billion in higher taxes from poor people an old people and giving it away, $1.8 billion to businesses!

Giving… not taking.. tomato tomahtoe…

But Rachel keeps sniping that Governor Snyder is giving “tax breaks” to business (as if any sane person had any choice besides lowering the nation’s most repressive business tax rate in a state with the highest unemployment) while “taxing the old and the poor.”

But it’s also true that Rick Snyder wants to spend money on business, and in a way that meets a purely economic definition of fascism—but the primary example is on a project Detroit Democrats are desperate to promote.

First, let’s get this out of the way.  Taking less is not spending.  Taking less is not fascism, either.  The reason the most famous fascist party was called the National Socialist Party is not because it took less money from anyone, or exercised less control on anything.

However, unlike total Marxist socialism, fascism can be content with merely controlling the means of production, sometimes by an amalgam of government and big business.  Today, we give them the sunny name of “public-private partnerships.”  Sometimes it’s called crony capitalism.  I prefer corporate welfare.

A governor who is from the business community, before he makes cuts to education, needs to be able to say, “Look I cut the freebies for my crowd first.”  But Snyder, who originally said in his budget that he was going to “cut” the state’s slush fund for picking winners and losers in the business world to $50 million from the $200 million Jennifer Granholm routinely spent for no results, now tells the Detroit news he may need more.

But perhaps the most controversial—and head scratching—example of this, is the Detroit River International Crossing, or DRIC.  The DRIC is a $5 billion bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, to compete with the privately owned Ambassador Bridge.  (And judging by the new census numbers, Canadians should start calling this the “bridge to nowhere.”)

It is true that the crossing needs an upgrade, but the owner of the Ambassador Bridge wants to build a new span privately. But the governor, egged on by Detroit business roundtable types, is determined to have taxpayers foot the bill.

Partly because the Michigan Department of Transportation wants the $500 million the Canadians have offered to put up– and because of the perverse incentives of government, that money can be used for federal matching grants, which also makes them drool– and because of the usual inflated jobs creation numbers every big government construction project promises, a Republican governor is competing with a private company.  It probably doesn’t hurt that one of the biggest Republican consultants and lobbying firms is advocating for DRIC, either.

Last year, Detroit Democrats loaded up the DRIC legislation with tons of local pork development projects and it was killed in the Republican Senate.  But now, with our “businessman” governor, it’s back.

Obamacare with its mandates to use private insurance and myriad regulatory controls is really more akin to fascism than socialism.  The GM and Chrysler takeovers and screwing over the bondholders by fiat of the Executive smacks of fascism; while things like subsidizing wind farms and electric cars over their competitors are merely flirting with it.

The protesters, however, are not out yelling about anything that meets the real definition of fascism.  I bet most of them LOVE forcing people to pay for wind farms.

Whether cutting education funding is wise or not, it meets no logical definition of fascism.  I’m pretty sure the first thing Hitler did was not decrease the German state’s investment in its schools.  I’m especially confident he did nothing that would make non-state schools increase their competitive advantage vs. the state-funded institutions.

And while a public school system is not fascism (though a national one would make me really uncomfortable, and increasing federal involvement gets us close to the definition) even Republicans seem to want to propose a “one size fits all” standard for kids, rather than increase the choices available to students within the publicly funded system.

Now if the protesters wanted to scream THAT was fascistic… well, they would be wrong, but at least in the ballpark.

So here’s what you can bank on.  Anything the protesters call fascism, isn’t.  Anything Rachel is campaigning for… much more likely to be.

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