Another Right Wing Fantasy About Liberalism And The Economy

It is amusing to see how the right wing tries to rationalize facts which differ from the false narrative they spread about the left, falsely claiming that most liberal groups are anti-business and pro-socialism. If they act this shocked about the policies of the Obama administration, when corporations are seeing record profits and the stock market is at record levels, imagine their shock if someone who really is far left was ever elected. Powerline has posted a rather bizarre attack on the Center for American Progress and their blog Think Progress.

Think Progress is a center-left blog which concentrates on accumulating multiple links and facts to support liberal positions. They have had a number of posts recently on problems faced by the working poor, but regardless of where one stands on this issue, it is hardly an all-out attack on capitalism. A relatively centrist support for continuation of most aspects of our economic system, while promoting some reforms, is not surprising in light of the donors to the organization. John Hinderaker’s spin:

The Center for American Progress is a left-wing organization that is closely associated with the Obama administration. Its principal product is a web site called Think Progress. Think Progress is part of the internet cesspool that modern liberalism has become. Written by hack left-wing bloggers, it is bitterly hostile to free enterprise. It is a low-rent site that traffics in the most absurd smears and conspiracy theories. Many have wondered for some years who finances far-left web sites like Think Progress. As of today, we know at least part of the answer, as CAP released its corporate donor list for the first time.

CAP says that individuals and foundations account for more than 90% of its funding, and corporations only around 6%. It would be interesting to see the individual and foundation donor list; my guess is that left-wing foundations, most of which spend money left by dead conservatives, would loom large. But what corporations fund Think Progress’s anti-free enterprise propaganda? The full list is here; it includes:

* Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, one of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists.
* American Iron and Steel Institute
* America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP
* Apple Inc.
* AT&T
* Bank of America
* Blackstone, one of the largest multinational private equity firms
* Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
* Citigroup
* The Coca-Cola Company
* Comcast NBCUniversal
* CVS Caremark Inc.
* Eli Lilly and Company
* Facebook
* GE
* Goldman Sachs
* Google
* Japan Bank for International Cooperation
* Microsoft Corporation
* Northrop Grumman, defense contractor
* PepsiCo
* Samsung
* Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States
* Time Warner Inc.
* Walmart
* Wells Fargo

There are some far left blogs which actually are a cesspool, are hostile to free enterprise, contain smears, and/or contain conspiracy theories. In other words, in many ways some far left blogs are comparable to blogs of the far right (except that far more blogs on the far right are a cesspool of irrationality). Think Progress hardly fits into this category, but as most conservatives are unlikely to do any fact-checking or read Think Progress, I imagine Hinderaker can get away with writing whatever he wishes on his blog.

A reasonable person might see this list and conclude that the American left is not really hostile to either free-enterprise or corporate America. Hinderaker’s interpretation is that “CAP’s disclosure is a timely reminder that large corporations are not, in general, supporters of free enterprise. Many of them love to partner with government to suppress innovation and competition.” There is certainly some truth to this. Corporations, along with most people in the real world, realize that many aspects of the far right’s view of the economy do not work in the real world. To a certain degree it is also likely a case of corporations contributing to both sides of the political spectrum in the hopes of getting what they want from government. Amusingly, Hinderaker promotes the Koch brothers as some sort of exception, buying their public statements in support of laissez faire capitalism while ignoring how the Koch brothers, like most businessmen, have taken advantage of government to boost their profits. For the right wing, where rhetoric trumps both principles and facts, it is commonly how you say something or who you are aligned with as opposed to what you really support which counts.