Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich got together to discuss the Obama administration’s new financial system oversight and regulation plan. Naturally, Hannity was particularly outraged, bringing out his tired old trope that it “moves America down the road to socialism.”
Hannity then asked Gingrich to “explain” to his audience “how dangerous this power grab is.” Instead of using the standard, well worn-out and relatively benign “socialism” charge, this time, Gingrich raised the stakes and painted the plan in particularly frightening terms — “dictatorship”:
GINGRICH: 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.
Scary. However, the plan’s actual goal is to “restore faith in the financial system” and institute new regulations to ensure the “healthy function of financial markets and the steady flow of money to borrowers” — not create a dictatorship.
Moreover, don’t be afraid when Gingrich says the plan calls for the government to “intervene and take over non-banks” and “non-financial assets.” This doesn’t mean your local grocery store. This aspect of the plan is actually referring to AIG, which is technically a “non-bank” because it sells insurance. Yet lack of regulation of AIG’s derivatives and credit default swaps trading is a major cause of the current financial crisis and something Obama’s plan will address.
As has been demonstrated time and again, the right wing has nothing to offer but demonizing attacks on progressive policies. Seeing that Gingrich has escalated the game to “dictatorship,” what will be next?