Newt Gingrich made a name for himself as the right-wing ideologue who led the 1994 "Republican Revolution."
What a difference the collapse of capitalism makes. Forget 9/11--everything changed on Sept. 14, 2008, when Lehman Brothers hit the skids. Millions lost their jobs and the government refused to help them.
The government's masters, the bankers, wouldn't let them. They wanted all that taxpayer money for themselves.
The system was exposed as the corrupt, inefficient, cruel pseudodemocracy that we on the left always knew it was. More than three years have passed, yet neither the political class nor its corporate bosses have found the wherewithal to sate the anger of America's roiling masses.
The rise of the Republican primary season's Anti-Capitalist Brigades is the center ring of this circus of death. At the head of the anti-Mitt Romney cadres is one of Gingrich's well-heeled supporters, who is dropping a cool $3 million on an ad blitz.
"There's a company in The Wall Street Journal today that Bain [Capital, Romney's company] put $30 million into, took $180 million out of and the company went bankrupt," Gingrich said on Jan. 10. "And you have to ask yourself: Was a six-to-one return really necessary? What if they only take $120 million out? Will the company still be there? Will 1,700 families still have a job?"
Good questions all. But the heartless beasts who populate Wall Street venture capital firms don't worry about the blood and tears they leave in their wake.
"I think there's a real difference between people who believe in the free market and people who go around, take financial advantage, loot companies, leave behind broken families, broken towns, people on unemployment," the former speaker continued.
Not much difference. Still, this is a serious slap-the-forehead moment.
He isn't the only Republican candidate attacking capitalism's sacred right to loot and pillage. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who makes his predecessor George W. Bush look like Adlai Stevenson, calls buyout specialists like Romney "vultures" who "swoop in ... eat the carcass, and ... leave the skeleton" of companies they target.
"Gov. Romney enjoys firing people--I enjoy creating jobs," added Jon Huntsman.
These are Republicans? What's up?
Times are changin'. According to polls, communism is more popular than Congress. So why isn't the party of the left jumping on the Wall Street-bashing bandwagon?
Throughout the 2008 campaign and his presidency, President Barack Obama has reassured the 1 percent that he'll look out for its bank accounts. Meanwhile, revolution looms. Why don't the Democrats see it?
It comes down to a simple explanation: Everything has changed but not the Democrats. They've always been slower than the GOP to recognize the shifting winds of American politics.
Both the Dems and the Reps will be left behind. In the meantime, watch the dying Republicans make the most of an agenda that ought to belong to the dying Democrats: bashing the rich and greedy.