Friday, March 27, 2009

AIG Bonus Outrage=Fascism?

We have a winner for most hyperbolic defense of AIG: Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal. While many Very Serious People in the establishment media have taken to print and the airwaves to lecture the public on how pointless, unproductive, and even counterproductive rage over the retention bonuses paid to AIG's Financial Products employees (some of whom no longer even work at AIG), Holman Jenkins is the first to nearly break Godwin's Law. At the conclusion of his jeremiad chronicling the veritable slings and arrows of outrageous fortune befalling AIGFP's employees, Jenkins informs us that Andrew Cuomo's investigation into AIG reminds us that "It can happen here." This is a reference to Sinclair Lewis' 1935 work It Can't Happen Here, imagining a fascist takover of the United States at the hands of a charismatic Huey Long-style pol. So anger over the employees of a bankrupt company on government life support receiving millions of dollars of bonuses in taxpayer money is the first step on the road to serfdom? Will Andrew Cuomo ask President Obama to set up FEMA concentration camps in the AIG building? And could the right wing be any more detached from reality?

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