“They aggressively got out the base of their base, the base of their base that’s dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs,” Sununu said during a forum with two other Republican former governors, Steve Merrill and Craig Benson, at Concord’s Grappone Conference Center.This matches Romney's own assertions that Obama won because of the "gifts" he promised to the meddlesome voters, though it seems likely that Mitt was just channeling what Sununu and others were telling him, rather than the other way around. It also is part and parcel of the continuing self-congratulatory Republican (well, Randian) thinking that anyone who wants government to do something is a parasite, as opposed to those lofty Republicans who want nothing from government at all, give or take tax breaks, subsidies, access to government programs, for-profit privatization of basic government (and even military) functions, etc., etc., etc. Former Gov. Steve Benson weighs in on that one, from the same forum:
Benson said the GOP could have better connected with voters by making clear the stark differences between Democrats, who “believe in a nanny state,” and Republicans, who believe in the power of the individual to achieve prosperity.Classic. Even down to the "nanny state" reference.
What makes all of this especially ridiculous is that Mitt Romney, the candidate they're all continuing to prop up as the Light and the Way, was a poster child for a financial industry that gets more government assistance than any other group. Government economic goals are set according to what would be good for Wall Street; to achieve that, both Democratic and Republican administrations staff government with top Wall Street players. The sector would not exist in its current form if not for egregiously charitable tax policies (capital gains, cough) crafted specifically for its benefit. The industry has been the beneficiary of constant and massive bailouts, the most recent of which made the bailout of the auto industry look token in comparison. When the Mitt Romneys of the world go to "save" struggling companies, they frequently do so by dumping worker pension commitments, shifting those responsibilities to government programs; when any large company, profitable or not, seeks to build infrastructure, they demand local and state governments carve out tax exemptions for them to do so. And, true to form, Mitt Romney's campaign rallied around the singular message of making sure people like Mitt Romney paid considerably less taxes and were subject to even fewer regulations, because that's the only message the Republican Party, taken as a whole, cares about or can even coherently express.
To reiterate the hypothesis, for the benefit of Mr. Sununu and other dim bulbs: The American financial sector—and a narrow segment of it, consisting primarily of the largest firms—is the single biggest recipient of American government largess, and are in fact so dependent on it that the sector as currently formulated would not even exist if it were not for that largess. They achieve this preferential treatment via the heavy use of lobbying, massive campaign donations to both parties and to other politically-minded groups, and the hiring of ex-politicians who are then paid to rattle on in public about how students getting Pell Grants and the children of unemployed Americans getting a token amount of assistance during a recession in order to keep eating is dooming America through rampant parasitism, and how the only good fix for it all is to end that nonsense and hand over Social Security, Medicare, and all of our tax money to the financial sector so that they can give the rest of us not jobs, but the mere satisfaction of knowing that some unadulterated, gambling-addicted, fabulously wealthy shithead, somewhere, is achieving "prosperity" on our behalf and on our dime.