Writing at the U.K. prestigious Daily Telegraph their political commentator Iain Martin basically renounces his original support for Mitt Romney as the best candidate in the Obama/Romney race as declares this is now a one man election. "The spectacular implosion of Mitt Romney means A No Choice Election"
This is of course subsequent to the release of the now infamous "47% video in which, in the opinion of not only the rabid leftist media which is, as one would expect, absolutely slobbering over it, but also numerous conservative luminaries such as William Kristol who suggests Romney stand down
There is no need for me to discuss the tape, for those so inclined the Memeorandum accumulation site has an endless list of critiques etc and Mr. Martin's article gives a concise summary.
What is of real further interest is Mr, Martin's consideration of what might have been the way forward for a less gaffe prone candidate than Mr, Romney. In the concluding part of his article Martin hits on reform of capitalism with particular emphasis on the problem of "crony capitalism".
He then concludes that a candidate who emphasised this reformist attitude whilst being connected in a Reaganite manner with the great mass of Americans would have had the winning formula against President Obama who should have been easily beatable given the current economic situation.
The one potential candidate for this election who had as their theme the exact formula Mr. Martin proposes was of course Sarah Palin. It was she who introduced the term "crony capitalism' into the political discourse and it is she who exemplified the Reaganite common touch-in starkest possible contrast to Mitt Romney.It is this formula which will be the winning one for 2016.
Here is Mr. Martin's summary;
The rise of the Tea Party movement on the right and the Occupy movement on the left were presented as being polar opposite developments. But although they advocated different solutions, they were both taking on big, monopolistic interests: big government, in the Tea Party's case, and big business and finance in the case of Occupy.
Big business and big government are often in bed together, whether it be in the bank bailouts or lobbying for tax breaks which cement advantage.
That is one of the main strands of thinking in a brilliant and important new book by the Italian born American economist Luigi Zingales. In A Capitalism For The People (recapturing the lost genius of American prosperity), he suggests that the language of markets has been stolen and subverted.
Zingales (who was in London last night at the Centre for Policy Studies) has produced a devastating deconstruction of crony capitalism. He issues a rallying cry for open markets. What is needed is proper competition, to serve the consumer, and a dramatic simplification of the tax system to remove the need for big business to spend so much time worrying about trying to influence the government.
In part this echoes the cry of the American progressives from the tail-end of the 19th century and early 20th century, who took on giant monopoly interests such as the Standard Oil Trust (which was eventually broken up). Other targets included J.P. Morgan's rail interests.
In the right hands, an updated agenda of this kind could have been immensely powerful in the current American election, making the case that business and government should serve the interests of the many rather than it being, as it so often is now, the other way round.
President Teddy Roosevelt, the great trust-busting opponent of monopoly and progressive hero of the opening years of the 20th century, would have been the ideal candidate to take such a platform forward. But unfortunately he died in 1919. Leaving the Republicans with Mitt Romney.