The old political paradigm into which DC has spent the last many decades cramming the country – is coming apart at the seams.
Busting through, actually. As constituencies jammed into one ideological side or other – are breaking free of their imposed bounds. We are in the midst of a massive, omni-directional realignment. Descriptives and categories that once worked – if they ever did – no longer do.
While things are volatile and in flux, players who were once considered bitter opposites – will more than occasionally find themselves in agreement.
This is only considered inconsistent or hypocritical – by DC denizens trying with both hands to hold together their old template as it bursts outward Big Bang-style.
The political Left has gone through an amazing half-century transformation.
In the 1960s, The Left was vociferously opposed to “Big Brother.” And Big Brother – was Big Government.
The Left had the Free Speech Movement and other efforts – to fight back against government oppression (both real and imagined).
Flash forward to today. The Left is now the political arm of – and the shock troops for – Big Government. The bigger – the better. And government now – is exponentially bigger now than it was then.
Imagine a reworking of the Stanley Kubrick cinematic classic:
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big Brother”
And of course, the Left has all along the way loathed business of any size or kind.
Unless it’s really Big Business – and really Big Business is giving the Left massive amounts of money. At which point the Left becomes the political arm of – and shock troops for – Big Business.
(See – amongst many other examples: The Left’s doing the bidding of Big Business Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and many others – when it came to the very stupid Internet policy stupidly known as Network Neutrality.)
Meanwhile, the political Right has been the side siding with business. And – oft tepidly and tamely – trying to minimize the damage government did to business.
But as the last half century unfolded, government grew – and mega-companies sprung into existence. Including a great many Big Tech companies – almost all of the hard Left persuasion.
As government’s power shot through the stratosphere and beyond – so too did the allure for Big Business to bribe Big Government to bend the latter to the former’s will.
The federal government spends $4 trillion per year. And prior to the advent of the deregulatory Donald Trump Administration – regulated at a cost of $2 trillion per year.
That’s $6 trillion per annum of just federal government muscle. Flexed over a nation of 320 million people – whose entire economic output is $18 trillion.
Big Businesses saw what a powerful crony Big Government could be – and started bribing their way in. Creating an unholy alliance between two massive forces – the old DC paradigm pigeonholed as enemies.
Big Businesses – like Amazon (Market Cap: $808 billion).
Depending upon at which stock market day you look, Amazon is somewhere between the first and fifth largest company on Planet Earth. Its founder, Jeff Bezos – is the world’s richest man. (That is, until his divorce goes through.)
And Bezos has been using his Big Business’ massive money – to buy Big Government. And utterly unsurprisingly – it has worked like a charm. Over and over and over again.
Wouldn’t that be great? So too would be a unicorn in every garage – and a free range chicken in every pot.
“Amazon announced a national beauty contest, in which North American cities could apply to win the honor of landing the retailer’s second headquarters. The prize: 50,000 employees and the glory of housing an international tech giant.
“The cost? Just several billion dollars in tax incentives and a potential face-lift to the host city. Then last week, in a classic late-episode shock, several news outlets reported that Amazon would split its second headquarters between Crystal City, a suburban neighborhood near Washington, D.C., and Long Island City, in Queens, New York.”
Amazon gets government cronyism via regulations that help them and hurt their relatively competitors. They get it via tax break handouts. They get it via crony rates for government services.
Amazon gets crony government favoritism in ways more numerous than the stars in the sky.
And of course – Big Government hands out Big Contracts. Does Amazon get crony consideration for them? Is water wet?
“The deal…’opens up Amazon Business to orders from more than 90,000 education institutions and government entities’ that form part of US Communities’ membership.’”
And here’s some breaking news – from January 5th:
“Amazon’s technology has been chosen for a key Cabinet Office initiative, The Daily Telegraph understands, throwing doubt over the department’s claims it has made it easier for small businesses to win government contracts.”
Big Government keeps rewarding Big Crony Business Amazon. Again, and again, and again, and….
And now prospectively looms – the biggest crony payoff yet.
Now we on the Right have all along the way been loudly and vociferously protesting these Amazon crony dominoes falling. Including this huge Defense Department deal-to-be.
Because we want businesses operating independently of government – not with government in crony, anti-free market fashion.
What’s interesting is, the accumulation of Big Government-Big Business Amazon cronyism is piled so high – the Left is now protesting too. This is an inadvertent, accidental mini-flashback to the Left’s 1960s heyday – when they rightly viewed Big Brother as a major problem.
Behold uber-Left Mother Jones:
“After a drawn-out battle over a $10 billion contract, the cloud-computing company Oracle filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that the Pentagon rigged a major contracting process in favor of Amazon….
“Of the major revelations in the Oracle lawsuit, the most damning is evidence that the Defense Department allowed multiple department staffers with previous ties to Amazon Web Services to manipulate proposal requirements for the contract for a major new cloud-computing network, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, known by the acronym JEDI.
“According to the lawsuit, the department put two staffers, Deap Ubhi and Anthony DeMartino, in key positions on the project despite their previous connections to the company. Oracle alleges that their access to technical information from competitors accrued during this process allowed them to shape the request for proposal so that only AWS fit the needs of the contract. Oracle has asked the court to intervene to stop the award process until these conflicts of interest can be more thoroughly investigated.”
Behold uber-Left Vanity Fair:
“The deal for an obscure $10 billion Pentagon contract suggests the extent to which Jeff Bezos is gobbling up the swamp….
“Amazon’s high-ranking connections in the Pentagon underscore how Jeff Bezos continues to wield influence in Washington….
“(W)hen JEDI was issued, on the day Congress recessed for the summer, the deal appeared to be rigged in favor of a single provider: Amazon. According to insiders familiar with the 1,375-page request for proposal, the language contains a host of technical stipulations that only Amazon can meet, making it hard for other leading cloud-services providers to win—or even apply for—the contract.”
Behold the uber-Left Wired:
“This already short list (of prospective providers) is only made shorter by the Pentagon’s insistence on awarding the JEDI contract to a single company; most contracts of its size are split among several vendors. In their protests, both Oracle and IBM argued that the DOD’s insistence on awarding the multi-billion contract to one bidder would stifle innovation and pose a huge security risk by giving would-be attackers a single large entity to target….
“The Pentagon argues that hiring multiple companies would be more complicated, costly, and less secure. But few industry experts and companies outside of the DOD and Amazon agree. Using multiple vendors is considered more reliable, as it reduces the risk of a total failure if one has a freak outage or vulnerability. It also would allow the department to make use of the expertise of several providers, rather than relying on a single entity to know everything.”
Behold uber-Left Fortune:
“Amazon.com Inc. set its second consecutive quarterly record on spending to influence U.S. policy makers in the third quarter as it competed for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with the Pentagon.”
Behold uber-Left Sludge:
“As Amazon pursues a giant government contract to provide cloud computing services to the Department of Defense, the company’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, and his wife have reportedly given their biggest political donation yet….
“The donations to WHF from Bezos and his family will benefit former employees of the Defense Department, something that DoD officials and politicians from both parties will likely appreciate.”
Behold the newly forming DC paradigm.
The Right’s ongoing aversion to Big Government. And its growing aversion to Big Business – vis a vis Big Government.
The Left’s ongoing aversion to Big Business. And its re-growing aversion to Big Government – vis a vis Big Business.
This is most likely two political ships passing in the night.
But passing they are.
And it’s a new thing for DC.
This first appeared in Red State.