For years they’ve been the best of buddies. Soul mates. Like peas and carrots. But, now, they’ve had a falling out…followed by blows being struck.
Reaching into the treasury in Washington and pulling out a wad of other people’s money to give to your friends is as old an American tradition as apple pie.
Back before the Civil War, Congressmen in the Western and Northern states got together to take money from people in the South (with tariffs) to build ‘internal improvements’ (like roads) in the West and protect textile mills in New England.
During the Gilded Age, Congressmen from just about everywhere voted to give cash and land and subsidies to railroad tycoons.
Today, Democrats, like Obama, give cash to their friends like Solyndra and Republicans do the same with their friends. More prickly, no matter how much you love Social Security and Medicare there’s no avoiding the awkward fact that, in all likelihood, mom’s going to get more money back from Social Security than she ever paid in and the difference is going to be paid with other people’s money.
The same malady – corporate subsidies – led to the ultra-right-wing-Koch Brothers-Art Pope-funded-Americans for Prosperity’s falling out with the ultra-right wing Republican State Senate led by Phil Berger.
The rumbling started when the Senate voted to take hard cash out of the state exchequer and hand it to movie production companies.
The first blow was struck when Americans for Prosperity branded the plan ‘Hollywood handouts.’
Of course, that was bound to rile the Old Bulls in the Senate: AFP running ads calling Republican Senators scoundrels six months before the election was not a happy development.