Kelly Loeffler Knows What Socialism Is, And It Is 'Opposing Insider Trading'
Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler has not had a good few months. None of us have, but at least while we're social distancing and wearing masks to the grocery store and whipping our coffee and Zooming and repeatedly failing at baking bread we are not being accused of insider trading. This is because, unlike Kelly Loeffler, we did not sell off millions of dollars in stocks prior to the stock market crashing but directly after attending a confidential meeting about the impending impact of the coronavirus on the United States. Unless we are Richard Burr. Which most of us are not.
Some people (everyone!) think that is a bad thing that she did. Loeffler has maintained her innocence with the same explanation everyone who gets accused of insider trading has — she didn't even know what was going on with her stocks because she's not in charge of them. Twas all a coincidence!
And she's been trying that line, to little to no avail, for a few weeks now. Alas, no one cares. Because the idea of a very rich lady who is literally only in office because she is a very rich lady and has no prior experience other than being a very rich lady getting even richer off of this pandemic when so many are struggling financially is a tad enraging.
But now, now she's got a new line — one which very well may be more effective: Criticizing her is socialism!
This was a political attack that is designed to take away from the issue at hand. And to use this outbreak to play politics. We have addressed this and taken extraordinary measures to make sure that we can't be attacked for our success. This gets at the very heart of why I came to Washington, to defend free enterprise, to defend capitalism. This is a socialist attack. We have taken extraordinary measures, and I am focused solely on working for Georgians. I have been doing that seven days a week, around the clock. And it's my honor to be here and serve, and that's why I stepped out of the private sector.
How is that socialism? Is not doing crimes socialist? Do the workers own the means of criticizing Kelly Loeffler for insider trading? Is criticism of her actions meant to assist her process of self-change? Or does Loeffler just think that any criticism of anything anyone does to get lots of money, no matter how unethical or illegal, is inherently socialist?
Now, admittedly, there are very few socialists who are pro-insider trading. I don't know any at all! But also, there are very few people of any political persuasion who will openly say they think insider trading is great. In 2011, the STOCK Act, which prohibited insider trading by members of Congress and other government employees (yes, it was previously legal), passed with bipartisan support.
Sure, many of the Republicans supporting it only did so because they thought of it as ammo against Nancy Pelosi, who had just been one of the subjects of a "60 Minutes" investigation on Congressional insider trading — but still! In the whole entire Senate, only two Republicans, Richard Burr (who is currently also in trouble for dumping all of HIS stocks ahead of the pandemic) and Tom Coburn, and one Democrat, Jeff Bingaman, opposed the law. In all of the House, only two Republicans opposed it. Is Kelly Loeffler saying that all of those Republicans who voted for the STOCK act hate capitalism and love socialism? Even Rand Paul, who is literally named after Ayn Rand?!?
And what about the Republicans who, even today, think that what Loeffler did was bad?
What it does seem like is that Loeffler is counting on there being a significant number of Americans who, when told something good is "socialism," will immediately decide that the good thing is in fact a bad thing. That number, however, has been dwindling for a while and will probably continue to to dwindle as we continue to slough off the Cold War paranoia. Ironically, it is people just like Kelly Loeffler, who don't understand why profiting off of other people's misery is bad and who describe criticism of doing that as being "attacked for our success," who make socialism look more and more appealing every day.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse