Scotto And Jack

The Junior Senator from Massachusetts has a new web video up, riding the surf of conservative attacks on Barack Obama's supposed attack on free enterprise. Titled "Let America Be America Again" (is America not currently America? when was it last America? and what is it now?) the video shows Presidents of both parties extolling the virtues of capitalism, followed by clips of Obama and Elizabeth Warren arguing that public works contribute to private-sector success, and finally Scotto himself declaring that he LUUUUVS small businesses and such.

Naturally, Scotto uses JFK in the first section, as he is wont to do, taking from a speech given late in the 1960 Presidential election. I was fascinated to see that the Brown campaign actually showed on-screen the entire quote:

I believe in an America where free enterprise flourishes for all other systems to see and admire - where no businessman lacks either competition or credit - and where no monopoly, no racketeer and no Government bureaucracy can put him out of the business he has built with his own initiative. 

Obviously Scotto wanted the "free enterprise flourishes" phrase, and the take-that-Obama "business he has built with his own initiative" ending, but I would have thought they'd use some good old ellipses to get rid of that middle part.

It is government, after all, that prevents monopolies and racketeers, to enable entrepreneurs to have a fair shake at building their businesses.

It's the flip side of all the grousing about "government regulation" hurting business -- government regulation, laws, and enforcement enable free enterprise in the first place. It is government that ensures that your competitors (or a single dominant business) don't gang up to squeeze you out of the market. Government provides the avenue for redress if a supplier or customer renegs on a contract. And so on.

Well, it's a silly discussion to head down -- obviously our whole system of commerce is dependent on a currency created and maintained by the federal government. There's a perfectly legitimate debate about the relative role that government should have, and perhaps somewhere in all of the current nonsense that debate will take place. Or not. I just wanted to point out that the Kennedy quote right there in the Brown video includes a mention of the necessary government role in every American business's success.

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