Orrin Hatch’s Solyndra

Crony capitalism is a bipartisan endeavor. The GOP engages is all sorts of crony capitalism. The defense industry which is widely supported by the Republicans is absolutely chock-a-block full of sweetheart deals and special privileges. The nuclear industry also long supported by the GOP would not exist if it were not for federal insurance and limits of liability (back door subsidies) and federal loan guarantees (front door liabilities). For all the talk of how the Republicans don’t want the government picking winners and losers, the party has long supported picking winners and losers.

Sometimes Republicans even wander over into green graft territory, usually reserved for California and Massachusetts Democrats.

For instance Senator Orin Hatch, who earlier this year explained that libertarians would not take his senate seat away from him in the primary, supported a company, Raser Technologies, which had a business plan about as viable as Solyndra and ended up in the same place. Receivership that is.

Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner reports:

“The Hatch-Raser story has clear parallels to the Obama-Solyndra story, and even has Obama fingerprints on it twice. Given the GOP focus on Solyndra as a symptom of Obama’s flawed business-government entanglement, Raser puts Hatch in an uncomfortable place. How can he attack Obama for Solyndra — as he has — given his own record of trying to subsidize a green energy firm that has gone bankrupt?

“He supported Raser,” Hatch spokesman Matt Harakal told me, “because they were a Utah company, not because of any specific focus on renewable energy. … His focus is getting Utah companies out in front of the world.”

So is parochialism a better excuse than environmentalism for government meddling in the economy?”

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