Is Sen. Josh Hawley’s extreme lurch to the left the first sign that the Republican Party is returning to the progressive populism of Teddy Roosevelt in his Bull Moose incarnation? Or is Hawley just a fist-bumping outlier?
What would the senator from Missouri do?
This is not a recipe for more competition. It is a recipe for the fossilization of American capitalism.
This is a neo-Brandesian move that Lina Khan and Elizabeth Warren would applaud (if they weren’t afraid of the cooties that come for progressives mentioned in the same breath as Josh Hawley). The senator’s legislation jettisons the Consumer Welfare Standard that has anchored antitrust law for almost a half century, and returns us back to the subjectivism of past jurisprudence.
Taken together, this is a sweeping assumption of government power that would be perfectly in sync with the socialist direction of AOC and the ultra-progressive dreams of the Biden Administration. Is Hawley a harbinger of things to come? Or is he fist-bumping his way to irrelevance?
Whatever the answer, his “Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act” shows the extent to which many so-called conservatives in Congress have lost touch with conservative thought. To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, if your solution to big, powerful companies is even bigger and more powerful government, you just might be a progressive.