How do you convince skeptical congressional Republicans and their even more skeptical conservative constituents to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank in the fall? The Ex-Im Bank has just made two new hires, who they think will make the task easier.
Without questioning their qualifications in communicating ideas, it's notable that they are liberals whose roots are in party politics.
Matthew Bevens has been hired as the Bank's senior communications advisor. He formerly worked for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Obama for America. He has also held positions on President Obama's campaign and for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Catrell Brown joined the Bank as vice president for public affairs. Previously, she worked in the office of Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI).
Bank chairman Fred Hochberg said the PR hires "will help the Bank better communicate its mission, which in turn will help the Bank reach more exporters and create more U.S. jobs."
From a policy perspective, it's simply not true that the Ex-Im Bank 'creates' jobs. In fact, its corporate welfare on the backs of taxpayers.
But these hires point to a deeper problem with the Bank and with the political ideology that supports and justifies its existence.
Ex-Im Bank goes hand-in-hand with the progressive ideology and is antithetical to conservatism. As Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) recently explained:
This kind of corporatism, by which large, established players in government, industry, labor, and special interests work together to "manage" the economy, has always been part of progressive ideology. Herbert Croly, one of the intellectual founders of progressivism, put it bluntly over a century ago, when he wrote: "In economic warfare, the fighting can never be fair for long, and it is the business of the state to see that its own friends are victorious." That's how liberals today still think.
But for conservatives, this thinking is a trap. Because properly considered, there is no such thing as a conservative special interest. It's progressives who slice the country into politically assigned subgroups, manipulating cooperative citizens into selfish special interests. It's big government that divides us - picking "friends" and "enemies."
The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, friends and enemies. That's why all conservatives should oppose the Bank's reauthorization this fall.