I guess Exxon must be happy that after a really long run, they may finally be handing off the title of the left's great Satan to Wal-Mart. Ezra Klein thinks government intervention to change the practices of Wal-Mart's managers, consumers, and employees is one of "the two or three most important issues facing the country" (hat tip: Instapundit).
Eegad! My response in his comments: "My guess is what is really worrying to you is that there is a large
group of people voluntarily and by individual choice making decisions
you don't agree with (e.g. to shop at Wal-Mart or to work at Wal-Mart)
and you are frustrated that no one has yet allowed you to become
economic fuehrer so that you can override by government coersion the
actions of individuals so you can force them to make decisions the way
that you think they should."
I have pointed out the great irony before that those who call themselves "progressive" are actually inherently conservative, hating capitalism for its chaos and unpredictability. They hate new business models and often make common cause with incumbent competitors to get the government to halt such new competition (e.g. protection of US auto and steel vs. imports).
Update: Sabastion Mallaby has an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing moderate Democrats for jumping on the anti-Wal-mart bandwagon
Update#2: I realized that I forgot my usual caveat in my defense of Wal-Mart: That is, Wal-Mart totally pisses me off in their rent-seeking from local government, benefiting from tax breaks and even eminent domain actions their competitors do not get the benefit of. Also, I think their stores are aesthetic hell-holes I enter only under duress. Wal-Mart has problems, I just don't agree they are the ones their critics harp on. Tim Worstall's article reminded me I forgot this part.