Thursday, September 25, 2008

Speeches, Stupor and Red Herrings

Dear George,

Sorry I missed your speech, last night. Damned if I didn’t pass out the second you opened your mouth. You’d think by now I would have learned that I can’t take hits on the pipe and listen to you at the same time. The second I hear your drawl, I go into a stupor.

Apparently you induced a stupor in the Brits, as well. A Reuter’s story on the economy didn’t mention your talk until the tenth paragraph.

The Associated Press managed to insert your speech into lead of their bailout wrap up. From the story I see you can still monger fear along with the best of them. However, you’d better monger fast cause you’re drowning in your own bullshit. As the AP story put it:

Compounding the administration’s challenge, Republicans and Democrats both say Bush has lost credibility, particularly in cases where he argues there will be dire consequences if Congress doesn’t act. “They sold the war, they sold the stimulus package and some other things. It’s the ‘wolf at the door’” argument, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. said.

Being a loyal soldier of the Mainstream Media, the AP tacked his comment onto the tail end of the story.

The bailout is brilliant on several levels. Never has there been such a bold assault by Wall Street on the United States Treasury. The fact that this treasury is empty does nothing to distract from its brilliance.

Waving the Red Herring of executive compensation goes far towards assuring its passage. That’s the button that will sway the public because it deflects anger away from a system that is in its advance stages of decay and towards the fat cats who have profited from this decay.

And it is working! No one is suggesting a return to the Glass-Stiegel Act. It’s all about golden parachutes. Our economy may be in danger, but the corruption that caused it is safe.

What makes this flap over executive pay so amusing is that, even if Congress inserts it into the bailout package, it will never survive the first court challenge. All some pissed-off executive has to do is wave a copy of the Fourth Amendment, with its prohibition against “unreasonable search and seizure,” and his golden parachute is his to keep.

There is a secondary gain to the bailout package that is seldom mentioned. With the advent of the Cold War, Congress agreed to a bipartisan approach to our foreign policy. This, in effect, removed foreign policy from the arena of democratic debate and discussion.

Now the same thing is happening with domestic policy. It, also, is being removed from the democratic arena as politicians fall all over themselves calling for a “bipartisan” approach to the problem.

The guarantees that there will be no meaningful debate over the systemic defects that created the crisis in the first place.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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