The Anti-Investor Right
June 13, 2007One of the great missed opportunities for Democrats in recent times was the corporate accounting scandals of 2002. Here was a chance to mint an entire new generation of Democratic voters, people who, asked what they thought about "big corporations" in focus groups convened by Stanley Greenberg, spat out "money," "greed," and "Enron," and "try and run the little guy out," and "have too much control over the little people." . . . "They want more and more and more.... "It really makes me question and just lose faith in everything that we are supposed to believe in."
It was a topic, he concluded, that one of his focus-group subsets—rural men and women without a college education, a demographic that went for Bush over Gore almost two to one—approached “with revulsion formerly reserved for Hollywood."
And how did the Democrats exploit it? Democratic National Committee chair Terry McCauliffe went on TV and called Global Crossing, one of the most notorious offenders, a "great company."
The stars are aligned exactly the same way again. The E. Coli Conservative-in-Chief has lined himself up with the swindlers, in the most unmistakable and public way. Let's hope the Democrats don't punt this time.
There's a suit before the Supreme Court, Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta. It will decide whether investors can pursue lawsuits to recover investment losses, if they can prove collusion between Wall Street institutions and scandal-ridden companies. George Bush has decided to side against the investors, and with Wall Street institutions and scandal-ridden companies—in the interests of preventing "unecessary lawsuits." He says top-down, Washington bureaucracies deserve the power instead: that only federal securities regulators should have the power to sue.
Reports AP: "The deadline for siding with investors in the case now before the Supreme Court ended at midnight Monday, and the solicitor general did not file a brief.... 'The president believes that it's important to make certain that we reduce the unnecessary lawsuits because that's a very big burden to the economy, which adversely impacts investors,' Hubbard added."
That's Al Hubbard, the president's chief economic adviser. To arrive at that conclusion, Bush overruled the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also ignored the 35 state attorneys general who sided with investors. They wrote, "Our system of monitoring and eliminating securities fraud would be severely undermined" if the parties who could have pulled the plug on Enron "get to walk away."
To which the president says "No!" in thunder. Well and truly, his heart's in this fight. That's E. coli conservatism for you: hatin' on the government—unless the government is made up of their cronies.