it sure was fun watching Kenny Boy do the perp
walk, wasn't it?
wingers promptly howled that glee at his predicament
showed that "liberals" (i.e., those millions of
Americans victimized by Enron and other corporate
scandals) had no faith in the concept of "innocent
until proven guilty in a court of law."
course, most people understand the concept and
approve of it in principle, even if they have
trouble with it in day-to-day life.
in the case of Ken Lay, it took THREE YEARS to
bring an indictment, and it came at a time when
Americans were trying to pretend the Putsch junta
wasn't the most corrupt and secretive administration
in history, one contemptuous of justice and of
answering to the people.
lot of people knew that there was more than enough
evidence to indict Ken Lay for his role as CEO
in the Enron bloodbath, and the weeks stretched
into months, months into years, and still no indictment.
was as if, under this fascist regime, the government
had given up even the pretense that the rich and
powerful were subject to the same laws as the
rest of us.
that "glee" that so distressed the right wing
lickspittles was, for the most part, relief that
the system was still functioning enough to make
Ken Lay do a perp walk. In these days, when Dick
Cheney tells Senators who want to investigate
his energy policy to go fuck themselves, and District
Court judges turn out to be the authors of memos
that justify torture, and Faux News sues -- successfully
-- for the right to lie to the public, it's nice
to know that not all our institutions are populated
exclusively by scumbuckets.
there ever been a time in America's history when
authorities were so disreputable and contemptible
as those inflicted upon us by the right wing?
course, I did feel a certain amount of glee at
seeing Lay in cuffs for the cameras. If he's guilty,
I hope they nail the son of a bitch's hide to
the wall. A lot of people suffered because of
the Enron collapse, and their energy shenanigans
ripped off California to the tune of billions,
and the state is still struggling to recover from
that. (Governor Mein Magniviscent Vang has been
dealing with the ongoing budget crisis by borrowing
tons of money, cutting essential services, shafting
the counties and cities, and raising taxes, which
leaves people wondering if the latex suit and
phony accent really make Grey Davis a better governor).
far in the Enron scandal, 30 people have been
indicted, and 10 have subsequently been found
guilty of a wide array of criminal charges. And
of course, the "grandma Millie" audiotapes surfaced,
removing any possible doubt of the malice and
illegal intent behind Enron's manipulations of
the energy markets in California.
Lay was the chief, the man in charge. This all
happened on his watch. While it's up to the court
to decide what degree of personal and criminal
responsibility he had, there's no doubt that Enron
committed vast crimes, and that he was in charge.
His guilt needs to be decided by a jury, but his
responsibility is beyond any reasonable doubt.
bad they couldn't send him to Abu Ghraib for questioning.
I take that back. I'm not Republican enough to
advocate the man be tortured and humiliated in
the name of gathering information.
course, one big element of all this is his relationship
with Putsch. The White House tries to describe
Ken Lay as "just a supporter," who donated to
both Republicans and Democrats, but they forget
to mention that Ken Lay slept in the Lincoln bedroom
on numerous occasions when Putsch's daddy was
President, and they forget to mention that Ken
Lay's contributions to political parties not only
leaned 10-1 in favor of Republicans, but that
over all, his contributions to George W. were
greater than his contributions to all Democrats.
think that even Putsch understands that Ken Lay
as his good buddy, "Kenny Boy," is something of
a political liability. Today, at a campaign stop,
reporters (some of whom have finally realized
that if they want to maintain any credibility
at all, they need to start asking Putsch tough
questions) asked him about Ken Lay, and the brittle
and weak President cut off questions and stalked
off the stage, leaving Scotty to run damage control
and explain, once again, that Ken Lay was just
a supporter, nothing more.
doesn't look like Putsch is going to get the free
ride from the media that he got in 2000. This
time around, the press isn't going to be cooing,
"aw, isn't that CUTE!" when he can't tell us who
the prime minister of Pakistan is, or tries to
bareface his way out of one of his numerous self-contradictions
with such outrageous lines as "I support ASSERTIVE
action, not affirmative action."
if he keeps running away every time a reporter
asks an awkward question, the voters are going
to notice, and he's going to get his ass kicked
the press conference, Putsch towed daughter Jenna,
arrest-free for several years now, around to show
he was a family-values kind of guy. He reported
that he listened to his daughters' suggestions
too, noting that Jenna had just told him to change
"shirt" some kind of Texas slang for "underwear"?
of the funnier elements in the campaign came when
a reporter asked him to compare John Edwards to
Dick F.M. Cheney. "Cheney could be President"
he replied, a remark that brought laugher from
people who think Cheney already IS president,
and the dull-witted Putsch just his sock puppet.
The polls bore this out -- Kerry got a boost of
some 6% by picking Edwards in terms of "more likely/less
likely to vote for him if" questions, while voters,
asked about Putsch retaining Cheney, showed a
minus -9%. Cheney is a drag on the ticket, but
what are you going to do? He's the actual president.
GOP even tried to capitalize on the first names
of the Democratic ticket, referring to them as
"the Johnnies." The Democrats, in a wicked riposte,
produced buttons and bumper stickers that read,
"It takes two Johns to flush the White House."
right wingers are saying that Bill Clinton, still
the giant of the Democratic Party, will be the
"third man" on the ticket. That's fair. I would
sooner have him in the background, playing sax,
while Putsch struggles to get votes with a ticket
that includes Cheney as acting president, and
Ken Lay as the third man.
Posted: July 11, 2004