George H.W. "Poppy" Bush, 41, is remembered for his notorious thumb-in-the-eye campaign tactics in 1988. The Willie Horton ad. The Pledge of Allegiance. Card-Carrying ACLU Member.
His First Son, W, 43, with a re-election under his belt, and control of Congress to boot, is masterminding the art of thumb-in-the-eye policy-making. UN-bashing John Bolton has been nominated as the US rep to the UN; John Negroponte, a veteran of the Reagan administration's wars against Latin America, is the intell czar. For judicial nominees he gave us Janice Rogers Brown, who thinks we should go back to America the way it was before the Great Depression. And now?
Now we get Chris Cox, Republican Congressman from California, to head the Security and Exchange Commission. I remember it as if it was just yesterday, when the Enron scandal came to light. Thousands of workers and investors got bilked, while the company's managers attempted to parachute their way out of bankruptcy into luxury. A reform bill was passed to curtail future abuses and the political class, coming off its financial-contribution-induced hangover, scurried to cover its tracks and to pledge future and forever devotion to the people over the needs of corporations.
But time has passed. And now, with the minds of the people diverted by Paris Hilton, the Runaway Bride, and Michael Jackson, the corporate class has again turned its attention to the laws that restrain it and deemed them "burdensome". William Donaldson, the SEC chair, had to go. Although he was more in tuned to the ambitions of corporations than his predecessors, especially that meddlesome Arthur Levitt, the SEC's Republican members were getting itchy with his rule and made their demands known to the White House for someone of a more amiable spirit.
Chris Cox, who wasn't all that crazy about the Sarbanes-Oxley reform bill, and who has voted in lock step with the demands of corporate america, and who has garnered healthy campaign contributions as a result, is now the man of the hour for Wall Street kingpins.
I'm running out of eyes to thumb.