Hypocritical Incompetent Liars?
It feels as though An American Idiot has become an AIG blog. Moments ago I was telling a friend, it is because AIG is a microcosm of what is going on in our economy. On Sunday and Monday Senator Dodd and President Obama voiced strong outrage and feigned surprise over the bonuses being paid at AIG. We, in Anytown, U.S.A., really were outraged and surprised, but the aforementioned were merely pretending.
It may seem rude to accuse them of lying but it seems to me I am granting them the benefit of the doubt in doing so, especially since Dodd has changed his story three times. Furthermore, the alternative is to call them incompetent because the language of the stimulus bill granted permission to AIG and the other bailees to dole out millions in taxpayer funded bonuses, yet no one read the stimulus bill. An entire essay could be written about why the bill was never read by Congress or the President. In short, the bill was too verbose and too packed with crap. This was by design, the architects did not want it to be read.
The President never actually said he was ignorant of the bonuses, he merely declared them “outrageous” and condemned them. Why would someone who insisted on allowing the bonuses because he, “worried that the government would face numerous lawsuits without the new language.” Suddenly take the lead pitchfork and torch in the public lynching of AIG? (Again I underline my position that AIG should have been condemned.) Is this not hypocritical? By not defending his decision but rather attacking AIG, was he not lying about his position on the subject through omission?
Now let’s look at the Senator from Connecticut. Chris Dodd (D-CT) is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. On Tuesday Dodd claimed he had nothing to do with the stimulus bill’s wording that allowed the bonuses. Then on Wednesday he said, “I agreed reluctantly. I was changing the amendment because others were insistent.” (Later he identifies the others as being from Treasury.) But this story won’t die; instead it follows him like a hive of angry bees. Today, Dodd tweaked his story a bit. He insisted that Treasury officials misled him to believe that the changes in the wording were simply “technical and innocuous.” Then in righteous indignation he added, “If I knew [the changes were] to protect (AIG’s) bonuses … I would have flatly rejected it.” Come on, Mr. Dodd admit it, you bought the argument and thought the news would slip quietly under the radar. Perhaps you did not realize how extravagant those bonuses would be. (Although, all one needs to do is recall the big party AIG threw after getting the first bailout to know this company would waste the maximum amount of taxpayer money.)
No one has ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
If the AIG scandal was Dodd’s only screw up I might be able to find it in me to forgive him. As far back as 1997 there were reports of Dodd’s lack of ethics. Surely no one recalls that Dodd took $133,000 in campaign contributions from the medical industry and then defended the industry from regulation to prevent unapproved uses of medical devices. CNN points out his failure to fix Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In fact, he agreed with Sen. Barney Frank (D-MA) in denying there was any problem there. Finally, we see that he is under investigation for special low interest rates he received from Countrywide bank. (Hmm, surely he wasn’t trading financial favors for political favors. He’s never done that before!)
The sad point to all this is how politicians use events to further their own careers because they believe we are all idiots. In fact, they are right more often than not. Just look at what our elected officials have done and then won re-election. Dodd is but one example. Sen. Stevens (R-AK) was re-elected, Rep. Charles Diggs Jr. (D-MI) served time and was re-elected, same is true of Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry (D), and the list goes on. So all Dodd has to do is be consistent, oh wait he hasn’t done that, no matter, his district is pwned (click it) by the Democrats. Dodd has been consistently re-elected to office since 1975. But it is nice to see him scared.