Friday, May 26, 2006

Bush's Enron Connection

Well, the Enron boys are going to prison sometime soon, and the right-wingers are probably going to spin it so that it comes out something like, "Our legal system prevailed, proving once again that no one is above the law" - assuming they say anything at all. What they will almost certainly try to downplay is any lingering chatter about the close relationship between Enron and George W. Bush that persisted well after Dubya was "elected" to office in 2000. "The president had no knowledge of Mr. Lay's illegal activities," they will insist. Funny how Bush's defenders claim he was well-briefed about things of which he was clearly woefully ignorant, and then plead ignorance on his behalf of activities in which he was immersed up to his eyeballs. And let us not forget Enron's prominent presence among the participants in Cheney's secret, closed-door energy policy conference. Should we be appropriately shocked that the nation's energy policy was being steered by a bunch of crooks? (Besides the ones in the White House and the Capitol, I mean?)

The other Republican who unfortunately escapes unscathed after benefiting immeasurably from Enron's dupliicity is, of course, the Governator himself, Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger. When the great state of California legally re-elected Gray Davis to the governorship (don't laugh; legitimate elections are becoming a rarity in this country), Golden State Republicans may well have struck a deal with Enron to jack up the price of energy while instituting unnecessary blackouts to further incense the populace. The final step was the public relations smear campaign to convince the voters that Governor Davis was responsible for the energy mess, when in fact he had done everything in his power to try to avert it. No matter; by then, Californians were hopping mad, and readily accepted the effigy of Gray Davis to burn while agreeing to the the unprecedented step of a gubernatorial "recall." Enter Mr. Schwarzenegger, driving an immense Hummer as proof of his intention to curb California's voracious appetite for energy. Still crazed from the lack of air-conditioning, California voters went on to recall the hapless Mr. Davis, and replace him with a gap-toothed Austrian who couldn't even pronounce the name of the state he was being elected to helm. (I don't suppose we should really be all that surprised; after all, California has a history of electing bad actors to become bad governors.)

Now, my question is this: should politicans be allowed to keep their positions if they are there largely (or solely) because of someone else having broken the law? In other words, is the reward legitimately kept if it has been gotten illegitimately? It is Bush and the Republicans, after all, who would have us strip steroid-takers like Bobby Bonds of his home-run records. Sorry, my friends - but if you subscribe to a double standard, then you are a hypocrite. Unless you truly enjoy being robbed and lied to at the same time...which would make you, I suppose, a Republican.


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