The new Scarlet Letter: It ain’t “A” for adultery – it’s “A” for A.I.G.
Posted by danishova on March 18, 2009
All this ginned-up populist outrage is turning into a very dangerous witch hunt, thanks in large part to Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer. Witch hunts gone wild evolve into mob rule, which can rapidly descend from anarchy to tyranny.
While armed guards stand sentry at A.I.G.’s Connecticut offices to protect employees who are receiving death threats, A.I.G.’s government-appointed CEO, Edward Liddy (who has the thankless job of trying to turn A.I.G. around for the grand sum of a dollar a year) will be grilled today by a sanctimonious witch, Congressman Barney Frank, (a.k.a. the Banking Queen) who serves as the grossly incompetent and serially corrupt head of the House Financial Services subcommittee.
Frank will insist that Liddy name names and name them now! Yep, at a time when the world stands on the edge of financial collapse, aided and abetted by Congressman Franks (among other government corruptocrats– see here, and here), we’ll get to watch Franks perform, in high dudgeon about contractually sound employee retention bonuses. This demand for names puts A.I.G. employees (and former employees) lives in danger, but Barney is nothing if not ruthless. I’d call this McCarthyism, except that’s not fair to Joe McCarthy.
Meanwhile Chuckie “Americans don’t care about little Porky Amendments” Schumer is prepared to abuse the power of Congress and demand that these employees be taxed retroactively at a 100% tax rate. This dangerous, and hopefully unconstitutional, money grab by a greedy Senator is a dangerous precedent. If they can single out A.I.G. employees for ex post facto bills of attainder, they can single out any one of us.
Whether Constitutional Lawyer/Professor Obama will publicly concur with these dangerous demands remains to be seen. Perhaps they’ll poll the agitated public first to see if that trial balloon flies. Sadly, reason rarely prevails when it’s so easy to demagogue “greedy corporations” and divert attention from greedy politicians; the same politicians who helped enable the failure of the very institutions they are now so eager to torment and humiliate in the public square – not unlike the good old days in Salem.
Michelle Malkin calls it “Kabuki Theatre” outrage, and, among other things, reminds us that Obama collected $103,000 and Chris Dodd $281,400 in A.I.G. bonuses, er, donations.
From the hearing-
Frank said if he did not receive the names he would move to ask his committee to vote to subpoena the names.
Liddy said that he “very much” wants to comply with Frank’s request, but said he feared for the employees’ safety.
Michelle Malkin has more, detailing the threats against A.G.I. employees here.
Ha! I can’t wait for this to hit You Tube…
“The Great Distraction”! Shep Smith, notorious member of the Republican Cabal, is blasting Congress for grandstanding and hypocrisy, singling out Dodd and Franks, with a little reminder to Franks that asking Liddy to name names is….McCarthyism. Shep noted correctly that contracts are at the bedrock of our system. He continued… “it’s their fault, they’re the ones who made this happen”. More – “They didn’t read the stimulus bill [which explicitly excluded the bonuses], so shut up!”. More – Fox News should send Congress the bill for all the ad breaks we’ve lost while broadcasting this.
Ladies and gentlemen…. presenting Shep Smith – from Allahpundit at Hot Air. Grab a cool one and a bag of popcorn.
A brilliant rhetorical question is posed at The Skepticrats:
If the death threats were directed at gays instead of bonus-receiving AIG execs, do you think Barney Frank would refuse confidentiality?
Great minds think alike :) Rush used the scarlet “A” analogy on his March 20th show, where he railed against Obama for telling Leno that kids shouldn’t become investment bankers when they get out of school:
He wants everybody in finance to wear a giant red “A” for AIG