Pusillanimity Plus Stupidity Equals More Wall Street Greed

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower - Wed., 4/8/09
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Once again, we are faced with the question that has long bedeviled political analysts and barstool pundits everywhere: Is the pusillanimity of Democrats worse than the stupidity of Republicans?

The question arises because of a curious vote last week in the House of Representatives to restrict the bonus money going to those nimble-fingered financial whizzes at Wall Street firms being bailed out by you and me.

It was curious because there had already been a vote to do this in March. Back then, after we commoners learned that Merrill Lynch, AIG and others were merrily tossing million-dollar bonus checks to their top executives (even as they pleaded for Washington to rescue their sorry butts), a genuine populist furor swept across the country, sales of pitchforks spiked and Washington simply had to act.

We will "do everything we can to get those bonuses back," promised President Barack Obama, who coolly explained that he was seething inside. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley went further, barking that AIG's bonus-grabbers should do the honorable thing. Return the money? No, fumed the senator, they should commit hari-kari. So, last month, the House voted overwhelmingly to reclaim the bonus money by putting a near total tax on it.

Then, however, pusillanimity and stupidity settled over Washington like a blinding fog. Let's start with the Democrats.

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