Does everyone know what the Straight Talk Express would bring to the White House if voters are stupid enough to elect Mr. Gasbag?
You would think so. Even The Wall Street Journal knows. It would mean “The Return of Dr. No.”
And what does Dr. No (a k a Phil Gramm), the Gasbag’s top economic adviser, regard as a signal achievement? “I consider defeating Hillary health care as one of my greatest accomplishments,” he told The Journal in an interview published over the weekend.
Here’s another of his greatest accomplishments:
His accusers charge that he nearly single-handedly torpedoed the housing and financial market when he wrote the laws that took down the Depression-era barriers between investment and commercial banks.
Or as David Corn put it last May in Mother Jones:
Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown. …
But Gramm’s most cunning coup on behalf of his friends in the financial services industry — friends who gave him millions over his 24-year congressional career — came on December 15, 2000. …
In essence, Wall Street’s biggest players (which, thanks to Gramm’s earlier banking deregulation efforts, now incorporated everything from your checking account to your pension fund) ran a secret casino.
Dr. No once had presidential ambitions himself, but his 1996 bid for the BananaRepublican nomination failed. “I’m too ugly to be president,” he says. (That didn’t stop LBJ.)
Meanwhile, he remains as ugly as ever. Since leaving Washington in 2002, the former Senator has kept “intentionally invisible,” he says, so he could “devote his full energies” to Wall Street wheeling and dealing.
He’s also shameless:
I recently told Ed Whitacre [former CEO of AT&T, who retired with a $158 million pay package] he was probably the most exploited worker in American history. … His severance package should have been billions.
“Almost certainly,” The Journal says, Mr. Gasbag would make Dr. No the Secretary of the Treasury.
(Crossposted at HuffPo)
Postscript: July 19 — Not to excuse my staff of thousands for being laggard, but NYC’s sweltering heat would put anyone to sleep. So here, finally, is an update: Dr. No’s resignation as co-chairman of the Gasbag’s presidential campaign makes a Treasury appointment very unlikely if, gawd help us, the Gasbag were to win the election.
In case you were sleeping, too, the reason for Dr. No’s resignation was his shitbag remarks.
You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.
We have sort of become a nation of whiners.
The mainstream commentariat deemed that insensitive and out of touch. Gee, ya think?
PPS: July 20 — The Straight Up staff is happy to report that someone else finally noticed:
Just two weeks before publicly sharing his thoughts about America’s “mental recession,” Mr. Gramm laid out equally incendiary views in a Wall Street Journal profile that portrayed him as “almost certainly” the McCain choice for Treasury secretary. Mr. Gramm said that the former chief executive of AT&T, Ed Whitacre, was “probably the most exploited worker in American history” since he received only a $158 million pay package rather than the “billions” he deserved for his success in growing Southwestern Bell.
But no one in the news media seemed to notice Mr. Gramm’s naked expression of the mind-set he’d bring to a McCain White House.
That’s from Frank Rich’s column in today’s NYT. (Gosh, Frank, no one? Didn’t you see this?) The column also offers a pretty Rich definition of McCain’s gaseous ramblings.
The term flip-flopping doesn’t do justice to Mr. McCain’s self-contradictory economic pronouncements because that implies there’s some rational, if hypocritical, logic at work. What he serves up instead is plain old incoherence, as if he were compulsively consulting one of those old Magic 8 Balls.
McCain’s plain old incoherence, including but not limited to economics, of course explains the S/U staff’s moniker for him. It should be noted, too, that Rich offers a useful roundup of the Gasbag’s ramblings on mortage bailouts, the federal budget, Bush tax cuts, and Social Security, along with nicely pointed comments about the Gasbag’s BananaRepublican surrogates.