Thursday, March 22, 2012

RICO suave

I've long thought there's cells within the GOP that should trigger a RICO investigation.  Republicans in general are no more corrupt than anyone else, though we're probably not far from a book by David Brooks explaining how conservatives are actually less corrupt by nature than ... others on the political spectrum, much along the lines of today's column in the NYT by Nick Kristoff in which the self-professed liberal explains how liberals are actually less sensitive to the world than conservatives.  Yes, truly: conservatives are easily threatened and sensitive to smells, and that makes them more aware of their surroundings and thus... well, not better able to judge reality, because no one would claim that about these studies, would they?  Except that Kristoff does his best to imply that, so guess what, he does make that claim: that being easily threatened and sensitive to smells - effectively the behavior of tweens - means you have a better grasp of right and wrong.  Hookay then.

But think about the last twenty or thirty or forty years - how long since Watergate?  Forty years now?  There's a long string of criminal malfeasance directed by a certain group of GOP operatives, starting with the aforementioned burglary and running at least through Iran-Contra, Scaife's elves, and Tom Delay's K-Street Project.  And the US Attorney firing scandal.  (And...)  These guys have been quiet since Obama won, but that doesn't mean they haven't been doing anything.  Indeed the clear lack of a GOP A-team for the general this fall indicates they're up to something.  There's clearly something continuous and criminal going on here, and while Delay may cry that he was indicted for winning, the stuff these guys have done has easily reached the criminality threshold multiple times.  And there's names we just keep seeing, or rather organizations

I don't think, for example, that the Bush family is corrupt, or any more corrupt than you might expect; aside from their glorious skill in aligning the self-interest of their family and friends with government policy and being glibly incompetent conservatives, I don't think they've done anything illegal.  Again, lots of immoral, but I'm a liberal so you'd expect that.  But illegal?  Nah. 

College Republicans?  Almost certainly.  Richard Perle: for sure.  The guy who runs FreedomWorks: yup.  The large number of people associated with them, from Tom Delay and his machine to Karl Rove and his: well, that's what RICO is meant to determine, isn't it?

But prosecution is a matter of resources, and even if you could convince her I don't think Nancy Pelosi could swing enough cojones to cover the cost.  The shrieking would be heard several solar systems over.  Even though it takes less evidence to investigate a Bocce ball tournament in North Beach or Orange County, and the evidence has been turned over and publicized by the most respected news organizations and criminal prosecutors in this and the last century, you'd still be accused of politics.

Which is why I think we should look at JP Morgan.  They're rich, powerful, corrupt, but an easy target.  And given the incestuous nature of Wall Street and the ties derivatives have placed around them all, you pull on a thread and pretty soon you've got them all.

Its been a long time since anyone did a high-profile RICO case, though.  I kind of miss the 70s, that way.  That was before the oligarchs figured out how to knock the teeth out of everything.

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