Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

04/03/2009 (8:37 pm)

Anti-Capitalist Arrogance in the White House

mister-mayhem1

This almost requires no comment whatsoever. Listen to the arrogance:

The bankers struggled to make themselves clear to the president of the United States.

Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees — and, by extension, to themselves.

“These are complicated companies,” one CEO said. Offered another: “We’re competing for talent on an international market.”

But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”

“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

This report came from inside the meeting; one of the participants spoke with Eamon Javers of Politico, and a few others confirmed.

He’s not kidding about the pitchforks, by the way. We’re seeing serious threats of violence against capitalists in London (see also here and here,) and we heard about threats being mailed to AIG executives as well. This is the Krystalnacht moment for the socialists; are show trials next?

The accounts demonstrate that despite the public comments on both sides that the meeting was cordial, the tone in the room was in fact one of mutual wariness. The titans of finance — men used to being the most powerful man in almost any room — sized up a new president who made clear in ways big and small that he expected them to change their ways.

There were signs from the outset that this was a business event, not a social gathering. At each place around the table sat a single glass of water. No ice. For those who finished their glass, no refills were offered. There was no group photograph taken of the CEOs with the president, which typically happens at ceremonial White House gatherings but not at serious strategy sessions.

“The only way they could have sent a more Spartan message is if they had served bread along with the water,” says a person who attended the meeting. “The signal from Obama’s body language and demeanor was, ‘I’m the president, and you’re not.’”

So, here’s what we’ve got:

By attacking executive compensation, the government crippled the banks’ ability to attract talent.

When they tried to explain this to the President, what they got was a threat and belittling signals; anything but assistance in attracting talent to their banks.

bankvandalThe administration, the media, and the Democratic party have sold the American people on the notion that the bankers’ “mistakes” are responsible for the current economic crisis. This is practically slander; certainly they made mistakes — who doesn’t? — but the crisis is the responsibility of a large number of seemingly unrelated measures, involving community organizers, Congress, the Fed, Fannie Mae, three Presidents, mortgage salesmen, land speculators, fraudulent home buyers, securities traders, and yes, some bankers — that all came together at once to cause a problem. Hardly any of this was caused by “greedy bankers,” ill-informed opinions to the contrary; such phrases come from partisans who couldn’t explain a single one of those supposed “mistakes” if their mothers’ lives depended on it. But the socialists need a scapegoat, and they genuinely believe that greedy bankers are to blame, so… pitchforks. It’s the American way, right?

What we’re going to get is a lesson in mistakes. Since the banks will not be able to attract the sort of talent they need to run their business, they’re going to get the sorts of managers who will make the supposed “mistakes” of the current lot look like untarnished brilliance. We’re going to see how quickly a passel of inept bankers can tie a banking system in knots, and perhaps come to appreciate the skill and wisdom of these men we’re currently busy demonizing.

All this from the President of the United States, a man who never outgrew the sophomoric socialism that infects so many young people while they’re still callow. He actually thinks he’s greater and smarter than these bankers, not to mention their moral superior.

We are SO screwed…

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4 Comments »

April 4, 2009 @ 6:51 am #

“…I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the pitchfork thrusts; it thrusts for thee”

Excuse my clunky paraphrase, but I believe that Mr. Obama should take stock of exactly how close the past election was (52 – 48) before he presumes a mandate on par with Reagan’s second term, etc.

There is plenty of blame to go around here yet not a crumb of humility coming from those at the levers of power in government.

Actions have consequences, Mr. Obama, and those bankers/industrialists that are holding their collective tongues now will not be silent forever. Anecdotal as it may be, Andrew Napolitano’s comments on Fox yesterday morning about the feeling of extortion by government re TARP of the fiscally sound banks were chilling. How much longer will the Judge’s friend be cowed into silence?

DeSantis’s letter to the NYT the other day should be a wake up call to Obama, yet hubris renders him deaf to the fact that he works for us, not the other way around.

On the bright side, the events of the past year have been an excellent opportunity to teach my three daughters civics. You should hear them rip apart liberal arguments.

*proud smile*

April 5, 2009 @ 5:53 pm #

This statement supports my post in the prior blog, i.e., that Obama is willfully inserting himself into the middle between all orbits of power.

“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

In the prior blog entry, he is in the process of using charm and perceived weakness to draw provincial leaders in Europe, Middle East, and Asia to him. In this case, he’s just farther along in getting out the message that these power brokers need to relinquish power to him…

October 23, 2009 @ 7:13 pm #

[…] objections to these ham-fisted measures to limit executive compensation. I predicted months ago (here and here) that top executives would flee from companies subject to pay restrictions, and this is […]

March 27, 2010 @ 10:41 am #

[…] filth aimed at getting a Miss USA contestant to stop violating the mob’s sentiments, or even this threat from the President of mob activism against bankers, or these from the campaign trail. They’ve been doing it for […]

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