Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blood on the Knife

We need some blood on the knife.

That's my takeaway on the progress of the financial crisis so far. There is a public appetite for blood on the knife, and it hasn't been satiated. To put a finer point on it, the retributive aspect of justice has been sacrificed to the pragmatic interest in keeping the wheels on the system. It's time to shift gears.

There is an inchoate sense of rage that the people who made this mess, and profited handsomely from it, are getting off scot-free, leaving the rest of us to clean it up and pay for it. I think that's a big part of the Tea Party rage and will be the explanation for the midterm success of the Republicans (one of whom in Texas, my God, is calling for armed insurrection, claiming it is constitutionally permissible. Not since Edmund Ruffin of South Carolina in 1861 has such nonsense, oh, wait a minute, I forget Rick Perry of Texas about 18 months ago . . . )

I wish I could say that those in authority above us are too principled and committed to the rule of law to indulge such a taste. But I don't think so. The perp walks following Enron and the other scandals of a decade back suggest not. I think they are simply gutless, spineless and clueless.

It's time to throw some resources into criminal task forces. Now, there's a shovel ready project everybody can agree on.

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