Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | July 23, 2002

Much ado about nothing

The blogosphere has erupted over a possible Enron/Robert Rubin connenction. (Rubin was Clinton's guy at Treasury.) The jist of the story is that Citigroup helped facilitate Andersen's and Enron's frauds. A month (or more) later, Rubin joined Citigroup as Chairman of its Executive Committee.

Somehow, this is suddenly going to turn the corporate governance issue on its head, implicating Democrats as well as Republicans.

Huh? This misses several points.

  1. No one knows who Robert Rubin is. Heck, there are Americans who don't know who the Secretary of State is, or the Speaker of the House. Tell them Rubin was involved in the Enron fiasco (of which there is no evidence), and all you would get is a blank stare and a disinterested shrug.

  2. Bush's and the GOP's political troubles have little to do with Enron. Or Harken. Or Halliburton. Or WorldCom. Or any of the other crooked companies driving down the stock market. The GOP faces pressure from the collective weight of the scandals. Any single company, on its own, doesn't merit a blip on the political radar screen. When dozens of companies fess up to corrupt business practices, dragging down the markets as a result -- then it's a political liability. Republicans have been the proud part of business for years. Now they reap what they sowed.

  3. Fair or not, the president gets blame or credit for the economy (notwithstanding GOP efforts to claim credit for the 90's boom). People are losing their savings, their retirement funds, their jobs. Who are they going to blame? Some guy Rubin no one ever heard of before, or the president who callously dismisses their pain:
'I believe people have taken a step back and asked, 'What's important in life?' You know, the bottom line and this corporate America stuff, is that important? Or is serving your neighbor, loving your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.
(Of course, if the GOP takes credit for the 90's boom, how can it now blame Clinton for the current scandals and economic collapse?)
Anywan, if the right hopes to tar Dems with the same sleaze dripping from their own, they will have to work a lot harder than this.

For more on this issue:

National Review Online: Joe Liebermanís Cover-Up. Where is Robert Rubin?

Andrew Sullivan: What did Rubin know?

Counterspincentral: here and here

Ted Barlow

Posted July 23, 2002 08:54 PM | Comments (0)


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