This could be a week the boys at Goldman Sachs would like to forget, but it's more likely to be the equivalent of falling asleep on the beach - it'll sting for a few days, and their faces will be boiled lobster red, but in a week they'll be okay. Between the showdown in the senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will try to make the GOP walk the plank as they reject the Democrats financial reform proposal, and the oh so scary thought of the fifteen or twenty Goldman employees who are expected to testify tomorrow in front of Congress, you would think something might finally come out of all this that would really make a difference to the general public.
This ain't that kinda party.
In fact, it never is. I love my president to death, but he does not have the will to stick hot pokers up the collective asses of Wall Streets denziens until they scream out for mercy. For a nation that is obsessed with the truth, even as our lives are constructed mostly out of half truths and convenient fictions, it would simply be too much for the average American to process the kind of stream of consciousness confession this kind of torture might elicit, the kind of rambling harangue between tears that would reveal to the public how little connection there is between the rows of zeros they play with and the actual hard earned pensions and savings and mutual funds they represent, the kind of coughing, sputtering, agonized howl of foul, vile invective that would really show you how much they cared about your American Dream.
And even if he had the will, he couldn't do it, because no one does this in modern politics. Not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not the Libertarians, not fanatical the Ron Paul acolytes - not even the overcounted, underprincipled Tea Baggers have the guts to take the country back to 1907, or 1870, or 1835, or 1793, or any one of the times in our nation's first 150 years when white Americans enjoyed everything on the Tea Party's bullshit wishlist - a limited and weak federal government, practically no taxes, and markets that were lightly regulated.
These were such great times, in fact, when there were no roads to speak of, patent medicines that killed or maimed people by the thousands, regular epidemics that wiped out hundreds of thousands, factories that tacked the value of lost limbs on the wall the way you see prices for a Big Mac at McDonald's, no libraries, few public colleges - the list could go on, but at the top of it were those oh so honorable Robber Barons like Vanderbilt and Gould and Sage, men who manipulated markets and cooked the books and renamed liabilities as assets like...
...well, like Goldman Sachs.
But so long as we are willing to wink at Wall Street when it tells us that 2+2=5, we deserve what we get. So long as we are willing to welcome the latest invention they've cooked up in the lab, because it helps us to get what we want today, even if we don't have the money for it, or the cash flow to pay it off, we deserve what we get. So long as we get weak in the knees while reading about multi-million dollar salaries and billions of dollars in bonuses for standing on top of OUR money, we deserve what we get. This is why Congress won't do diddly - because we aren't demanding anything more than a slap on the wrist to make it look good for the cameras. Until the SEC has the same powers the FBI has, or at the very least what the IRS has, we are just whistling Dixie.
I'll bet the folks in Greece are wishing they'd never heard of Goldman Sachs right about now.
One thing the "we don't need no regulation" Tea Baggers might want to consider - back in the good old days, when the Robber Barons ran the show on Wall Street, there were no bailouts from the government. They just failed, often without warning, stopping the entire economy in its tracks. If you would quit listening to Glen Beck and Michelle Malkin long enough to read some actual history instead of struggling so hard to grasp what the Constitution really says, maybe you would see this.
I'll be looking for you Tea Baggers in the Goldman Sachs cheering section - I imagine you'll be the ones who AREN'T wearing the $3000 suits.