Nothing fills the PostScript bunker with warm, gooey Valentine’s feeling like the absolute abandonment of principle for political convenience and luckily enough Dana Milbank has gifted us with a giant cardboard box of the stuff today. His account of the Senate confirmation hearings for potential Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is a classic assortment of overly sweet, creamy self-righteousness and delicious nutty weaseling enrobed in sticky posturing. We KNOW it’s bad for us — that there is a serious issue here that will rot our teeth if we’re not careful, but something about it makes us feel like all is right with the world when, for example, a Treasury Secretary nominee isn’t quite able to explain why his money was in the (booooo!) Caymans and why he got a big ol’ payout from a flailing company getting a bailout. And the President who wants to trust Lew with America’s purse used to think those things were VERY BAD.
Mmmm. Let’s get a closer look at the individually-wrapped comments in the Milbank Sampler.
drbilllemoine sees nothing scandalous! What LOOKS like scandal actually makes Lew MORE qualified to run the Treasury:
Who better to close offshore tax haven than someone who has one? Who better to close tax loopholes than one who invests in them? Remember Obama had a treasury secretary who was on Wall Street in order to save national finances. He picked a secretary of state who has been around the world. Now this nomination. How much more logical can you get? You want real reforms, get an insider to fix the issues.
mhenshaw rains on that spun-sugar parade:
You could have said exactly the same thing about Mitt Romney. That’s what so hypocritical about Lew’s nomination. He’s in almost exactly the same position Mitt Romney was. There’s no way to defend him and justify the attacks on Romney at the same time without self-contradiction.
FergusonFoont also thinks this is the same chocolate the voters didn’t buy in November, just put in a different box:
I’ve got to side with the administration’s critics here. Jack Lew was a strange choice for Obama to make for Secretary of the Treasury, and brings once again to the fore Obama’s habit of saying all the things that sound right to progressive ears but then belying them by his subsequent actions.
It seems to me that Lew might have been a choice more consistent with the philosophies espoused by the loser of this past election rather than the winner. We rather specifically voted against having the robber barons set our economic course, and as Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew — a robber baron by anyone’s definition — will be perhaps the prime mover in that realm.
rockyboy1 guesses that anyone successful enough in the financial sector to be Treasury Secretary is going to be distinctly fishy-smelling:
No President has the power NOT to put in a Wall Street mole as SecTreas. That’s just one of the verities of the power structure in this country.
We have a two-party system in the U.S. The party of Wall Street investment bankers, and the insane party of Wall Street investment bankers.
garyinsantafe says what we really need is some Valentine’s Day kale salad:
This is just plain stupid on the part of the President. There have to be better people. I for one would support Paul Krugman.
And JPRS thinks this box of chocolates might finally be the one that makes us realize we have a problem:
No, definitely keep it up. Let’s talk more and more about these accounts, to such a point where the political pressure builds to close the loopholes.
Yes, PostScript is pretty sure that this time, once the sugar-rush coma wears off, we will all lace up our sneakers and set to the sweaty work of closing tax loopholes and pulling big bankers out of big government and vice versa. Right after this next box.