This morning’s New York Times thumbsucker about Obama’s “arm twisting” of BP is a masterpiece of pussyfooting, takebacks and special pleading for corporations. It’s full of passages like this:
The Wall Street executives who needed the government to prop them up, but still thought their services were worth millions a year, were cast by Mr. Obama as a shameless privileged class. Toyota was described as seeking profits over safety; Wellpoint, the insurance giant, was castigated for seeking to insulate itself from the new health care legislation by taking actions that the law will soon prohibit.
Obviously, Wall Street wasn’t shameless and privileged until Obama called them that. Similarly, the problem with Toyota wasn’t that its cars were killing people, it was his description of how their cars were killing people.
The conclusion of this piece is equally risible. Obama must be very careful about delicate corporate feelings, otherwise we risk the following:
[…][H]e will have to avoid painting with such a broad brush that foreign and domestic investors come to view the United States as a too risky place to do business, a country where big mistakes can lead to vilification and, perhaps, bankruptcy.
In short, our best bet is to act like some third world shithole that bends over backwards to get a little corporate investment, no matter what the cost.
It’s no coincidence that this front-page news analysis piece was written the Times’ chief Washington correspondent, David Sanger. For the DC Press Corpse, the “rule of law” is a quaint notion that went out at the turn of the century.