I don’t mean this in a “who will rid me of this meddlesome pundit kind of way” but convincing elites to act responsibly is the key problem in our current political predicament and I don’t know how to do it. Atrios:
Elites need to earn their respect, especially elites who face neither voters nor any other realistic check on potential corruption and hackery. Frankly about the only realistic check on the power of Supremos is their potential concern that people on the internets might be mean to them in furious blog posts. If elites want us to respect elite institutions they should do a better job of policing their own. Instead they try to police us.
Gallup’s “Confidence in Institutions” survey shows dreadful numbers for banks, and for big business in general. Notice those guys suffering? The Wall Streeters whine as if they’re suffering, but mostly what they say when they whine is, in effect, “We want all the money and respect!”
That’s pretty much what we may hear from the Supremes, or at least from the chief justice. Cohn mentions John Roberts’s “frequently professed concern for the court’s respectability.” But he seems to be oblivious to the fact that he’s lost that already. (As I’ve noted before, a recent Bloomberg poll showed that 75% of Americans expect the Court to issue a health care ruling based on political concerns.) The actual rulings show no signs of circumspection — Roberts apparently wants your respect in spite of those rulings.
Until we Americans start actually finding ways to hurt powerful people we despise, it’s going to continue to be good to be the hated king.
I’m not sure it has to be all stick and no carrot. I’m happy to have parades in Jamie Dimon’s honor and (gulp) even Bobo’s honor if I they start doing things that help our society, instead of destroying it. But what do they want? I don’t know. I can’t fathom having that kind of money and caring about more, not because I’m some awesome altruist, but because I don’t like thinking about money and if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t.
And if what they want isn’t so simple, what do they fear? The eventual beheading of Luke Clinton-Kristol in 2060 is too far into the future to scare anyone too much, IMHO.