January 5, 2009
Bernie, Barry, and the art of the conBy James Lewis
What kind of sucker do you have to be to fall for the lovable pretensions of a really high-class hustler? Well, apparently exactly the same kind of sucker who falls for a really high-class Ponzi artist. In fact, you might be the very same person in the flesh, just begging to be relieved of your excess cash. (Or maybe just your rights and freedoms.)
It might also help to be a fatuous liberal of great wealth --- and even greater moral pretensions --- and shazzam! you're shark bait.
Such is the history lesson of 2008.
(Take it to heart, kids, or you'll be sorry some day.)
The similarities between Bernie Madoff -- now famed in song and story as one of the great Ponzi artists of all time -- and our new elite pols are just amazing. The difference is that Bernie is on his way to jail. Maybe he just didn't aim high enough.
But let me not take our new president's name in vain. After all, he will need our sympathy soon enough. That White House job only looks good from the outside.
No, let me just tell you the story of Hillary and Bill, two fantasy characters straight out of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain called his pair of con artists ‘the Duke' and ‘the Dauphin,' because that's how they introduced themselves to their marks. Both of them just happened to be European nobility, wandering around by the ole' Mississippi, cause they were down on their luck.
But Mark Twain thought he was telling a long and elaborate joke. His readers were expected to laugh at the punchlines.
Little did he know his own prophetic powers.
Now life imitates comedy.
In the 1990s all the liberals got taken by the Clintons, who invited an endless stream of well-known crooks to the White House, thereby practically putting out a flashing neon billboard sign to advertise their modus operandi. By the time Monica rose to fame, even the most diehard liberals were ready to admit that Yes, They Were Terribly Disappointed With Bill.
(So all the Upper West Side liberals voted for Hillary instead! Can you dig it?)
Having been taken in by the Clintons, time, and time, and wearisome time again, and having finally admitted that they were powerless over their addiction to Faith and Belief in professional liars, what did they learn?
Or maybe they just learned how good it felt while the kick lasted.
Because here comes the next historic opportunity to be taken in by a truly talented team of performance artists, and what do our eager friends on the Left do?
This is not the Best and the Brightest. It's not the cream of the crop in street smarts. This is 52% of the voters suffering from a really nasty repetition compulsion.
So can you actually blame Bernie Madoff for getting itchy palms when faced with this crowd of goo-goos? I mean, it's a challenge for a true artist. His professional ego is on the line. All the money in those Caribbean bank accounts is just icing on the cake. The real question is can you pull it off?
I mean, why do you rob banks? ‘Cause that where the money is, according to that other pro, Willey Sutton.
Why do you promise twelve percent annual compounding returns -- guaranteed -- to billionaire liberals? Even to their professional accountants?
In their free time the same folks respond to real estate ads for Okeefenokee Estates, and invest in Green Perpetual Motion Machines that promise to make millions out of ... nothing. Come to think of it, that's Al Gore new company right there.
Now all this might be funny enough in a comic novel set in rural Arkansas ‘way back when. But when it comes to electing the Leader of the Free World?
I've got an idea! Let's elect the next national savior from the South Side of Chicago! We know how clean and pure their political habits are!
You gotta be kidding.
Tell me you're kidding.