The Blue Wall Street Blues
This has been a rough few weeks for the Democratic narrative about what's wrong with America going into the 2012 election cycle. Basically, they've just been mugged by reality.Goodie. The Dems' narrative had the beauty of simplicity: those evil Republicans and their "fat cat" buddies on Wall Street did it! Vote for us instead!
This has been a rough few weeks for the Democratic narrative about what's wrong with America going into the 2012 election cycle. Basically, they've just been mugged by reality.
The Dems' narrative had the beauty of simplicity: those evil Republicans and their "fat cat" buddies on Wall Street did it! Vote for us instead!
That simple narrative was fashioned by President Barack Obama, his campaign team and their allies in the MSM. Marching in lock-step have been the leaders of organized labor and the #Occupy Wall Street crowd. It's been financed by the unions and by George Soros and organizations he helps fund. The OWS crowd has only been what Lenin called the "useful idiots."
Simple, as I say. But false. You might even, if you were mean, call it an example of the Big Lie.
That's because the Dems' narrative doesn't match reality. And it was reality which came crashing in over the last three weeks. It turns out that a lot of those "fat cats" on Wall Street -- or "millionaires and billionaires," as Mr. Obama likes to call them -- are Democrats.
Say hello to Blue Wall Street. Each week has told the American electorate an inconvenient truth about the reality of the Democratic Party. The drip-drip-drip of revelations is continuing too.
First was the federal indictment in New York three weeks ago of one Rajat Gupta, a man that has all the glittering prizes: Harvard Business School, former global head of McKinsey & Co, former Goldman Sachs director, former AMR director, former Proctor & Gamble director. A New York apartment and homes in Westport, Connecticut, Florida and elsewhere. He sat on all the right charities, served on all the right philanthropies.
Seems like Gupta should be the poster boy for the OWS movement, right? A master of the universe, as Tom Wolfe christened them in Bonfire of the Vanities.
Here's the problem: Rajat Gupta is a major Democratic contributor.
On October 28, an on-line outfit called NewsMeat posted an abstract of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. It was revealing, not to say embarrassing. Not only had Rajat Gupta given $2,500 to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama; in the last five election cycles, defendant Gupta -- who has pleaded "not guilty," is free on bail of $ 10 million and whose lawyer is promising a robust defense -- had also written large checks to the following other Democrats:
- Hillary Clinton ($1,000);
- John Kerry ($25,000);
- the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (a total of $53,000 to the DCCC over several election cycles); and
- a total of $46,000 spread among 11 different Democratic House and Senate candidates (including Chris Dodd (D. Conn.), head of the Senate committee which regulates Wall Street) around the country.
To his credit, Ben Smith at the Politico reported this story the same day AT did. But it otherwise sank without a trace. Nothing to see here, people, keep moving.
But the reality check for Democrats and the left was just getting started.
Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party's connection to Wall Street has been, shall we say, grossly underreported. President Obama got the lion's share of Finance's campaign contributions in 2008. But, in addition to the moolah, Wall Street has supplied numerous persons in Mr. Obama immediate circle of power. These include:
- current White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley;
- former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel;
- former car czar and current MSNBC contributor Steve Rattner (who had his own, um run-in with the federal securities laws, paying a $6.2-million settlement in 2010 to the SEC);
- former White House economic advisor Larry Summers; and
- former New York Fed chairman and current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
And so, last week, there came a second, embarrassing proof of Blue Wall Street's commanding role in the Obama Administration.
Former Goldman Sachs co-chief, defeated New Jersey governor, former United States Senator and now-disgraced CEO of bankrupt Wall Street firm MF Global John Corzine was forced to resign when his firm tanked. There're already separate criminal and regulatory investigations underway as well. A lot of investor money is reportedly missing and the FBI is on the case.
John Corzine's lawyered up. His salary at MF Global was $ 4.28 million in cash and benefits in the two years ended March, 2011. As part of his resignation, Corzine did agree to forego a reported $ 12 million severance package. His stock options, of course, are worthless.
Well, surely this Wall Street "fat cat" is an R, right? Fetch the pitchforks!
Nope. Just like Rajat Gupta, Corzine's a big Democratic contributor. In fact, Corzine makes Rajat Gupta look like a piker. So far this year, John Corzine reportedly gave $55,800 to the Dems. In the 2010 election cycle, Corzine gave $ 103,500 to Democratic candidates - including the maximum amount allowed of $5,000 to Barack Obama.
He "bundled" too: John Corzine reportedly raised over half a million dollars for the Dems. On November 3, the head of the Republican National Committee called on President Obama to give back the over a half million dollars which he said Corzine raised from other contributors for Mr. Obama.
Fun, right? Wait, there's more.
Until MF Global blew up last week, John Corzine was being touted as a contender to be President Obama's next Treasury Secretary. And now it even turns out that the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commissions, once of the regulating which in investigating MF Global and Corzine, has had to recuse himself from the investigation. Why? Because he used to work for John Corzine at -- wait for it -- Goldman Sachs.
I could go on. But why bother? That's all you need to know.
Actually, I will go on - because there's even more. A third bomb went off this week after the l'affaire Corzine exploded like the Hindenburg over Lakewood, New Jersey. This past Monday, the Washington Post let the cat out of the bag on more embarrassing facts:
- Wall Street is the biggest contributor, this election cycle, to Barack Obama;
- Wall Street's made more money in the three years of Mr. Obama's presidency than under the eight years of George Bush; and
- Wall Street's bonuses have more than recovered from the dip during the Crash of '08.
The truth, as the saying goes, will set you free. And the truth about the link between Blue Wall Street and the Democrats has now gone viral. The Dems have met the Enemy of the People, you might say; and he is them.
We'll see if this story proves to have legs. In the meantime, over at American Interest, Walter Russell Mead sums it up very well in a penetrating essay. Mead analyzes the obvious fault lines emerging within the Democratic coalition. The fracturing is being caused by the current #OWS nonsense, the Great Recession itself and the fiscal crises affecting federal and state budgets.
The implication is obvious: rupturing the uneasy alliance between Blue Wall Street and Blue America should be a primary objective of conservatives next year. In politics, facts are bullets. The last three weeks have proven that the Democrats' narrative for Election 2012 was nothing more than an exercise in cynicism.
Tell every Democrat you know.