Here's a first for Talking Points Memo: A guest post, this one from The
Washington Monthly's Josh Green -- JMM
Are Democrats about to blow it on the issue of corporate scandal? You
wouldn't think so from Dick Gephardt's disputed-but-nonetheless-bold
prediction in Roll Call that the Democrats will take back 40 seats in the
House. But you might if, like me, you were seated behind embattled Army
Secretary/Enron impressario Thomas White yesterday as he testified before
Shrill Democratic grandstanding was the order of the day and dominates most
of today's coverage. But anyone in the room could tell you that--flip charts
and hectoring moralism aside--the Democratic senators got trounced.
The hearing was supposed to connect White to the California price-fixing
scandal, but, well...it didn't, as only a few astute reporters seem willing
Here's a quote from today's Sacramento Bee: "By the end of the hearing,
Democrats were left with little more than they had started. Even with the
Enron memos, which Dorgan several times called 'smoking-gun memos,' there
was nothing linking White to the California energy crisis."
Or how about Business Week? "Surprisingly, after several hours of grilling
White, several members of the Senate Commerce Committee seemed resigned to
accept the explanations for his corporate behavior while he was
vice-chairman of the Enron retail subsidiary."
Regular TPM readers may remember the supposedly explosive report being
touted a while back by one Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen that was going to
doom White by linking him to the energy scandal. While a lot of folks took
the bait (the Senate and my gracious host among them) the hype surrounding
that report, at least as it pertains to the California scandal, now seems
thoroughly discredited. But that didnât stop Slocum from showing up! He was
looking a bit glum and strangely out of place, decked out as he was in black
jeans and a billowing patterned shirt and looking uncannily like a member of
Third Eye Blind.
But back to the bigger issue: If Democrats swing and miss at the top Enron
official in the Bush administration--who, by the way, ain't exactly a
choirboy-- what does that say about their chances this fall? Maybe that
they're dropping faster than the Dow?
-- Josh Green
(July 18th, 2002 -- 9:03 PM EDT
Is the Bush administration the most crudely political administration ever? Especially when it comes to the conduct of foreign policy? To date, the administration has had two state dinners. One for the President of Mexico, another for the President of Poland. No doubt, if there were a country of Pennsylvania steelworkers tucked away somewhere in the Balkans their president would be getting the red carpet treatment too.
NEWSFLASH: (Reuters) President Bush hosts president of MidAtlanticSwingVoterStan at White House. State Dinner scheduled for Friday evening ...