“Yuh gotta understand,” says Uncle Pundit. “They aren’t the same, and yet they are, in the public mind.”
I don’t know from apples about John Dillinger, America’s Public Enemy Number One back in the pre-CEO days, but I know Uncle Pundit will explain.
“John was a killer, a bank robber, an unnice guy. And yet, in the time that he lived, the early '30s, he had a mystique. It was the banks that wouldn’t let people have their money for a time, it was the banks that took the farm when the mortgage couldn’t be paid. So, here’s a guy runnin’ fast cars around the Midwest, shootin’ up banks, takin’ their money. Secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, people kinda rooted for him, like they did other bad guys back in the six-shooter days earlier.”
Okay, so what’s that got to do with Martha Stewart? She certainly is not a bank robber.
“Naw. But she is in the same category, a gal who made it on her own, who outfoxed some of the biggies, the Time-Warners and the K-Marts. And finally, she did what every red-blooded American yearns to do: she beat the stock market.”
“She sold in time. No American does that. At least most just go down with the ship, with the rest of the galley slaves. But not ol’ Martha. She gets the info in time and she gets out. Not a big score— 40 grand or so. Small enough for America to understand, but big enough for America to admire.”
That makes her a heroine?
“That is just the beginning. It is the Feds that make her the hero. Like they did with Dillinger, they chase her down, tree her, and make her pay for beating the game.”
But, inside trading….
“Inside my left foot. Inside info is what keeps Wall Street going. It’s what your analyst pretends to have, it’s what your broker hints he’s got, it’s what a thousand guys writing news letters about the market want you to think they’ve got. Besides, it wasn’t inside trading that they made Martha with after all.”
That’s right. It was fibbing to the investigators about the subject.
“Exactamundo. How many Americans can imagine it? You’re sitting under that bright light, they’re firing questions, and what does the average guy do? He collapses like a cheap suitcase, tells all and more. Martha? With the guts of a Christmas turkey, she lies! And look, the subject is not atomic secrets. It’s about how she happened to unload some stock before it tanked. Something all America yearns to do. To get out before that Wall Street bandit machine takes you down.”
I think it begins to figure…
“Of course. And here is the image of big bad Uncle Sam, overweening power, being brought to bear on pretty Martha. Lemme take you back.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?