Friday, April 3, 2009
On Presidents and Pitchforks
From today's Politico article:
The bankers struggled to make themselves clear to the president of the United States.
Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees — and, by extension, to themselves. “These are complicated companies,” one CEO said. Offered another: “We’re competing for talent on an international market.”
But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.” “My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Wow. I never in my life thought I would hear that a President of the United States had said something like this to American businessmen. Oh but wait. This is the same president who fired the CEO of a private company. My bad.
Obama is threatening these bankers with the frenzied, crazed mob? The mob that Obama himself fired up? And how did those bad loans get made in the first place if it wasn't the Democrats and their pressure on banks to make them?
At the very least it is a chilling, thuggish statement and quite unpresidential.