Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why I Don’t Care Why Greg Smith Quit

Greg Smith was in his 12th year with Goldman Sachs when he quit yesterday and posted his manifesto in the New York Times to explain “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs”.

Do I care?


Greg Smith is a recognizable small-time opportunist. He wants it both ways. He is 33-years-old, has been with GS for 12 years, was making $500,000 a year, which isn’t all that much dough, but he hadn’t made it to the level of Managing Director. He was described by a man he attended Stanford University with as being a person who had “a really high moral fiber”.

Spare me. The same has been said of religious zealots who willingly murder transgressors…it’s a meaningless encomium.

But Mr. Smith’s fiber being highly moral or not is not the point.

Now that things have not worked out well at GS for Mr. Smith, and now that GS rep has been seriously tarnished, Mr. Smith wants us to know he never liked the way GS operated and he stayed on just to change things from the inside out, because the way GS was operating, was, he said, “making me ill.”

There’s a lot of that sick-making moral lassitude going around. Rick Santorum told us the separation of church and state views of John F. Kennedy made him “want to throw up”. And yet, both Smith and Santorum stuck around for years doing whatever they had to do to advance their careers before discovering they had a visceral response to the company they kept.

The organization Smith now reviles couldn’t see its way to making him a Managing Director. Do you think this has anything to do with Smith having belatedly grown a spine?

I do not care why Greg Smith quit Goldman Sachs any more than I care why a woman who has had three abortions decides aborting is repellent and wants no woman to have an abortion. I do not care why Greg Smith quit Goldman Sachs any more than I care why a jewel thief turns state’s evidence and wants his thieving compadres put in jail. I do not care why Greg Smith quit Goldman Sachs because I also do not care why a rejected lover wants the former object of his/her affection to rot in hell. The reasons are all too transparent and vengeful…no explanation is necessary.

I do not care about Greg Smith’s reasons because they are suspect and he looks like a slimey little putz trying to spin his years of turning a blind eye to corruption into a magnificent act of sacrifice.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

There are Two Kinds of Republicans.

I am tempted to quote old-time humorist Robert Benchley when he said “There are two kinds of people in the world, the kind that divides the world into two kinds, and the kind that doesn’t”, but I won’t.

The two kinds of Republicans are: 1) the kind that is thinking, intelligent, wealthy and willing to do anything to get a Republican elected president; and 2) the idiotic, moronic troglodytes who back the Tea Party and its ilk and are willing to do anything to get a Republican elected president. A third kind does exist, the kind that is thinking and intelligent, but they will either not vote in the next election or will vote for Obama and therefore are not counted as Republicans by Republicans.

Both types of Republican-voting Republicans are committed to the anti-contraceptives issue. The Group Number One type loves the divisive issue because it keeps everyone’s mind off the fact that the GOP has no plan for confronting real issues. No woman in this group will be affected by the threat to outlaw contraceptives because all child-bearing thinking-intelligent-wealthy women can and will always be able to get contraceptives and abortions from their doctors.

Let this be known here and now: Most women in Group Number One are using contraceptives, because no thinking-intelligent-wealthy woman who has sex with her husband (and/or whoever) would be caught dead having a baby every year until they are menopausal. These women and their husbands will see to it that contraceptives and abortions are always legally available to those who can pay for them. Group Number One has no religious conviction about contraceptives, but hope the issue will get a thinking-intelligent-wealthy Republican elected.

The Group Number Two type cannot get past its small-minded prejudices, fears and superstitions. This group is terrified that intelligence and education will discover the world is round, the earth is not the center of the universe, God is not a huge old man striding around in the sky, and they want to return to a way of life they understand—life in the 1950’s.

In the last election, 228,000,000 people were eligible to vote. Roughly 65,000,000 voted for Obama, and 57,000,000 voted for McCain. It is estimated that 35% of Republicans are conservative. So, of the 57 mil, approximately 20 mil voters in the last election were conservatives. Of which, let’s say half were women. Of that 10,000,000, it has been estimated that 20% were right-wing zealot evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics.

So, okay. Two million women in the United States promise they will never use contraceptives; and from the time they hit puberty until they are in their fifties they are willing to have a baby every year; in addition, they want all women in the world to conform to that rigor.

Hey, fine…their choice. But this small group of women is beside the point.

What is very much to the point are all the thinking-intelligent-wealthy Republican women and their husbands/significant others who are willing to get on the anti-contraceptives bandwagon in order to get a Republican elected.

Now here’s my point.

Do these thinking-intelligent-wealthy women honestly believe that in this technology-over-kill age, it cannot be found out that they are using contraceptives? Do these women, some of whom are Congresspersons and some of whom are married to Congresspersons, not understand that they will be pilloried for demanding a law that they are not willing to follow?

The Republicans have set themselves up for things getting really ugly. And it won’t be the Democrats doing the dirty-work.

Obama will be re-elected. Not because he’s had a stellar first term, he hasn’t. He will be re-elected because the Republicans have alienated themselves from normal Americans. The alienation started with nominating Sarah Palin for Vice President in the 2008 election. And in the last four years the GOP has steadily moved from a reasoned political platform into crazy ranting and crackpot religious zealotry.

But it’s the Republicans who are going to use the contraceptives wedge issue against themselves. If the Repubs want to base their whole 2012 political campaign and their future electability on the issue of contraceptives, that is exactly what is going to happen. This move to attract the most ignorant, hysterical, unlettered extremists to the Republican Party is a bell that cannot be unrung.

Every time a Republican who has no children or fewer than 3 children runs for dog-catcher, the issue is going to be raised by other Republicans as to whether contraceptives have been used in the family. And do not think that proof of betrayal will not be shown. It can and it will.

If it’s divisive, bigoted, off-the-wall, nonsensical claptrap the Republicans want in the GOP, that is exactly what they are going to get.