Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Gramm-it, No!

Molly Ivins' column this week about the possibility that Phil Gramm might get named Secretary of the Treasury got me thinking about the Ashcroft Rule: "Old politicians never die, even when they lose to the dead." (You know, politicians are sort of like major league baseball managers--as long as you've been one once you will be considered for every job opening henceforth, no matter your record. Call it the Jeff Torborg Rule.)

You'd think that no one could seriously consider Gramm for anything beyond dogcatcher (maybe not even that--I like dogs), because, among all his other faults, he snuck the deregulation of energy futures into an omnibus spending bill, thereby greasing the rails for the worst excesses of Enron (who so very coincidentally was one of his major campaign contributors). But he is from Texas, so that's probably good enough for Bush, who likes Kenny-Boy Lay and his money enough, too.

Still, do a quick Google on Gramm and see what you can dig up. My favorites come from an Austin Chronicle story when he retired from the Senate:

Consider his memorable attacks on social services, and on the poor themselves: 'This is the only country in the world where all the poor people are fat.' Remember his assaults on Social Security, and his tender justification for eliminating minimum benefits for the elderly: 'They are 80-year-olds. Most people don't have the luxury of living to be 80 years old, so it's hard for me to feel sorry for them.' Contemplate his (successful) response to health care and insurance reform: 'We have to blow up this train and the rails and trestle and kill everyone on board.'

Just the sort of compassionate conservative to oversee our financial policy and the further weakening of the dollar.


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