Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Deep in what only can be called the ideology of Washington, DC is the idea that the government's role with respect to large corporations is as a partner. Regulatory agencies do not demand compliance with the law. Rather they work with their business partners in some kind of mutual interest. Glenzilla:

MR. GREGORY: But this is a straightforward question. If you are in partnership with somebody -- and make no mistake, the government is in partnership with BP to get this problem solved -- does the, does the president of the United States trust the man on the other end who is leading this operation?

MR. AXELROD: Our, our mission here is to hold them accountable in, in every appropriate way, and that is what we're going to do. I, I'm not -- I don't consider them a, a, a partner, I don't consider them -- they're not social friends, they're not -- I'm not looking to make judgments about their soul. I just want to make sure that they do what they're required to do.

While Axelrod is pushing back against this idea here, much of our difficulties to date stem directly from the idea that the way to fix problems is to partner up with industry--the NSA with the telcos, HHS with the insurance and drug companies, MMS with the oil companies, Treasury and the banksters--to deliver "private sector" solutions. Of course, they say "free market," but this kind of thing is pretty much the opposite of a free market, and is, just by the way, a distance away from anyone would generally mean by "liberal" or "progressive." Large profit-making entities do not have the public interest at heart; they (at best) care about their shareholders' dividends. The notion that the relationship between them and the government should be accommodating, rather than adversarial is quite a radical shift away from the views of FDR or LBJ.

But this notion runs deep. It is so strong in Dancin' Dave that it is like a fish's awareness of water. He seems to be literally unable to understand what Axelrod means by accountability.

(You can take the tire-swinging, watersports, and Blackberry stylin' as given here.)