Watching congressional hearings leaves me with a new appreciation of just how intellectually limited some of our elected representatives are.
Funny, I don’t remember feeling that way when I watched the Watergate hearings. I grant you I was only in Middle School at the time, but I spent my days that summer glued to the TV, and I have come to the conclusion that there are few Barbara Jordans in the House today.
I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Being a grown-up this time I had to go to work, but the questions asked of Liddy in the 30 minutes or so I could watch seemed to in many cases miss the point.
One Repesentative used his time to lecture Liddy about how he should give the money back. Meaning, it seemed, that he thought AIG should give back to the treasury the amount they had given out in bonuses, as if this would make everything alright. He clearly failed to understand what everybody is pissed about. Far more than being concerned that taxpayer dollars are going to pay these bonuses, people are pissed at the idea that people who nearly destroyed the company are being rewarded outrageously. The company returnong money to the government will not satisfy anyone who is outraged by all this. The people who are pissed, and that appears to be the majority of the population, want the people who got the bonuses to return the money. It would be nice if they also showed some evidence of understanding why we are so pissed, but that may be asking too much.
Liddy appeared to understand, better than the clueless congressman, but he did not make these bonus deals; he inherited them. He is not getting paid for his work to save AIG, and said he paid the bonuses because he considered the risk of not paying them too great. What exactly that risk was was not made clear in the time I could watch, and the few questioners who had their turn did not ask for clarification. It may have been explored in more detail later, but if it was, it has not been picked up by any of the news shows I have seen.
So far, I am not impressed by Congressional outrage.
I miss Barbara Jordan.