The Symbol Of Wall Street Greed

Gosh, I miss Harvey. The one election night loss that I most lament is that of Harvey Pitt. His name wasn't even on the ballot, but he was a goner before the polls closed.

Pitt had been George W's handpicked head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street watchdog agency. What a beautiful guy, the perfect portrait of Bush's plutocratic, autocratic, corporate administration! He came to the SEC job straight from Wall Street, where he was a big shot lawyer for Arthur Andersen, and other giant firms that he was now supposed to regulate. Like George himself, Harvey was a 100% washed-in-the-blood-of-the-lamb, true believer in laissez-faire ideology, believing that the role of government is not to regulate corporate power ... but to accommodate it.

Harvey totally looked and acted the role of corporate concigliere and bureaucratic autocrat. Like an old Thomas Nast caricature of a Robber Baron, Pitt is, shall we say, portly. He's got a full beard, a big belly that's amplified by the red power-suspenders that he favors, and he has a gruff arrogance that seems to be fueled by his wan gaseousness. Woodrow Wilson once said that some people come to Washington and grow, while others just swell. Harvey was a sweller.

And that's why I loved him. Faced with the mass finagling, looting, cheating, tax-dodging, and outright robbery being conducted by the Enrons, Arthur Andersens, and all the rest of the Wall Street crowd, Pitt never ceased being an eager accommodator. He was the perfect poster boy of the Bushite's undying loyalty to Wall Street greed.

But, alas, Harvey was so gross, so inept, and so politically tone deaf that he was too heavy a load for even the most corporate White House in history to carry. So, on election night, while the media spotlight was pointed elsewhere, Harvey was offed.

However, the good news is that, now, George W himself becomes the national symbol of corporate excess.

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