As I was watching the video of Loretta Lynch, the nation’s former chief law enforcement office, darkly suggesting we might be in for a time when rights are rolled back and the appropriate response might once again include marching, bleeding, and even dying for her cause I had two reactions:
First, with mobs, including students, attacking scholars and property at Berkeley and Middlebury, what could she be thinking?
Second, what office is she running for?
Saint Loretta Lynch
Senate Democrats loved the rhetoric enough to post it on their website. Lynch’s deft emotional identification with the angry leftist mob, without quite endorsing anyone’s actions, or any policy in particular, struck me as politically adroit — the hallmark of an aspiring Democrat politician in the age of Trump.
But if Lynch is running for president in 2020 or senator from New York in 2018 (primarying Kirsten Gillenbrand in the safe Democratic seat?), she’s likely to have company: meet the latest leftist secular saint in Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney from New York — who tweeted his way to fame this week by boasting that he was fired after refusing to resign.
Preet Bharara, “Sheriff” of Wall Street
How breathlessly CNN described the man: “Preet Bharara has reached that lofty pantheon of fame where it seems everyone knows him by just his first name.” Well, everyone whom CNN knows, anyway.
Our friend Preet, is a “rock star prosecutor” and “scourge of Wall Street corruption, gangs, terrorists and cyber criminals” and “the most high profile U.S. Attorney in the nation” and “the Sheriff of Wall Street” with “an innovative personality that shook up the sometimes stuffy world of the law,” as well as a “crusading prosecutor.”
If Preet were really the Sheriff of Wall Street, why did almost nobody responsible for the financial crisis go to jail?
The Obama administration adroitly waited until the 2012 election to showily announce it was going after Wall Street — after the five year criminal statute of limitation had passed. This was perhaps out of a doctrine, elucidated in 1999 by none other than the future Attorney General Eric Holder.
Prosecuting bankers who have committed crimes is hard. Collecting settlements you can wave before voters or CNN reporters as the stuff of legend is pretty easy, as William D. Cohan points out:
Since 2009, 49 financial institutions have paid various government entities and private plaintiffs nearly $190 billion in fines and settlements, according to an analysis by the investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. That may seem like a big number, but the money has come from shareholders, not individual bankers.
How big a punishment did the Sheriff of Wall Street and his Justice department amici really deal out? Let’s put it this way: “In early 2014, just weeks after Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, settled out of court with the Justice Department, the bank’s board of directors gave him a 74 percent raise, bringing his salary to $20 million.”
Meanwhile, if Preet was a sheriff, his biggest legacy is prosecuting so-called “insider trading” deals during the recession — threatening and jailing investors for uncertain, vague regulatory crimes, which shut down a key component of economic growth: knowledgeable investing.
The entire government response to the financial crisis in terms of wrongdoing has been episodic, vague and irrational, favoring hedge fund black box algorithms over the depth knowledge that directs money to where it can grow. This is what George Gilder has called the “outsider trading scandal,” part of The Scandal of Money.
Christian conservatives are very lucky that the Democratic party has linked its deep dedication to identity politics and social radicalism (including LGBT, race and gender) to a failed economic agenda. That linkage has given the rule of law a second shot, if only the Republican party had the guts to pass legislation to protect the livelihoods of its voters from Democratic misrule.
Meanwhile, look to New York once again for the future of the Democratic party, in which social justice warriors of all colors square off in defense of their core values, without a real agenda for progress.
The Loretta Lynch Video
I deliberately linked to the Snopes.com version of the Loretta Lynch video because many conservative websites’ versions claimed Lynch actually called for bloodletting. Not really. But hers was still astonishingly inflammatory rhetoric for a former attorney general, rife with claims of “our rights being assailed, being trampled on, even being rolled back,” and implied praise for protesters’ actions:
It has been people — individuals — who have banded together. Ordinary people, who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals, who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled. Yes, some of them have died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before, we can do this again.
The fantasy that conservatives, or most Trump supporters, are violent racists fuels this kind of rhetoric. It feeds the gathering forces of hatred in which people with cultural and economic privilege are defining their opposition as Nazis — against whom violence is understandable if not quite right, as I wrote before. David Duke has never been more powerful. It is the power granted earlier to Fred Phelps, the late heretical cult leader (Westboro Baptist) whose message that “God hates f**s” was irresistibly useful to the mainstream media which wanted to tar all opposition with that broad, ugly brush.
On March 6, without any word from Lynch on what she actually meant, Snopes went to bat with the claim that she praised only black civil rights heroes who suffered in the past, not rioters who committed violence in Ferguson or Berkeley or Middlebury.
On March 6, Snopes.com had not received any response from Loretta Lynch. On March 14, I checked in again to make sure: still no response. Loretta Lynch has no desire to correct or clarify the record apparently.
Is it because such a clarification would not please the hard Left’s newfound praise for violence against anyone they dub a white nationalist? (For more from the author of “Loretta Lynch and Preet Bharara: The Left’s New Plaster Saints” please click HERE)