Eric Schneiderman, the all-talk no-walk investigator of banksters, explained the universe in his big speech at Netroots Nation. I stupidly went, thinking he would talk about mortgage fraud, foreclosure fraud, or securities fraud or just about any frauds committed by his Wall Street constituents. For this, I passed up dinner and drinking, the real point of all conventions.
I like political speeches. Tammy Baldwin and Sheldon Whitehouse gave excellent examples of the basic political speech: little litanies, beginning with a recitation of the greatness of the American People, the wonders of the greatest nation the earth has ever known, a short digression on the evil things done by the opposition, assurances of their resistance to those evil people, and a short restatement of three to ten policies the speaker thinks the audience likes.
Schneiderman chose the pander speech. He started by explaining that real change comes from the grassroots, leaders emerge from struggles over real problems. That’s us, the Netroots! We are the leaders of the future!
He continues: We are in a transitional era now, just like the early 30s. We democrats stand for the rule of law applicable to everyone equally just like President Obama. Someone from the audience suggests loudly that locking up banksters would be a good start, and Schneiderman says he’ll get to that. Which he does a few minutes later saying that he can’t comment on the investigation he is doing. Everyone is really nice about this bit of foolery, and it was at this point I realized I would prefer to be drinking. I mutter at my tablemates that banksters and pot smokers do not face the same application of the rule of law, but no one hears me because they are stunned into dopiness.
The somnolence continues. Schneiderman tells us that for 30 years or more, we as a nation have held the view that massive inequality was just fine, and now we don’t think that any more. It’s all us netroots people, occupiers, bloggers and progressives, who raised the consciousness of America! Yes, Schneiderman believes that the transformative issue is that inequality is bad! He emphasizes that with a brilliant politician smile, just like that photo above! How could you resist that smile?
In the short term, as to this investigation, there are two points. We need to “make him do it”! This crucial law enforcement officer won’t act until the people demand it. I don’t know which people need to demand action, but it obviously isn’t anyone at FDL. Second, although he can’t talk about ongoing investigations, he wants us to know his goals in the investigation: 1) accountability, 2) help for the injured, and 3) establishing the facts so that the right can’t rewrite history.
On that accountability thing, we need to realize that equal application of the law is a long-term goal. He doesn’t acknowledge how truly transformative it would be if we had several thousand perp walks today.
I’m just sorry Schneiderman didn’t take questions. I have one. You enforce the Martin Act, the broadest state securities law, much easier to enforce than federal securities law. Why no prosecutions by your office five years after the Great Crash?
Here is the reality, General Schneiderman: No one cares about your views on inequality. We want you to lock up several thousand banksters. If you don’t, when your term is over, join some Wall Street law firm, because you have no credentials as a democrat, let alone as a progressive.