Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Kristol’s Convenient Hypocrisy

Bill Kristol once again fires up the faux outrage machine and shows what a partisan hack he really is. This time he’s firing up the faux outrage machine over Sen. Carl Levin making public a series of internal Goldman Sachs emails that were turned over to his committee pursuant to a valid subpoena. Here’s an exchange with Juan Williams on Fox News where he just digs himself deeper and deeper:

Kristol: I think if the Democrats were as confident as they pretend to be, they wouldn’t be releasing emails. I mean what is that about? That wasn’t leaked, the Senate Banking Committee simply released private emails from Goldman Sachs… (crosstalk) …Senator Levin authorized his staff to release emails that were provided to this investigative Senate committee ostensibly on the grounds this committee was doing a serious investigation. Then they release emails that are simply, they say, embarrassing. It’s outrage actually. Now every business in the United States has to worry that any emails sent anywhere at some point in three years later that can be made to look embarrassing to a chief executive who’s testifying Tuesday, and I say this as no fan of Goldman Sachs, but Lloyd Blankfein is testifying Tuesday and they want to embarrass him on the spot and they’ve released these emails.

Well the core issue here, the issue of the rule of law and this notion that this bill increases executive authority discretions so much that it… as opposed to other ways of fixing the financial crisis through the bankruptcy code he doesn’t like, that it’s bad to increase the authority to the discretion of the government in Washington this much. That’s the core objection to the bill and the core dispute over the bill.

For President Obama to pretend that the only reason you might dislike this bill is if you were interested in bilking people. That’s insane. It’s really ridiculous.

Williams: It’s not ridiculous when you read the emails and the core here is not the release of the emails it’s the content of the emails and the emails reveal that they’re saying the people at Goldman Sachs are saying, you know what, we’re going to make money while investors are losing money. In fact we’re going to have a windfall they say in these emails. That is the outrage in case you missed it! And that’s why public outrage over the behavior by these Wall Street titans is over the top. And I might add, you know what else… (crosstalk)

Kristol: Shouldn’t Senator Levin’s emails be released? He’s the public official. I mean if he believes that everything should be transparent let’s see his emails and his staff when they discussed whether to embarrass Lloyd Blankfein or not.

Williams: Listen you are lost in the weeds on this thing. It doesn’t matter who…

Kristol: It doesn’t matter whether there is a rule of law in Washington?

Williams: Of course it matters there is a rule of law. But let me just say something, when you sit at your desk at your corporation, guess what your boss can read your emails. That’s not the issue. The issue… (crosstalk)

Kristol: But you know what, the Senator of the United States is not the boss of every employee at Goldman Sachs. That is a very revealing statement Juan! That is a very revealing statement! We all work for Carl Levin! That is the future …

Now remember, Kristol is an enthusiastic advocate of the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretaps. So his position here, apparently, is that the government can intercept anyone’s emails and phone calls they want without getting a warrant from any court, and use it however they want, but it’s terribly wrong for the Senate to subpoena emails from corporations as part of an investigation.

Let me translate: “Won’t someone think of those poor, defenseless corporations?”