LOS ANGELES, December 29, 2011 ― This is a time of year for lists. While Summer brings my list of the hottest political women, this list is significantly less sexy. While some people think that hot women and their (redacted) run the world, this is not entirely true. While paradigms shift, tastes change, and truisms either stand for all eternity or fall by the wayside, one political consistency seems to be made of granite. Real power rests in the scalps of those we sometimes rarely see.
When a political crisis gets out of hand, find a PBWG.
Powerful Bald White Guys (PBWGs) run the world.
For the uninitiated, PBWGs can often be found on the various “Law and Order” franchises. The seriousness of the crime is determined by the number of PBWGs barking orders.
PBWG Level 1 has the police chief yelling “One Police Plaza is all over my @ss!”
PBWG Level 2 has the top police guy showing up with all of his medals pinned to his chest yelling “The Mayor is all over my @ss,” and other authoritative phrases like “If you screw the pooch on this one, just remember that the cr@p rolls down hill!”
PBWG 3 means all heck is breaking loose, and it gets kicked up to either Fred Thompson (DA Arthur Branch) or Tom Everett Scott (Governor Donald Shalvoy, an Eliot Spitzer clone).
People trust PBWGs because they look like people who handle things. They have a reassuring nature. The original PBWG as reassurer-in-chief would probably be President Dwight Eisenhower. Even my Socialist poli-sci professor in college conceded that Eisenhower was a father figure. The man’s campaign slogan was “I like Ike.” That is not exactly off the charts, but it was simple and effective.
Eisenhower was the last president to be elected before the modern television era. Once Kennedy defeated Nixon, PBWGs were not going to win the White House. 2008 validated this, as Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and John McCain all fell to a man with zero substance, an empty suit, and excellent hair.
Yet despite not being the boss, the PBWGs remain vital. In the last couple years times have been really tough, and presidents of both parties have consulted those light on follicles to guide us.
President George W. Bush had low approval ratings in his final year in office. He needed to convince America why a 787 billion stimulus package was necessary. He did not have the political capital to push the plan.
Enter Hank Paulson.
Paulson was everywhere. Despite rumors that he and Ben Bernanke were the same person, Paulson did not have the sinister looking beard (another topic for another time). Paulson looked like he was in command. The plan got passed.
President Obama has seen his presidency spiral out of control. The oil spill that began with an explosion aboard a BP ship proved unmanageable. So many things had to get done. Somebody was needed to handle all of the claims.
When you need somebody to handle claims, you find somebody who looks like an insurance claims adjuster.
Enter Ken Feinberg.
(Since this is a visual issue and not an auditory one, I will gloss over his dreadful New England accent. That is also for another time.)
Ken Feinberg looked like he was born wearing a red and blue diagonal necktie. He looked like he entered the world dedicated to balancing debits and credits.
His honesty was seen as beyond reproach. He looked like a guy who could be trusted, similar to the PBWG boss in all of those Gekko Geico commercials.
(and the PBWG on Law and Order who is now selling gold. The thunder and lightning in the background do not remove his steady calm.)
Ken Feinberg had another quality making him perfect for the job. Not only did he look like the cover page of the fictional “Non-Descript Average White Guy Monthly” magazine, but he had another reassuring quality. He is boring. Boring guys are rarely controversial (somehow President Obama is boring and controversial, not an easy achievement). When Feinberg was asked if strippers were entitled to compensation, his response was pure Sominex. He ignored the sex aspect of the story and dryly responded that while the claim did not seem legitimate, it would be looked at. This guy could win bureaucrat of the decade.
Yet it is one thing to administer financial claims. It is another thing to have to fix the oil leak itself. President Obama is not an oil guy. Perhaps he was given an oil painting as a gift, and may use Oil of Olay or Palmolive Oil on his hands, but that is most likely the extent of it.
Some situations are so serious that a standard PBWG will not be good enough. In these rare sobering moments, only a very special PBWG can be considered. Like breaking the glass in terms of an emergency, at these times there is only one thing to do.
Find a guy who resembles a walrus, and put him in charge. People trust walruses.
For those wondering why former Russian President Vladimir Putin has never made the list, you have too much free time. The reason is because Mr. Putin can get to anybody, anywhere, at any time. Getting him angry is not a good idea. Leaving him off the list is a self-preservation method known as a “business decision.” If he ever demands inclusion, inclusion will be granted immediately and retroactively.
Iowa State Chairman Matt Strawn did not make the list. While the Iowa Caucus is only a few days away, the test of his power would have come in the form of an endorsement. He did not make one, so he cannot be a kingmaker. Besides, Iowa already has one king, that being Congressman Steve King.
So King free, Putin-free, and gluten free, America finally has the list of the Top 10 PBWGs of 2011.
10) Lt. John Pike–He was living an obscure existence as an everyman employed with the UC Davis Police Force. Then Occupy Wall Street broke out in violent protests all over America, turning Lt. Pike into a legend. A bunch of protesters were on their knees, refusing to disburse. Lt. Pike became the “Pepper Spray Cop,” teargassing them all and restoring law and order. Critics pointed out that teargassing them was overkill. It was actually the humane option, since it was safer to the protesters than beating them with batons. Perhaps had he beaten them all he would be higher on the list, but in a world where criminals run wild, it is refreshing to know that law and order is not just a cancelled television show. Protesters now know not to mess with PBWGs.
9) Ken Langone–The Home Depot CEO was a fairly apolitical Republican until the Obama administration starting destroying American businesses with oppressive regulations meant to turn the country into a European social democracy. Mr. Langone has said that in this climate, he could not create Home Depot today. Mr. Langone is a guy who hires thousands of people who sell stuff to people to help them build stuff. This is what America is all about. Mr. Langone is impossible to demonize because his company is the heart of what America is about.
8) Louie Gohmert–The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee was unable to block Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor because the Senate votes on those nominees. Yet Congressman Gohmert will play a key role going forward. Barack Obama can no longer ram his agenda down the throats of a pliant legislature. Now he will do what liberals always do when they lose in the court of public opinion and in the legislature. He will use the courts. It is up to Gohmert to stop leftist nominees in their tracks before they can do any damage. Congress is not good at acting, but when it comes to inaction they are fantastic. Congressman Gohmert should become Captain Gridlock.
7) Rupert Murdoch–The Chairman of Fox News and the owner of the New York Post, he has a powerful media empire. Yet he has had a tough year, as a spying scandal at one of his British publications rocked the country and hurt him personally. Yet liberals still make him out to be the personification of all that s evil in the world, rendering him as powerful as ever.
6) Rick Scott/Jerry Brown–These two men are actually not the same person. Rick Scott is a conservative Republican and the Governor of Florida. Jerry Brown is Governor Moonbeam, a liberal Democrat and Governor of California. Both of these leaders have legislatures controlled by their own party, giving them broad powers. They will govern in totally opposite directions. California wants high speed rail. Florida does not. California wants high taxes and regulations. Florida wants them low. They both have good weather and strong environmental movements. The difference is Florida is able to protect trees without destroying human beings. The next year will determine which approach works better.
5) David Axelrod–President Obama’s top political advisor is one of two people actually running this country, since every decision Mr. Obama makes is political. Valerie Jarrett helps Barack Obama in the morning by tying his shoes, patting his head, and telling him how special he is. She then tucks him in at night. Everything in between belongs to Mr. Axelrod, who tells Mr. Obama what to think and believe. Forget 300 million Americans. It is all about 270 electoral votes. If Barack Obama is reelected, Mr. Axelrod will most likely shoot to the top of this list next year. Mr. Axelrod also created the Occupy Wall Street movement, although he refuses to take credit for it. Whether unions, drug addicts, or college students are the perpetrators, every ounce of violence distracts voters from the failed Obama record. Axelrod is the puppeteer.
4) Ben Bernanke–The Chairman of the Federal Reserve cannot get a break. After two straight years of being so close to the top, he was in prime position to reach the top spot. Then he made a fatal mistake when he testified before Congress. He spoke in English. Alan Greenspan was a master PBWG because nobody understood what he was saying. Disagreeing with him was impossible because he was incomprehensible. Despite steering America through a financial crisis under Republican and Democrat leaders, several politicians running for president want him fired. He fails to win the top spot because he is accountable, and therefore dispensable. Only those with absolute power can be considered for the top spot.
3) Jon Corzine–He is more than a failed Governor of New Jersey. He is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. He was fired when he lost a power struggle to another legendary PBWG, Hank Paulson. Mr. Corzine is more than a guy with a sinister looking beard and an arrogant wealthy leftist hypocritical disposition. He recently became the failed CEO of MF Global. The company just suffered the eighth worst global bankruptcy, and now 1.2 billion dollars of customer money is missing. Even worse, customer funds seem to have been commingled with company money. Mr. Corzine’s greed and hubris were the sole reasons MF Global burned, as his bets on European debt blew up. Yet he will avoid ail because he is above the law. He is a leftist and a former Goldman Sachs guy. He has two shields of lifetime immunity from any bad acts. Occupy Wall Street will not criticize him even though he should be the poster child for what they hate. He is tat powerful.
2) Gary Gensler–The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is the reason why Jon Corzine will skate free of any penalty. CFTC Chairman Gensler is a Corzine crony. Gensler donated to Corzine’s New Jersey campaigns. Mr Gensler has “recused” himself from the MF Global investigation, which allows him to look honorable in public while controlling and steering things behind the scenes. Corzine cannot go down, because then the question of regulatory neglect could taint the CFTC itself. The CFTC wanted to implement a rule to prevent certain trading practices that could lead to increased risk of default. Corzine lobbied to have the policy delayed, and Gensler had the juice to make sure it was never implemented until it was too late.
Yet there is one man who has more power than a Federal Reserve Chairman, a former Goldman Sachs CEO, and even a CFTC Chairman with the sole responsibility of protecting Goldman Sachs. That would be the current Goldman Sachs CEO.
1) Lloyd Blankfein–The current Goldman Sachs CEO is not just above the law. He is the law. When the financial crisis hit, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were allowed to burn. Yet Goldman Sachs was too big to fail. Letting Lehman and Bear crash was designed so that Goldman Sachs would get more business. When the Obama justice department investigated the firm, all of Wall Street laughed, knowing Barack Obama was not going to dare punish them. The slap on the wrist they received was so light that it barely left a mark on the billion dollar kid gloves the top executives all wear.
Do not mistake this as an attack on Goldman Sachs. Everybody should want to be above the law, accountable to nobody, liable for nothing, and connected on high. So all hail Lloyd Blankfein, the man who controls everything. He is the Top Powerful Bald White Guy of 2011.
Congratulations Mr. Blankfein. Well done, sir. Like your stock options, you earned this.
Yet getting to the top is one thing. Staying there is much harder. Be careful Mr. Blankfein. Like Paulson did to Corzine, there are PBWGs in your office looking to scratch your cueball out of your corner pocket office.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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