Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who Speaks for the Banks??!!

What do you see when you look at Mitch McConnell?

I know. You see a shriveled old white guy, the sort of guy whose sagging face screams "restricted country club!" You see a face - nay, a person - of the sort that Grant Wood used to paint. Kentucky Gothic.

But I'll tell you what I see as I look into those doleful eyes. I see vulnerability. I see pathos. I see loneliness. I see the Lorax, with a southern drawl.

You remember the Lorax, right? The Dr. Seuss book? He was the fuzzy little creature who tried all by himself to defend the forest against the ravages of industry. He famously took his solitary and courageous stand: "I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I'm asking you sir, at the top of my lungs - that thing! That horrible thing that I see! What's that thing you've made out of my truffula tree?"

That's Mitch McConnell. Mitch "The Lorax" McConnell has taken on the loneliest cause of righteousness in our country today: Defending Ginormo Wall Street Banks from any sort of reform.

Sure, it's easy to pick on the banks and the bankers. It's easy to blame them for, well, everything they screwed up for the rest of us. Fish in a barrel easy. And all this anger about how we had to bail them out? Well, that has really brought out our uncharitable side, hasn't it. They needed our help - when your neighbor comes over for a cup of sugar, you don't hold it against them for the rest of eternity, do you? Are you proud of yourself for all that anger?

Mitch "The Lorax" McConnell is defending the banks as a way of appealing to the better angels of our nature, and progressive people ought to applaud his lonely work. After all, he is the Senate Minority Leader, and aren't we progressives always trying to champion the interests of minorities? Likewise, The Louisville Lorax is simply trying to protect this tiny number of bankers from the bullying of a great mob. There are so many of us, and so few of them - they need someone to stick up for them, and Mitch "The Lorax" McConnell has taken on that job.

So the next time you see The Louisville Lorax on TV, or hear him deliver his talking points in that weird way where he repeats everything he says three times but doesn't actually say anything, or at least anything that Frank Luntz didn't write for him because that's all he really knows how to read, don't get angry. Repeat after me:

"I speak for the banks, for the banks have no tongues (Note: strictly speaking they have dozens and dozens of high-paid lobbyists who function as their tongues). And I'm asking you Sir (presumably here President Obama, who Mitch would never call "sir" but probably "boy") at the top of my lungs - that reform. That horrible reform that I see. What's that reform you've made out of my truffala tree?"