Monday, October 03, 2005


Norm Scheiber (of TNR) has an interesting piece on 'the Spitz' - Eliot Spitzer - in the New York Times today. The term "spiterism" describes Spitzer's GOP-infuriating approach to prosecuting corporate wrongdoers. (Grover Norquist hates Spitzer's tactics, so he must be doing something right.) Sheiber suggests that Democrats could benefit, in a political sense, from watching Spitzer's tenacious toughness against the moral evils which surface on the dark side of business and fearlessly defending the social compact between ordinary people and large institutions like government and business.
Gene Sperling, the chief economic adviser in the Clinton White House, says that Spitzer grasps this distinction: "The key in the Spitzer message is. . .it's not a populist bashing for the sake of it.".........

"His advocacy on behalf of a growing and new class of investors could have wide applicability," says Howard Wolfson, a former Democratic Congressional strategist and an adviser to Hillary Clinton.........

"I think that if Spitzer is able to translate the particular work he did around risk associated with investment in the stock market. . .into a larger narrative for Democrats about risk in the 21st century" - not just stock-market risk but risk associated with pensions, health care, employment - that "could help forge the bond with the middle class that we've lost."
With the middle class feeling that their financial situation is less stable than ever before, Spitzer's emphasis on making companies more accountable makes them feel more secure. No one wants to see their life savings wiped out as a result of corporate greed and wrongdoing.