Friday, February 03, 2006

The Enron trial is on now. The New York Times is giving it proper coverage. Daily articles, so far. In the business section.

Thinking back to the screaming front-page headlines about the Clintons' Whitewater affair, one might expect more. In both cases, a sitting President was tied to the affairs of seedy hometown businessmen. Both had been in a position to benefit, in at least a small way, from the connection --- though in the Clintons' case, as was uncontested from the start, they actually lost money. (Enron graciously allowed Dubya to travel to campaign appearances on the company jet, charging only first-class airfare, a comparative pittance).

And the Enron affair did reach into national governance --- Ken Lay was very influential in keeping Dubya's energy regulators away from the guys at his company's trading desk who were cracking jokes about stealing from grandmothers in California.

Ah, but there's the difference. There is a politician who was in fact held accountable for the California energy mess. I refer of course to the erstwhile governor of California, a Democrat, who not only saw his budget surplus plundered by Lay's proud bandits, but got blamed by the voters for getting robbed.

So, a politician was brought down, and the commentariat can claim a scalp. Another, mayhap, would be too much to ask. And who really cares if it's the right one?

Update: You know, whenever I wonder if anyone's reading this thing, all I need to do is publish something blatantly, embarassingly wrong and I have my answer. In this case, the first version of this post tagged Enron for endorsing the stadium of Dubya's baseball team (his one semi-successful business venture), somewhat heedless of the fact that Enron actually bought the naming rights to a different stadium, in a different city. A commenter pointed out the screwup. As Instapundit might say, advantage: blogosphere! Though he'll be less likely to say it until he starts taking comments...