Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Political Economy of Moral Values

Mathew Yglesias does not think that the expose of the Republican leader Bill Frist's corrupt insider trading will hurt his poll numbers. He draws attention to a scene from the drama, The Contender, when Kermit Newman is hunting for a skeleton in the closet of Rep. Runyan. White House staff dig up an old SEC investigation and give it to Newman, but he retorts:

"You got stocks? I want something embarrassing. Something sexual! Little boys, midgets, that sort of thing. Cows -- I don't give a god damn!"

Yglesias goes on however to draw out a larger moral in Frist's moral values story:

"Anyways, when you consider that the basic Republican Party approach to health care policy is that the GOP passes laws designed to maximize insurance company profits and then the insurance companies make campaign contributions designed to maximize the number of Republicans winning elections, I doubt that any level of personal corruption in the GOP/AHIP nexis could make any substantive difference to the policy process. In one sense, Frist might as well just behave in a corrupt and illegal manner, it's no worse than the perfectly legal stuff his colleagues are doing."

[Mathew Yglesias, TPM Cafe, Sep. 24, 2005].


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