Michael: Frist's rite of passageSenator Frist was until recently the darling of the religious right wing and the Majority Leader of the Senate. Now he's just Majority Leader. Tommorrow? Indicted by the SEC for insider trading on his family stock? Inmate at a mandatory Federal summer camp? Frist's 'blind' trust sale of HCA stock is being investigated by the SEC and things don't look too rosy for Frist.
Schaudenfruede comes so easily to me when the subject is a self-righteous, holy-than-thou hypocrite who trades on the superiority of his morals - until those morals hit his bottom line, that is. Then, it's 'every man for himself', 'damn the torpedoes', and 'the law doesn't apply to me'.
Yes, morality is a useful distraction for the electorate, just don't let it get in the way of the serious business of business. Taking your corporation offshore to avoid American taxes isn't immoral, because it's just business. Profiteering on the suffering of millions by using political influence to snag inflated no-bid contracts in Iraq and New Orleans isn't immoral, because it's just business. Laying off American workers and devastating American communities to move operations to third-world nations having wages 20 times lower isn't immoral, because it's just business. It seems business has become a morals-free zone in American life.
If Frist is taken down by this scandal, it will be more apt and ironical than any morality play that the Democratic Party could have invented. Then again, Bush weathered his brush with the SEC over insider trading at Harkin Energy with nary a ruffled coif, and DeLay is still pounding along despite the rotting albatross of political corruption indictments hanging around his neck; maybe Frist will prove equally teflon. Or perhaps flouting the law is now a rite of passage among the GOP elite apiring to the Presidency? Perhaps you have to prove to the 'base' that you can get away with your own chosen crimes before they'll trust you to do their dirty work.