Wednesday, February 04, 2009

President Robespierre

Never mind "Bonfire of the Vanities," we are getting into tumbrels-and-guillotine territory here as the peasants rise up to overthrow the 21st century corporatocracy.

Today President Obama is playing Robespierre in a 1099 Reign of Terror to slice executive compensation of bailout recipients to a paltry half a million dollars while public shaming is taking away all their Versailles excesses.

Gilded commodes, gone. Monte Carlo and Palm Beach, off limits. Maureen Dowd, playing Madame Defarge, denounces Citigroup's 18-seat jet, "posh, with a full bar, fine-wine selection, $13,000 carpets, Baccarat crystal glasses, Cristofle sterling silver flatware and--my personal favorite--pillows made from Herm├Ęs scarves."

All this "off with their heads" theater and storming of the Bastille will no doubt draw cheers, but meanwhile members of the Commune in Congress are squabbling away about how to frame the new economic order to undo the damage of Bush's let-them-eat-cake regime.

There isn't much time left for playacting.

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