Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No Ex-Scaife

A short while back, I noted about the upcoming ugly divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife, media titan of Western PA. Now, wealthy people go through spouses like you and I go through windshield wiper blades, but what pushes this into commentary is a)the revelation that Scaife's paper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is a money hole, and b)that Scaife is apparently guilty of the same crimes he accused the former administration of, crimes that he thundered against sanctimoniously (and apparently hypocritically).

For us ordinary people, we'd just lay low for a while until this blows over. But not for the wealthy.

Scaife has gone to court to try to seal back up the documents that the Post-Gazette got ahold of. That's right - you weren't MEANT to find out about the messy details of the divorce. Never mind that his newspaper funded investigation into the most lurid details of Clinton's past. Never mind that he demanded that Senator Heinz's will be made public, in hopes of grabbing some dirt on the Senator's ex-wife, who just happened to be the wife of a presidential candidate. Such demands were for the good of the republic. Hurrumph!

But when the shoe is on the other foot, summon the lawyers and unleash the flying monkeys! Oh, you don't deserve to know that a powerful individual has a messy personal life. Why, the very idea!

(Of course, the P-G proceeded to put the documents on the net, just to make sure they didn't disappear down the memory hole.)

But here's what really is cheesing off most Americans - we seem to have developed an separate sense of justice for the wealthy rulers as opposed to the rest of us. This is bi-partisan venality, though the conservative end of the spectrum seems to have the most offenders. These are guys who can seal up (or erase) records. These are guys who get "do-overs" on confessions. These are guys who can take a swing at a cop. These are guys who get polite warnings from the FBI that the feds are dropping by. These are guys who seek (and get) protection for the illegal cash they keep in their freezer. These are guys who have hats made that say "Corrupt Bastards Club". These are guys who can swear like sailors and unload a shotgun in someone else's face. And no one can touch them.

But if a student newspaper in Colo-freaking-rado uses a four-letter expletive to describe the sitting president, all the powers that be get the vapors.

These are people that want to know all about your business but don't want you to know about theirs. They want to monitor your movements but won't tell you who visited the White House. They want to check your emails, but have conveniently "lost" theirs.

That's what is cheesing people off. It is not as much the corruption (which is still bad) as the fact that we have a raft of people who think that they are above the law, while tightening the screws on everyone else.

And it should be time to push a few of these people off the raft, and have them join the rest of us mortals.

More later