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Friday, June 26, 2009

How stupid are members of congress?

Dennis Gartman recounts testimony of Ben Bernanke. We may not approve of what Bernanke is doing ... or we may, but the Democrats in congress are unquestionably worse.

We haven’t the patience nor the gentlemanly demeanour to have done what Dr. Bernanke did yesterday when he answered truly stupid questions from House committee members for more than three hours. Obviously angry at times; obviously embarrassed at times; obviously shocked by the stupidity of the questioning at times, Dr. Bernanke did his best to defend himself and the Federal Reserve Bank itself from the attacks made upon him and upon the institution by the Congress.

The focus was obviously upon the Fed’s role in “forcing” the Bank of America to go ahead with its takeover of Merrill Lynch. The Bank’s CEO, Mr. Lewis, has said that he was pressured by Treasury and by the Fed to go ahead with this “merger” or face removal from office. His accusations have been an embarrassment to Dr. Bernanke personally, and the attacks made upon him yesterday by congressmen and women who are obviously his intellectual inferior were uncalled for and were “grandstanding” of the first and worst order.

Watching the far-left-of-centre Dennis Kucinich try to accuse Dr. Bernanke either of maliciousness, or of conflicts of interest, or of mismanagement of the nation’s monetary affairs bordered upon the inane. Why Dr. Bernanke did not answer Mr. Kucinich’s questions with the simple statement to the effect that “Mr. Kucinich, wasn’t it Cleveland that defaulted on some of its debt obligations during your tenure in office as that city’s mayor three decades ago?” We’d have answered his questions in that manner, but Dr. Bernanke… a son of the South and a gentleman accordingly… could not do so or would not do so. He is too cultured for that sort of thing. So he endured the grilling.

We watched as he answered the truly stupid Ms. Kaptur… also from Ohio…without the urge to leap across the table and strangle her. It was Ms. Kaptur who only a year or so ago began her round of questions to Dr. Bernanke with the statement, “Mr. Treasury Secretary.” Dr. Bernanke said, very calmly, “I am not the Treasury Secretary.” Ms. Kaptur responded in a stament that should be entered into the Hall of Fame of Congressional faux pas, “Who are you then, Sir?” She did not recognize the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and she’s in a position of some authority on the Banking Committee!

Had we been Dr. Bernanke, at the first signs of Congressional stupidity… and that might have taken all but two minutes before the idiocy was unleashed in full… we’d have leaped across the table and given the committee members a good sound thrashing.

Thankfully we are not Dr. Bernanke.

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