David Gergen: The Goldman Sachs Hearing 'Has All The Signs Of A Hanging'

What the hell is David Gergen smoking? When asked about the upcoming hearing by Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, David Gergen compa
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What the hell is David Gergen smoking? When asked about the upcoming hearing by Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, David Gergen compares the Congressional hearing to a hanging. I've watched David Gergen who's been moving further and further to the right with a lot of his rhetoric ever since President Obama got elected and who has been showing himself to be just another rightie and not a centrist as CNN loves to portray him as, but this one really takes the cake for just being ignorant. Since when is the Congress doing oversight before any action by the Justice Department akin to a lynching? Shameless. Just shameless. David Gergen, you just jumped the shark here with being an apologist for these Wall Street masters of the universe that just about took our entire economy down. Unbelievable.

Transcript via CNN.

BLITZER: Let's get back to one of the big issues in this mid-term election year, anger over Wall Street's role in the economic crisis. Executives of Goldman Sachs will be in the hot seat on Capitol Hill tomorrow as they fight allegations of fraud. Our senior political analyst David Gergen is here. He's joining us now.

David, the court of public opinion versus the legal court. They've got two major agenda issues concerns Goldman Sachs right now.

DAVID GERGEN: Absolutely. And Goldman Sachs is going to be in effect put on trial in the court of public opinion tomorrow but then they go later on to defend themselves in front of the Securities and Exchange Commission in a formal courtroom proceeding. Their chances of losing the court of public opinion are much, much higher than in a legal court. What we have tomorrow in this hearing, it's supposed to be an investigation. It has all the signs of a hanging.

BLITZER: A hanging?

GERGEN: Yes. You can almost hear the gallows being built right now. What happens when you put these -- you put the CEO of a company up there, you put him in front of a bunch of other people. It all looks like they're guilty of something and then you hit them pretty hard. We're going to have a lot of sound bytes out tomorrow berating them.

BLITZER: Even in advance of the hearing they released all of these e-mails which makes Goldman Sachs look so bad.

GERGEN: Yeah. I think -- there has been bad action on Wall Street. There's no question about that. We need regulatory reform. No question about that, but ordinarily when people are charged with something wrong, first we have a trial. Then we have the hanging. In Washington periodically, these gusts of populism sweep across and then we have the hanging. First we have the hanging, now we have the trial. That's what's happening.

BLITZER: Our friend and colleague, Fareed Zakaria, writing in the "Washington Post," among other things he says this, "Even if some Wall Street practices seem dodgy or unethical, that's not the same illegal. I want financial reform, but I also want our system of governance to be characterized by fair play and equal justice even for people making $10 million bonuses." To which Carl Levin, the chairman of this primitive sub-committee said this, listen to this. CARL LEVIN: They misled the country, I believe, and they were not fair to their customers.

BLITZER: He's already convicted them.

GERGEN: Yes and see he's pre-judging them. To be fair, Carl Levin has seen a lot of evidence, but there is a quality about this. We've seen it so often. There's a quality about this. They're hauling them in in order to make them the poster boys of bad doing. Goldman Sachs has this almost mythic reputation of saying you guys are responsible. Everybody is trying to shift the blame now to Goldman Sachs and some of the other banks saying you guys took us down. Now we're going to put new your place and many are arguing they should be punished. I happen to disagree. I thought Fareed Zakaria had it precisely right.

BLITZER: A lot of people don't believe the notion that the white house had nothing to do with the timing of this fraud charge against Goldman Sachs.

GERGEN: Well Wolf, I imagine the white house didn't have anything to do with. But the people at the SEC they have newspaper subscriptions. They watch THE SITUATION ROOM. They know what's going on.

BLITZER: Yes, right.

GERGEN: Good to have you.

BLITZER: Good to be back. You'll be with us tomorrow as we watch these ...

GERGEN: I look forward to it.

BLITZER: It's going to be a lively session. There's no doubt about that.

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