Politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle have expressed outrage at the recent news that bailed-out insurance giant AIG will be paying $165 million in bonuses to the same executives who “brought the company to the brink of collapse.” President Obama and members of Congress are trying to figure out a way to revoke the bonuses while others have called for top executives to be fired.
While conservatives have joined in the mass discontent with AIG, some are taking their anger a bit too far. Yesterday on a local Iowa radio show, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) suggested that AIG executives consider committing suicide. And last night on Fox News, far right pundit Charles Krauthammer and his milder counterpart Mort Kondracke argued that some should be put to death:
KRAUTHAMMER: I’m all in favor of keeping this heaping opprobrium. I would deny them the bonuses if possible. I would be for an exemplary hanging or two. Have it in Times Square, invite Madame DuFarge. You borrow a guillotine from the French and we could have a party. If that’s what it takes to maintain popular support, let’s do it. But it’s not going to change anything economically. […]
KONDRACKE: I was going to recommend boiling in oil in Times Square, but look, because these are the people who invented these crazy credit default swaps that are leading to the whole disaster.
Whether it’s terrorism, international crises, domestic crime or, in this case, excessive corporate greed, some conservatives seem unable to see problems as anything other than a nail for which the only solution is a hammer.