Andrew Leonard weighs in on the Enron scandal for Salon Premium:
There’s no doubt that a special prosecutor should be named. But will it make any difference? The real outrages committed here don’t fit well into a special prosecutor’s purview. The mutual embrace between the entire political system and Enron goes so deep that to ask whether the government could have (or should have) prevented Enron’s collapse is pointless. Enron’s woes aren’t really a scandal at all — instead, they’re a magnifying glass allowing us to see clearly exactly how government and business operate today. You spend enough money on campaign contributions and lobbyists to buy influence and get the laws changed on your behalf, and then you sit back and count your stock options. Enron did it on a bigger scale than anybody else in recent memory, and ultimately, on a more incompetent scale than everybody else, but that doesn’t make it exceptional.
He gets at what I’ve been wondering about all along, which is whether or not any laws were broken by people in government. Given today’s realities, business and government can legally cozy up to a degree that obviates any need for actual law breaking.