Harold Ford Jr., sleazy corporatist and nepotist, offers up a particularly grotesque defense of U.S. aggression
Harold Ford, Jr. is the walking, breathing embodiment of virtually everything rotted and corrupt about the American political class. He entered Congress at the age of 26 only by virtue of nepotistic benefits: while in law school, he ran for the seat long held by his father of the same name (he then promptly failed the test for admission to the Tennessee bar). In Congress, he voted for de-regulation of Wall Street (which helped precipitate the 2008 financial crisis); to authorize the Iraq War (and then harshly criticized Democrats who opposed it and refused to admit its error even as late as 2007); in favor of a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages (The Advocate branded him “anti-gay”); and was one of the few Democrats to support the credit-card-industry-demanded bankruptcy “reform” bill that made it harder for impoverished consumers to discharge consumer debt.
After Tennessee voters drove him from Congress by rejecting his 2006 Senate bid, Ford immediately cashed in on his servitude to Wall Street and peddled his D.C. influence by becoming Vice Chairman and Senior Policy Adviser of Merrill Lynch. During Ford’s tenure, “Merrill Lynch nearly collapsed, was bailed out by US taxpayers, and went through a troubled merger with Bank of America,” yet he nonetheless received $2 million a year in guaranteed salary plus what was almost certainly substantial annual bonsues. He left what had become Bank of America Merrill to become a Senior Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, at which time he bought a $3 million co-op in Manhattan. Upon leaving Congress, Ford also cashed in by becoming the last Chairman of the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council (“last” because, typifying his career, the DLC ceased to exist under his leadership). He cashed in further by becoming a Fox News contributor, until he left for MSNBC