One of the most famous scenes in movie history comes from “Casablanca,” when a corrupt official shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s cafe. Bogart asks the French captain — who also happens to be a gambling aficionado — why he’s closing the joint down. His response is a classic.
“I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here.”
Political commentators have referred to Capt. Renault’s uproarious line for years when calling out hypocritical politicians. But few political narratives ever fit that scene as tightly as President Barack Obama’s bipolar approach to Wall Street.
To fully understand the extent of Obama’s double-speak, it helps to let the “Casablanca” scene play out a bit, because after the corrupt captain makes his self-righteous declaration, a croupier hands him cash and says, “Your winnings, sir.”
Capt. Renault quietly thanks the croupier and then quickly returns to the role of reformer by shouting, “Everybody out at once!”
Like that old movie character, Obama seems capable of effortlessly floating between demonizing Wall Street gambling one day and profiting from it the next.
The audacity is breathtaking.