Who now cares that in 1993 Cox guaranteed that Clinton's economic policies—which he called "the Dr. Kevorkian plan for the economy"—would spark a great depression? Who cares that during California's 2001 electricity debacle (based on a plan Cox supported), the congressman refused to protect his state's consumers—voters who saw Enron-driven power rates skyrocket from $30 per megawatt hour to $1,500? Who cares that Cox ranted against deficit spending when Democrats controlled Congress but in November 2004 voted to increase the federal debt ceiling? Who cares that Cox could have helped prevent the Enron scandal but repeatedly blocked conflict-of-interest rules to prohibit accounting firms from auditing companies in which they had a secret financial stake?
Cox—who will likely sail through Senate confirmation later this summer—certainly doesn't care. During his nomination ceremony in the White House Roosevelt Room, the congressman shamelessly talked about his record of "strengthening" securities laws and his commitment to public accountability. He then promised his mission is to "protect investors." He didn't say a word about what he plans to do for corporate executives. Cox is, after all, a smart guy.