So this happened:
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggests AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.
The Republican lawmaker's harsh comments came Monday during an interview with Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT. They echo remarks he has made in the past about corporate executives and public apologies, but went further in suggesting suicide.
Grassley says AIG executives should follow "the Japanese example" by publicly apologizing and "do one of two things: resign or commit suicide."
And then his spokesman said he didn't really mean it:
Casey Mills says the senator "doesn't want U.S. executives to do that," but says those who accept tax dollars and spend them on travel and bonuses do so irresponsibly.
And then we were reminded, this isn't the first time Grassley's urged executives to kill themselves:
[The senator] said executives at firms that seek government help need to take responsibility for "driving their corporations into the ground" and adopt a "Japanese ethic."
"One of the things you do is, you either go out and commit suicide, or you go before the American public and you take a very deep bow and you say, 'It's all my fault and I'm sorry and I'm going to straighten it out.' Or you might resign," Grassley said.
And that's why, au contraire, Casey, we think he does.