Glenn Greenwald writes today that "the idea that the Rule of Law is only for common people, but not for our political leaders and Washington elite, is pervasive among the political and pundit class, in both parties."
My immediate realization was that this attitude is exactly equivalent to the notion that financial risk applies only to individuals and to small business, but that large business (the "financial elite") is simply too large to be allowed to fail. Oh, it's certainly allowed to succeed, mind you. The banks in the mortgage market were happy enough to take home the profits from selling houses at rates far above their value. But when their risky action proved, well, risky, they aren't expected to pay the price. We do.
In a similar way, when our political elite breaks the law, they consider themselves to be too important to pay that price. As a result, we all do.