Liberal Senility: Political amnesia and a financial powder keg

This is the stuff that gets me going, really cheeses me off. The following quoted piece reminded me of the awfully regular tactic of what I call liberal senility: if we were involved, it didn't happen; next, blame the Republicans (i.e., moderates and conservatives who aren't Democrats), and especially the president when Republican, for what never happened.

There's only one thing to keep telling yourself, and others, throughout this financial crisis, if you are a closed-minded liberal:
the Democratic, and quite liberal, leader of the U.S. House, Nancy Pelosi, flat out rejected that the House had ANY responsibility in the financial climate that led to the current situation with a $700 billion bailout on the table. No blame at all. None. Zip. Dilch. Nada.

Now, that is real leadership, is it not? Blame others, all others, the end. Next! Pelosi would be ashamed of herself, but it would appear her self-respect went away with her ascent to the throne where she sits, doing nothing.

Anyone care to explain this supposed leader denying ANY burden in this mess? Show me a way to believe what Nancy Pelosi stated all too clear on NPR and probably lots of other places, and I will owe you. I mean that the House TRULY had no part in this at all. It makes no sense to me at all, and this artfully absurd denial is about as becoming on a leader as the "Emperor's New Clothes" would be on Ted Kennedy. (Yeesh!)

I was amazed -- and amused -- to hear, on a PBS program (you can likely watch it on their Web site) about Obama and McCain, that Obama was someone the Dem party wanted to keep away from ANYTHING controversial, to build him up. In other words, Obama, well-spoken and cocky, was coddled. His own supporters stated this in a documentary, from his early days. We are about to elect, to the delight of the most liberal of liberals like Pelosi and Reid (the worst leaders of the Congress ever, I think, certainly in my lifetime) the first president who evaded not just military service, but evaded concrete liability for anything aside from playing the part of a politician. He has enjoyed the greatest fake career in the history of American politics.

Before you toss this, read the following snippet of an article, as the New York Times eats their own words, as they so often do, by a bit of colorful blaming. (The media would be so much more useful if it had a memory and once in a while used it without partisan eagerness, one way or the other. And let's face it, it is all too often leaning in the direction of where most journalists stand: left-leaning, liberal ideals.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

By John R. Lott, Jr.

The mortgage crisis has produced a massive case of political amnesia. That happens when one is trying to redirect blame for something that could cost up to $700 billion. Some who now claim that the mortgage crisis is the result of too little regulation saw things more clearly when so much wasn’t at stake.

New York Times editorialized on Saturday that “This crisis is the result of a willful and systematic failure by the government to regulate and monitor the activities of bankers, lenders, hedge funds, insurers and other market players.” If you believe the Times or the Obama campaign, everything but government regulation is to blame for the crisis.

Yet, it is not just economists who were predicting these problems.

For example, a September 30, 1999, article in the New York Times predicted exactly what has happened [the following is taken from the article]:

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people . . . ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.'' . . .

Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Indeed, during the late 1990s, the Clinton administration and Fannie Mae bragged about how they had lowered the standards required to borrow money for homes to increase borrowing by groups that otherwise wouldn’t qualify. Their goal of increasing minority ownership was surely a laudable one, but making others pay for the voters’ altruism has real costs.

As even the New York Times understood in 1999, as long as housing prices kept on going up there was no problem with this system. If someone couldn’t pay their mortgages, they could sell their property. There was no threat of default. However, a lack of down payments meant that people defaulted on their mortgages.

Unfortunately, these insights don’t fit the current political template. With just 43 days to the election, the New York Times and others want to be in sync with the Obama campaign’s attack on the Bush administration not having enough regulation. It particularly doesn’t fit the fact that McCain was criticizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years along the lines of the New York Times 1999 article. Ironically, in other articles, the New York Times described the Democrats as “important political allies” of these two government-sponsored enterprises [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac].

The New York Times is right that “Taxpayers have every right to be alarmed and angry.” But they should read their old news articles to see whom they should get angry at.

It is a shame if, upon this election, we go from an estate-baby-in-chief to a coddled-egotist-in-chief. At least Bush could make a decision. Obama needs to try his ideas out, change them three times, then makes a decision. Obama leads by waiting for the other guy to do something first. Is this going to work in the White House?

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