The Democrats are desperately trying to spin the recent financial crisis as a result of the evil of deregulation — after all, free markets are bad things. Obama has made it a centerpiece of his critique of the crisis and of McCain.
Truth is, that’s a ridiculous argument that tries to rewrite the recent past. Even Bill Clinton, who was there at the time, says the attack on deregulation is a bunch of manure.
Now, finally, the Republicans are organizing a counterattack. This video from the National Republican Congressional Committee makes it clear who bears the burden for blocking reform of Fannie and Freddie in time to avert a crisis: the Democrats.
The video comes from House Republicans, so it shines a light on House Democrats, most especially on Congressman Barney Frank, who may have a serious conflict of interest problem involving Fannie and a former lover. But Democratic senators were also blocking reform and were well-rewarded for it. Chris Dodd (in charge of the banking committee and thus responsible for oversight) received over $133,000 from Fannie and Freddie. John Kerry got $111,000. And Barack Obama, in under four years, took in $105,000.
Republicans bear some of the blame — after all, they benefited from the booming housing market, too. Only a few voices on their side called for reform. But at least they tried. Democrats not only refused to admit there was a problem, they actively blocked reform. An agenda of social engineering to increase home ownership among those who couldn’t afford a home under sound lending practices was more important to them than the fiscal health of the United States. Their party’s electoral interests –keeping the credit tap flowing and reaping a harvest of grateful voters– came before the national interest.
Kind of like their policies toward Iraq, now that I think of it.
The Democrats have to be held accountable for the fiasco they did so much to create. This video is a good start, let’s see more. And let’s hope John McCain decides bipartisan comity has reached its limit and a little straight-talk is in order.