The Democrats' Secret Weapon

by Phillip Whitten

Republicans have an historic opportunity in 2012 not only to wrest the presidency from the Democrats but also to capture the Senate while maintaining control of the House. Indeed, this may be necessary to undo the damage inflicted on our nation by the incompetent Obama administration.


Recent polls appear to be encouraging. The most recent presidential poll, pitting Obama against a generic Republican, found the Republican to have a commanding 47 to 39 percent advantage. However, when a real live Republican, such as GOP front runner Mitt Romney, goes up against the president, the results are less encouraging. Most such polls have given Mr. Romney a two percent advantage while the latest has the president ahead by two percent. Other Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich, fare less well against the incumbent.

There is little doubt that Mr. Obama was totally unprepared for the demands of the presidency. He had no executive experience, little interest in foreign policy and was guided in his economic policy by ideological principles that clearly did not work. In addition, many of his appointees were equally ideology-bound, incompetent or both. What's more, Mr. Obama - by his own admission, "lazy" - was unwilling or unable to take the lead in advocating for his own agenda, preferring to leave the political horse trading to Democrat congressional leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Despite Mr. Obama's miserable performance in office - inviting comparisons with the hapless Jimmy Carter - his defeat in the 2012 election is by no means assured. He may not know what it means to be the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, but he has proved himself to be one of the most effective campaigners in American political history. Couple his superb oratorical skills on the campaign trail with an estimated budget of over $1 billion - far and away the largest in history - and you have a formidable opponent. Throw in the advantages of incumbency, not to mention the undoubted bias of the powerful mainstream media, and you're looking at a guy who has every reason to believe the lease to his residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. will be renewed through 2016. Meanwhile, the Republicans are scrambling to select a challenger to the president, though it appears that Mitt Romney eventually will be chosen.

But none of the polling and speculation has considered who the vice presidential nominees will be. Traditionally, the selection of a running mate is made for reasons of political or geographical "balance" and often is a last-minute decision. As former vice president James Nance Garner once opined: "the vice presidency ain't worth a bucket of warm spit."

For 2012, it generally has been assumed that Joe Biden will once again grace the Democratic ticket with his presence. The Republicans have an ideal candidate for veep -Florida's freshman senator, Marco Rubio. However, Sen. Rubio, a Cuban refugee, has made it abundantly clear that he has no interest in the position.

As for the Dems, Mr. Biden may not be a cinch for the number two spot, especially if it appears the election will come down to the wire. Biden, who suffers from a serious case of foot in mouth disease, adds nothing to the ticket. As for his vaunted expertise in foreign policy, there has been not the slightest evidence of it in the first three years of the current administration.

No, the Democrats have a much better option, though thus far it has only been whispered in the soirées and on the cocktail party circuit in Georgetown and McLean. In a word, that option is Hillary.

Yes, that Hillary. Mrs. Clinton, who had little in the way of credentials for the Secretary of State position, has by most accounts, distinguished herself in the role. She has accomplished this impressive feat primarily by keeping a low profile and speaking softly while attempting to impose some coherence on Obama's incoherent foreign policy. That and also getting an attractive facelift.

The rumor is that Clinton and Biden will be offered the option of trading places. That would give Biden an opportunity to save face by emphasizing his nonexistent foreign policy expertise, while positioning Hillary for another run for the White House 2016. That likely will be her last opportunity as she will be approaching 70 years of age when Mr. Obama finishes a projected second term.

This scenario is by no means a sure thing as the Clinton and Obama camps are more rivals than comrades, and a deal ensuring that Hillary would play an important role in a second Obama administration would not be easy to hammer out. But the two camps are dominated by pragmatic politicians, and if an Obama-Clinton partnership is what it would take to ensure the Democrats maintain control of the White House, then it's a good bet they will find ways to make it happen.

Posted by Phillip W at January 2, 2012 1:46 PM
Comments
Comment #333971


Republicans have secret weapons as well, Attention Deficit Disorder and short term memories.

Obama will be the most experienced presidential candidate.

Damage inflicted on the nation? What damage? Obama and Congress have been on damage control, trying to repair the damage done to the nation by Republican policies.

Perhaps one could argue that Obama hasn’t been all that successful at repairing the damage done by Bush.

Posted by: jlw at January 2, 2012 3:56 PM
Comment #333972

jlw

We had a worldwide recession. One of the leading causes in the U.S. was sub-prime lending, spearheaded by Democrats like Frank and Dodd.

Obama, who understand pretty much nothing about finance, managed to come on the scene when things were going bad. He successfully identified that there was a problem, labelled it caused by Bush and promised he could fix it. The most salient part of his promise was that unemployment would not reach 8%. In that, he is probably right, although it is coming from the wrong direction.

Obama applied policies that may have caused the downturn to be less shallow at the cost of a better recovery. Now we what Obama can and cannot do, we know he is not the man for the job.

I understand that Obama wants to run against Bush and he wants to be the “new” candidate of hope. Unfortunately, he is no longer new. He now has a (failing) track record and Bush is gone.

Obama will probably running against Mitt Romney, who has a record of success in the private sector, the non-profit sector and the government sector.

The best we can say about Obama is that he was unable to fix the problem of the economy. More likely he actually made a bad situation worse and pulled the economy down.

It is time to get some new and more competent people on the job.

Re Hilary - she would probably be better than Obama, but if she comes with Obama we still have Obama. Beyond that, Hilary is mostly good in comparison to Obama. She is not that good in general.

Posted by: C&J at January 2, 2012 4:20 PM
Comment #333975


Sub-prime lending? That was one of the problems, they only one according to conservatives. Deregulation and to big to fail was another.

Worldwide recession? We had an administration that made major cuts in revenue, mostly on behalf of wealth and outsourcing, runs two unfunded wars, increases the size of government, increases the debt by trillions, ends it’s term with a world wide recession and a massive bailout of to big to fail, and who’s supporters now want to blame Obama for not fixing everything asap, without not only any cooperation from Republicans, but also a demand that we continue following their failed policies.

History has recorded the Democrats support given to Bush policies and the lack of support from Republicans for Obama policies.

It’s all about the money and both presidential candidates in the upcoming election will be corpocracy candidates.

How about that, Trump made the ballot as an independent in Texas. I hope he has success in doing that in all the red states.

Posted by: jlw at January 2, 2012 5:37 PM
Comment #333977

I fear that Phillip W. doesn’t really go far enough to explain how bad things in America would be with another 4 years of Obama. Obama, like all socialist liberals, have no use for the Constitution. They believe it is wrong because it actually limits the role of government. In their eyes it is unfair and outdated. Thus, Obama, his czars, and the Democrats in Congress will do all they can to disrupt the Constitution.

Re/ subprime loans: C&J are completely correct. All of the problems with Freddie, Fannie, subprime loans, and the bursting of the housing market can be laid at the feet of Frank and Dodd. They should be in prison. But, the liberal left will continue to defend them.

Four more years of Obama and one would not be able to distinguish between the United States and any of the failing European countries.

jlw said: “History has recorded the Democrats support given to Bush policies and the lack of support from Republicans for Obama policies.”

Fair statement jlw; but the Dems only supported Bush for political reasons, just as Republicans won’t support Obama, for political reasons. Jlw, perhaps you could tell me which of the Dem congressmen or senators are running on Obama’s accomplishments? Or perhaps you could privide me a link showing Obama running on his success with obamacare? The last election (2010) was a referendom against Obama’s so called successes and any democrat who was identified as supporting Obama, lost his election. What makes you think 2012 will be any different?

Posted by: Steve at January 2, 2012 8:21 PM
Comment #333982

If only,

If only the repubs/conservatives/tea bags could run on their own record. Bit they can’t, so instead they have to provide the nonsense as we see in Phillips post.

If only the repubs/conservatives/tea bags had solutions. But they don’t, unless calling Obama names is a solution.

If only the repubs/conservatives/teabags could run a positiver campaign based upon their work in Congress the past 2 years, but they can’t. They instead resort to misinformation half truths and outright lies.

If only the repubs/conservatives/tea bags even understood root causes of the financial meltdown. But they don’t. Instead we hear this “One of the leading causes in the U.S. was sub-prime lending, spearheaded by Democrats like Frank and Dodd.” or even more nonsensical, this one “Re/ subprime loans: C&J are completely correct. All of the problems with Freddie, Fannie, subprime loans, and the bursting of the housing market can be laid at the feet of Frank and Dodd. They should be in prison. But, the liberal left will continue to defend them.”

If only the repub candidate was the lesser of two evils. But she/he’s not. Instead they have to kneel and kiss the a** of extremist conservative groups and offer pledges to them. Kinda like the extremist muslims in Iran.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 3, 2012 12:16 PM
Comment #333984

C&J-
You’ll have to tell me how a deeper recession helps create a shorter recovery, especially when you’re dealing with the kind of economy-resetting level of panic that accompanied the current collapse.

Where will all the jobs come from to return things to normal? What will be normal, will it resemble anything approaching the prosperity of the old system?

There seems to be this undercurrent, duplicitously unsaid in the standard Republican argument, that the current economy is too generous to a certain class of people.

And it ain’t the rich!

The trouble is, the empirical evidence is, it ain’t the rich suffering, and what suffering they may have gone through before was briefer, and hasn’t changed the level of economic disparity any in the poor’s favor. The rich got a little poorer, it wasn’t the poor getting a little richer. They’ve dealt with the job losses, they’ve seen their fortunes diminished in a way that threatens their ability to thrive.

Wealthy people and corporate accounts are flush with cash. Few of them cite regulatory concerns when laying people off. They simply say that they don’t have enough customers. So what’s the big reason for that? Fewer folks have jobs, and more of those people who do have them are tightening their belts. You do talk about spending being a problem, but you fail to mention to people that since we’re running a huge deficit, it’s not like cutting spending is liberating funds right now that can be rebated back to people as tax cuts- that is, tax cuts unfinanced by borrowing, like all of your current babies are.

You’re promising help from quarters they’re not going to come from. Just giving corporations more cash won’t solve a cashflow problem that doesn’t happen to be there. Just cutting regulation won’t help if regulation isn’t the real reason people aren’t hiring.

If everything points to an employment problem, a problem that begins and ends with the fact that not enough folks are working, then why are we wrong to take the approach we did, where we provided boosts to middle class spending power, to green energy and efficiency projects, to increase manufacturing jobs that have provided the backbone of every other major recovery of the last century?

Why are you keeping us from solving the real problem? Is it frankly because your party never built the constituency for dealing with economic problems this way, that you can’t win unless your solutions are all tax cuts and deregulation? You’ve painted us into an economic corner here, and I’m not that big of a fan of letting you keep us so confined.

Steve-
If it takes just two Congresscritters from my party to cause an entire economic crisis to occur, then what good is it to bring your party in. Apparently, your politicians are too stupid, too lazy, or too something or other to get better policy past one senator and one representative.

Seriously, though, why do you keep peddling that BS? Republicans had complete control of Congress and the White House when it came to one guy, and the other fellow’s legislation didn’t even come into play until after the housing market, and therefore the bubble, had already peaked.

Your theory is crap. It’s an attempt to blame the consequence of years, decades worth of mostly conservative policy on a pair of Democrats, and a pair of companies who didn’t even have a quarter of the market by the time the bubble was done inflating.

It’s an attempt to distract people’s attention from the companies who both originated and traded most of those toxic assets, who took greater risks. It’s an attempt to distract people from the fact that your party, your side of the aisle catered to those people, often setting restrictions on Fannie and Freddie with a mind of keeping them from competing.

Long story short, this is the Republicans trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes, trying to justify policy that’s been discredited by events they promised America would not come to pass under their policies.

Phillip W.-
Incompetence? Site real examples. Republicans have a habit these days of using a lot of words to describe Democrats with, which lack for real-world basis.

I can cite energy policy that allowed traders to inflate the cost of critical commodities, such as oil, setting present prices where they are now. I can cite failures to deal with derivatives and their toxic legacy. I can tell you about the way the Bush Administration used an old federal law to undermine state cases that were being filed by AG’s from many of the states to stop the predatory lending that helped fill so many of our financial institutions with toxic assets.

Long story short, I can claim for real what you can only pretend to with negative adjectives arbitrarily thrown out there.

As for Hillary Clinton? Obama beat her fair and square once before. You’re just suggesting her as a concern troll, as a person making a helpful suggestion that’s really just meant to encourage weakness in our ranks.

Clinton wasn’t the superior politician in 2008. She’s just a distraction you’re throwing out there hoping to peel away voters who never got over her losing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2012 2:04 PM
Comment #333988

jlw & j2t2

Sub-prime lending it what set off the problem. These loans were too weak. Indeed, they were just part of the larger system driving home prices beyond sustainable levels, but they were a prime motive force.

It is no surprise that one of the “cures” to the problem was to demand higher down payments and generally tighten the requirements of lending.

We already have Erik Holder trying to sue banks for discrimination for not making loans to poor prospects. This is the MO of the liberal lending advocates. If you push making loans, you get more defaults. This is indeed the proximate cause for the crisis.

Some dishonest people were involved but the most dishonest are those who talk about predatory lending. It means lending money to those who could not pay in the long run. This was encouraged by Frank and Dodd, two crooks who personally profited from their positions and then wrote laws about it.

Stephen

By the prosperity of the old system, you mean the system that worked fairly well from 1982-2007?

Those were indeed good times and it will be hard to bring them back. The policies of the Obama doldrums won’t do it.

Re recessions - recovering from a recession is not like an individual recovering from a sickness. It is more like the robust growth after a forest fire. In past recoveries, the improvements come quickly. Things bounce back as the deadwood and the less effective player are replaced.

While it may take a while to reach former levels, the direction is high and fast.

After the recessions of the 1980s, the economy grew robustly. We didn’t see this halting, pathetic results we had last year.

Recessions end. Government can push in the right or wrong direction. Obama pushed the wrong way. The result has been a recovery that is pathetic by historic American standard, made even more pathetic by the great expenditures we made in the failed attempt to stimulate a faster recovery.

Obama thought it would be like taking action against the cold in February and then taking credit for the “recovery” that arrived in April. Unfortunately, the Obama winter has stretched through two “summers of recovery”. Maybe the economy has remained weak not in spite of Obama’s best efforts but because of them.

Obama hoped to get ahead of the recovery.

Posted by: C&J at January 3, 2012 5:29 PM
Comment #333991


The sub-prime lending crisis was in fact only a symptom of a much bigger problem. The real problem was one of a more structurally damaged economy. The rising wage gap started with Reagan policies and it is the primary problem with our economy. It does not matter who is in the White House or who controls congress since Republicans have raised the standard to 60 votes needed for anything to pass (except for Supreme Court nominations). Nothing will happen until things get much much worse.

Republicans haven’t a clue of what is wrong with our economy and Democrats can not get anything significant passed with full ownership of the House and Senate.

Corporate board dysfunction, trade and tax policy and rising income gaps are the long term problems for our economy. Until these issues are addressed our economy will remain dysfunctional. We are in a similar situation as we were back when the Republicans ran us into a Great Depression. The big difference is that this time a Democrat was in the White house so things are not near as bad as they were under the do nothing Hoover policies in effect when they crashed the economy that time. But still Obama has not been able to pass the big changes that FDR did that pulled us out of the last Republican economic collapse. But again… when we are finally out of this mess… mark my words… it will because we finally passed significant policy reforms in the democratic direction. Corporate reforms, tax reforms, trade reforms). Cutting government spending will only make things worse. The biggest concern in the mean time is societal breakdown while republicans are in charge and the higher likelihood of Marshall law or some other form of right wing authoritarianism taking over. History shows it is times like these that deadly leaders often take over and Tea Party fanaticism is just the spark that could push things into a deadly direction. Either way I don’t expect this country to see marked improvement anytime soon thanks to gross malpractice on the part of so many American citizens at being properly informed as required for a democracy to function.

Posted by: muirgeo at January 3, 2012 6:34 PM
Comment #333992


Steve, Democrats don’t have to run on Obama’s record or even their performances. In that regard, they are like the Republicans who don’t have to run on the Republican party’s accomplishments or their own.

Members of congress only have to remind their constituent voters they are the good guy and the others are the bad guys. A 10% approval rating says the people despise their Congress, but that approval rating isn’t going to improve because of the partisans.

Neither party has been addressing the issues of the center.

“but the Dems only supported Bush for political reasons, just as Republicans won’t support Obama for political reasons.”

That’s a fair statement if you include the money in the equation, but what does it reveal? The conservative agenda of globalization at the expense of the middle class, on behalf of the rich? The Repos are paid to provide the votes for this and they will continue to do so, while scapegoating the poor as the nemesis of the middle class.

The Democrats are now being paid even more to support the current status quo because it is contrary to many of their constituents desires.

Both parties can do this because their partisans are easily scared.

Take the money and scare your constituents is the name of the game.

The chink in your armor is Obama, the corporationist with the progressive voice.

Do you really think the corporations are going to hand out large amounts of cash to help reelect a president who hates business and plans to disrupt the corporate status quo?

Are conservatives so conditioned that they believe everything negative they hear about Obama? So conditioned that they can’t discern fact from fiction? So conditioned that they can’t think for themselves and are dependent on being told what to think?

The right wing conservatives have become the great threat to the continuation of the corpocracy status quo. Their continued demand for tax cuts for the wealthy, their proclaimed goal of eliminating most of the governments ability to regulate, and their draconian plans for social spending are all threats to the corpocracy. One would think that Romney’s business background would make him uniquely qualified for these tasks.

Government aid for the poor robs religion of power.

Posted by: jlw at January 3, 2012 6:45 PM
Comment #333993


C&J, you don’t just wave a magic wand and poof, the housing market recovers, so perhaps your argument is what is weak.

Posted by: jlw at January 3, 2012 6:49 PM
Comment #333994

jlw

The housing market needs to find the bottom. That means the prices have to drop to meet demand or demand has to rise to meet prices. It takes a while, that is true. But attempts to maintain the prices of homes don’t help.

Posted by: C&J at January 3, 2012 7:06 PM
Comment #333997

Tell me jlw, or any other socialist liberal on WB: can you say you accept the Constitution as it is written or do you believe it is flawed?

I will only ask one question at a time because any more just confuses you.

Posted by: Steve at January 3, 2012 8:04 PM
Comment #333998

SD said:

“If it takes just two Congresscritters from my party to cause an entire economic crisis to occur, then what good is it to bring your party in. Apparently, your politicians are too stupid, too lazy, or too something or other to get better policy past one senator and one representative.

Seriously, though, why do you keep peddling that BS? Republicans had complete control of Congress and the White House when it came to one guy, and the other fellow’s legislation didn’t even come into play until after the housing market, and therefore the bubble, had already peaked.”

Sorry SD, but you are the one peddling BS.


In September 2003 the Bush administration launched a measure to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under stricter regulatory control, after a report by outside investigators established that they were not adequately hedging against risks and that Fannie Mae in particular had scandalously mis-stated its accounts. In 2006, it was revealed that Fannie Mae had overstated its earnings — to which its senior executives’ bonuses were linked — by a stunning $9.3billion. Between 1998 and 2003, Fannie Mae’s executive chairman, Franklin Raines, picked up over $90m in bonuses and stock options.

Yet Barney Frank and his chums blocked all Bush’s attempts to put a rein on Raines. During the House Financial Services Committee hearing following Bush’s initiative, Frank declared: “The more people exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness [at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae], the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially.” His colleague on the committee, the California Democrat Maxine Walters, said: “There were nearly a dozen hearings where we were trying to fix something that wasn’t broke. Mr Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly at Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Mr Franklin Raines.”

When Mr Raines himself was challenged by the Republican Christopher Shays, to the effect that his ratio of capital to assets (that is, mortgages) of 3 per cent was dangerously low, the Fannie Mae boss retorted that “our assets are so riskless, we could have a capital ratio of under 2 per cent”.”

http://bubblemeter.blogspot.com/2008/10/barney-frank-and-christopher-dodd.html

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/bclbe/Dodd_Frank_Abusive_Standard_Paper.pdf

“The thousands of mortgage defaults and foreclosures in the “subprime” housing market (i.e., mortgage holders with poor credit ratings) is the direct result of thirty years of government policy that has forced banks to make bad loans to un-creditworthy borrowers. The policy in question is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which compels banks to make loans to low-income borrowers and in what the supporters of the Act call “communities of color” that they might not otherwise make based on purely economic criteria.

The original lobbyists for the CRA were the hardcore leftists who supported the Carter administration and were often rewarded for their support with government grants and programs like the CRA that they benefited from. These included various “neighborhood organizations,” as they like to call themselves, such as “ACORN” (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). These organizations claim that over $1 trillion in CRA loans have been made, although no one seems to know the magnitude with much certainty. A U.S. Senate Banking Committee staffer told me about ten years ago that at least $100 billion in such loans had been made in the first twenty years of the Act.”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo125.html

“At President Clinton’s direction, no fewer than 10 federal agencies issued a chilling ultimatum to banks and mortgage lenders to ease credit for lower-income minorities or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related adverse publicity. They also were threatened with denial of access to the all-important secondary mortgage market and stiff fines, along with other penalties.

The threat was codified in a 20-page “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending” and entered into the Federal Register on April 15, 1994, by the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending. Clinton set up the little-known body to coordinate an unprecedented crackdown on alleged bank redlining.

The edict — completely overlooked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the mainstream media — was signed by then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Attorney General Janet Reno, Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, along with the heads of six other financial regulatory agencies.”

http://commonsensewonder.blogspot.com/2011/10/remember-janet-reno-threatening-banks.html

SD and other socialist liberals on WB are either ignorant to the abundance of historical facts, or are complete liars to continue to ignore the facts and spread their BS on WB.

Oh, by the way, Obama and company are once again trying to pull the same crap, forcing banks to make loans to those who can’t afford them.


Posted by: Steve at January 3, 2012 8:34 PM
Comment #333999

“All of the problems with Freddie, Fannie, subprime loans, and the bursting of the housing market can be laid at the feet of Frank and Dodd.”

Steve,

Did you ever hear of the Bush “Ownership Society” to increase minority home ownership? Did you ever hear of the “American Dream Downpayment Act” of 2003 proposed by the Bush administration, passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Bush?

This is what the former chief economic adviser to GW Bush. Larry Lindsey, had to say about Barney Frank: “In fact, Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) is the only politician I know who has argued that we needed tighter rules that intentionally produce fewer homeowners and more renters. Politicians usually believe that homeownership rates should – must – go ever higher. The rarity of Mr. Frank’s contrarian thinking is a reminder that when markets are committing excesses, we certainly should not expect Washington to act as a check on them.” He was talking about Frank’s efforts during the run up in the housing bubble and the role that Congress should take in supporting housing needs for minorities. http://www.thelindseygroup.com/pdfs/TheKISSRuleforMarkets-WSJ040208.pdf

Posted by: Rich at January 3, 2012 8:45 PM
Comment #334000

“Whenever concern was raised about the increased risk, reforms would be blocked by powerful Fannie-and-Freddie backers in Congress, like Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.“I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation toward subsidized housing,” Frank said in 2003. He argued that the same “safety and soundness” standards for banks shouldn’t apply to Fannie and Freddie. In Washington, he was hardly alone. Fannie and Freddie rewarded their friends well. The SEC allegations against the former executives of Fannie and Freddie may well be tough to prove because of the lack of an agreed-upon legal definition of “subprime.” But it’s appropriate that more light shines on the role of the two mortgage giants, which did so much to encourage the subprime mania. As Charles W. Calomiris of the Columbia Business School wrote, “The decisions by Fannie and Freddie to embrace no-doc lending in 2004 opened the floodgates of bad credit.” After that, loans to people with lousy credit or those offering little documentation exploded, rising to more than $1 trillion in 2006. In some ways, Washington still hasn’t absorbed the lessons. The massive Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill did little to resolve the status of Fannie and Freddie — an issue that remains for the future.”

http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/fannie-and-freddie-were-heart-crisis/#storylink=cpy

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis, the more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Barney Frank 2003 in response to Bush administration overhaul plan.

“I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”

John McCain

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/obama-barney-frank-fannie-mae-freddie-mac-democrats-cause-of-crisis-mccain-warned-mccain-reformer-youtube-video-democrat-coverups-bailout-truth/

May I suggest the socialist liberals on the left READ more and spread bullshit less… then maybe you will learn something.

Posted by: Steve at January 3, 2012 9:06 PM
Comment #334003

Steve,

I concede. Barney Frank was indeed a powerful Congressman. A Republican administration and Congress were just powerless in face of this minority member of the House.

Posted by: Rich at January 3, 2012 10:18 PM
Comment #334006
Sub-prime lending it what set off the problem. These loans were too weak. Indeed, they were just part of the larger system driving home prices beyond sustainable levels, but they were a prime motive force.

Greed my friend is what set the financial meltdown off. They packaged the loans and sold them off using the money to leverage more loans. The banks needed customers to make money. They induced many people into loans that they couldn’t pay on houses they couldn’t afford in the long run. To think it was anything the government did is laughable. To think these big bankers were forced to loan to the unqualified is ridiculous. You would also have to believe the invisible hand of the market will …. oh there’s the disconnect.

Tell me jlw, or any other socialist liberal on WB: can you say you accept the Constitution as it is written or do you believe it is flawed?

Tell me Steve or any other fascist/conservative on WB do you think slavery is acceptable today? DO you think the 14th amendment was written to promote corporate personhood? Do you think the runner up in the next election should be the vice president? Do you think God wrote the constitution Steve or are our founding fathers avatars incapable of making a mistake?

I will only ask one question at a time because any more just confuses you.

Perhaps it is the effects of the kool aid Steve that makes you so foolish as to think we are that easily confused.


May I suggest the socialist liberals on the left READ more and spread bullshit less… then maybe you will learn something.

Steve perhaps you should practice what you preach. The nonsense over the CRA and F&F is just that nonsense to keep people like yourself believing the financial meltdown was the government’s fault. F&F were caught up in it but it was the greed of those making the money bundling these loans and leveraging more mortgages out of their gains form selling previous mortgages. These loans were rated by the different rating agencies, where is your outrage over these companies and their inability to see where this was heading?

Here is some reading for you that seems to dispel many of the myths you have bought into by reading Rockwell and other such nonsense.

http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/201110140001#blame

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 1:00 AM
Comment #334007

j2t2

Greed can always be blamed for any financial bubble. It is always a factor.

There is plenty of greed and dishonesty to go around. The subprime is a good example. Those who take out loans they cannot pay are foolish or dishonest, but they are also almost always greedy. Those who extend them them credit are foolish or dishonest, but almost always greedy. The wild card is political. Politicians pushing institutions to lend to poor risks and encouraging poor risks to think they deserve the special consideration.

I notice that liberals almost always use the passive voice or other devices to cloud responsibilty for anybody but conservatives or financial institutions.

About deadbeats you write “[the banks] induced many people into loans that they couldn’t pay on houses they couldn’t afford in the long run.”

Institutions made available loans. They were too risky for the banks. Perhaps government was complicit. But the guy who took out the loan is the ultimate crook. He is the one who ended up stealing the money, even if he didn’t keep it long in most cases.

We have some victims and perps in this thing. Victims are people like me, who did not overextend ourselves or make stupid financial decisions, but still suffer the effects. You are probably in this group too.

Victims also include investors who bought those poor loan packages to the extent that risk was understated (often by Freddie of Fannie)

Perps include those who profited from loans they knew were bad AND those who took out those loans.

Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 4:54 AM
Comment #334010

Thank you rich for proving my point; more than one question confuses the left. I gave you documented facts and you didn’t respond to any of them. Instead, you provide a link to a liberal hack site called media matters. Within the past week “media matters” was banned from teaching girlscouts media bias. The old “fox in the henhouse”.

Try answering the charges instead of speading more bullshit. I gave you quotes from the very lips of Barney Frank. I also provided proof that Janet Reno threatened to tie banks up in the courts if they did not loan money to unqualified people, yet you failed respond. What Janet Reno was doing is nothing new, everyone at the time knew it. But perhaps you were too young.

Posted by: Steve at January 4, 2012 8:59 AM
Comment #334013
Thank you rich for proving my point; more than one question confuses the left.

Steve, and more than one person obviously confuses the extremist fascist/conservatives.

I gave you documented facts and you didn’t respond to any of them. Instead, you provide a link to a liberal hack site called media matters.

But Steve you have to read the link, that is where the rebuttal to your quotes are at. Media matters is no hack site despite your wish that it would be.

Within the past week “media matters” was banned from teaching girlscouts media bias. The old “fox in the henhouse”.

Steve, as usual with Becksters the facts get in the way, as the girl scouts say “check your source” on this nonsense.

Try answering the charges instead of speading more bullshit. I gave you quotes from the very lips of Barney Frank. I also provided proof that Janet Reno threatened to tie banks up in the courts if they did not loan money to unqualified people, yet you failed respond. What Janet Reno was doing is nothing new, everyone at the time knew it. But perhaps you were too young.


But Steve the charges are the bullshit, your charges are not the reason for the financial meltdown, sorry. Read the media matters link to dispel your myths.

BTW being old doesn’t make you right it just makes you old Steve.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 10:09 AM
Comment #334014

“But the guy who took out the loan is the ultimate crook. He is the one who ended up stealing the money, even if he didn’t keep it long in most cases.”

C&J,

No, the guy who took out the loan got a wildly overvalued asset in exchange for a daunting promissory note only partially secured by the asset. He may have thought he was getting a great deal, but he wasn’t. Sort of like buying one of those fake Rolex watches in Times Square.

The guys who actually got the money were the builders, realtors, the mortgage originators who sold the loans, the investment banks that extracted fees for packaging the loans in “safe” investment instruments and traded in those instruments, the credit rating institutions that rated the instruments “AAA” for a fee and traders in credit default swaps.

This was basically a huge confidence game with the investment banks and credit rating agencies front and center. They were the alchemists that purportedly turned junk mortgages into gold, inducing investors to commit billions of dollars into sub-prime mortgage capital resulting in a huge inflationary bubble in the housing market.

Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2012 10:22 AM
Comment #334017
Victims also include investors who bought those poor loan packages to the extent that risk was understated (often by Freddie of Fannie)

Ya know C&J I can almost see your point on this one. But I have to stand on one leg with the opposite eye closed on a cloudy Tuesday while hopping around in a circle to do so.

This is a half truth because yes investors could be considered victims, and yes if in fact F&F actually understated the risk to these investors knowingly. But the real culprits were the rating agencies that told F&F and everyone else the bundled loans were safe investments. Repeating the information from the agencies doesn’t make F&F any more blamable than any of the other institutions that created these loans, serviced these loans and bought these loans. In fact they were included in the investors you talk about.

Additionally when we look at the whole issue F&F were also victims of the Wall street gang that pushed these bundles loans to the GSE’s. Your Mr.Greenspan told us the market would regulate these securities, remember? It was Buffet that forewarned of these bundled loans but no one listened.

So the fact is C&J Gramm deregulated the derivatives market because those guys were sophisticated investors and because of his belief in the invisible hand. The GSE’s did not cause the meltdown, in fact they were victims of the meltdown. Myths to the contrary are just that, myths.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 12:16 PM
Comment #334020

Rich

“No, the guy who took out the loan got a wildly overvalued asset in exchange for a daunting promissory note only partially secured by the asset.”

The guy took out a loan promising to pay for the asset he thought worth it. A prudent individual would have made sure that he could reasonably afford to continue to pay for it, no matter what.

I own a piece of forest land that is now valued for less than I paid for it. I have a loan that I am paying on that land. The drop in the price of my asset really makes no difference to my paying the loan. As a matter of fact, nothing much has changed. I still own 115 acres of land and owe a little less on that land than I did a couple of years ago, since some of the principle is paid off. Should they reduce my loan now that the land has dropped in price?

What about the other direction. Lots of people bought houses when they were valued lower and sold them when the prices were higher. Should they pay extra to the banks because of their good fortune?

We also have the big class of deadbeats who took out second mortgages and pissed away the money. Anybody who bought a house before 2005 should be in zero trouble with his mortgage. If he has been paying his loans, he owns an asset that is worth more than his debt on that asset. Unless he borrowed extra to spend on other things.

Anybody who bought a house after 2008 also should be in no trouble. The asset he purchased is worth about what he paid for it.

Anybody who owned a house before 2005, sold it and then plowed the proceeds into another house should not be in any trouble. He may have lost money on the house he bought in 2005 or 2006 but the money he invested from his first home should have covered that.

So we are left with a very small group of honest and prudent people who COULD have suffered. If you bought your first home in a overvalued market between 2005 and 2007 you may have lost significant money even though you made a good decision based on the facts available. I don’t know how many people would fall into that category, but it must be a relatively small percentage of the total number of homeowners.

Even these guys would be okay if they did not lose their jobs. So the people we should feel sorry for have ALL three of the following characteristics.

They bought a home in 2005-7

They were first time home buyers in those years

They lost their jobs and have not found comparable new ones.

But ask yourself who “stole” his money? Somebody sold his house in 2005 and got more for it than somebody could have two years later. This guy is guilty of nothing.

The only people who took anything they might not have deserved is the supposed “victim” the guy who took out the loan he couldn’t pay, if he chose not to pay his debt.

Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 2:53 PM
Comment #334023

There’s really not even a debate here on what happened. No lender would have made those risky loans if they could not have securitized them and passed them on. It was a DEREGULATION not a new regulation that allowed that to happen. It’s that simple. The overwhelming majority of high risk loans were made outside of any government requirements. If commercial banks and investment banks were kept separate there is no way this would have happened.

That is precisely why it did not happen from 1933 until after 1999.

Posted by: muirgeo at January 4, 2012 3:50 PM
Comment #334026

C&J as part of this contract the mortgage company can call in the mortgage any time. The buyer can default as defined within contract as well. Many of the mortgages were variable rates or interest only loans which allowed the buyer to qualify for the loan in many cases. Many were sold the idea the adjustable rate mortgage was the best for them as they could not otherwise get a loan. They were told that as time went on their income would increase.

In life sometimes things happen and circumstances change, when the economy tanked many lost jobs, births, deaths divorces and medical issues also caused many people to have a change of circumstance.

What is different this time is the artificially inflated prices of the houses and bursting of the bubble combined with a new found fear in lending by the very same mortgage lenders to bring the market to a near halt. Instead of being able to sell their house, as many have done in the past facing similar circumstances, they had to go through foreclosure, which is part of the contract they signed.

Let me ask you this, what would you do if the loan for your land was adjusted every year and the payments doubled or more over just a couple of years? Most people could not afford to keep up with these type of increases. Or worse yet the money you are spending on the loan is interest only and the value of the land is declining and you can’t sell it nor pay the monthly note?

We also have the big class of deadbeats who took out second mortgages and pissed away the money.

C&J, this is what caused the economy to be grow during the GWB administration, why would you call it pissing the money away when in a consumer economy these “deadbeats” were the hero’s who took trips, bought TV’s, cars and other consumable goods using the borrowed money from the increased value of their home :)

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 4:11 PM
Comment #334028

muirego

Who was the biggest buyer of these bad loans?

j2t2

If you have a mortgage that the company can call in at any time, you better get rid of it. If the buyer defaults, he has defaulted. This are not things envisioned by the contract.

“They were told that as time went on their income would increase.” There you go again with the passive voice. There a a couple of options here. If they were tricked, either the borrowers thought they could get away with something or they were too stupid to be allowed to run their own affairs.

“Let me ask you this, what would you do if the loan for your land was adjusted every year and the payments doubled or more over just a couple of years?” - I wouldn’t be dumb or dishonest enough to take out such a loan.

Re the people pissing away the money - Perhaps it is good under some theories to spend money. But people who spend money they don’t have are dishonest or very stupid.

There used to be an old saying, that should still apply, “He who spends what isn’t his’n, pays it back or goes to prison.”

I use credit. I took out loans based on the growing value of my home. But I used this money wisely and I didn’t take out more than I could pay back. You should certainly borrow no more that 80% of the value of your home and should not do that unless you have very strong indications that your income will grow.

People need to understand the difference between investing and consuming. They need to control their consumption. if they control their consumption early on, they can later consume a lot more if that is what they want. When they do not behave in a prudent manner, there should be consequences.

A lot of people gambled. That may be legal. But when they lose the gamble, they should not be bailed out.

The thing that made me mad when I read about the Obama financial reforms, was that they indeed bailed out some of the bad actors. I think it was essential to protect the integrity of the financial system, but Obama allowed the perps to prosper.


Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 4:43 PM
Comment #334032

C&J-
The banks could have said no. They could have pushed for legislation that would kill competition from non-bank lenders. They could have done a million things to ensure shareholder value.

Instead, they pushed these loans as a matter of policy. They wanted that money, which they got from selling off bad loans to each other.

That’s why they were willing to make these loans, plain and simple: they didn’t have to live with the final result, and they could obscure the risk later down the line, as well, so people weren’t looking at the assets and saying no.

If regulation had forced disclosure of the quality of these loans, if they had taken a hard line on predatory lenders who took advantage of people’s ignorance and lack of understanding of finance, if home equity loans hadn’t been allowed to become the product du jour of financial institutions, especially the non-bank lenders (lost another loan to ditech?) the fever would have cooled off faster.

It didn’t. You count on the market to police itself, but when people can keep the funny business they’re up to under wraps, when they can sell the s***ty deals and get away with it, when derivatives basically constitute a license to get away with market murder, no market can police itself, and America will go through repeated,expensive cycles of market bailouts, simply out of a sense of self-preservation.

That seems like a s***ty deal to me.

Half of good regulation, in my opinion, is obligating the people doing business to be honest with each other, and then enforcing that obligation. Then, after that, if the companies are still doing bad things, then you bring in the law.

You can blame Obama for the environment, but your new favorite candidate is one of the people who prospered from this environment, and who will reinforce it.

The reason the American dream is in such sorry shape at this point, is that it was used as bait to get people into the exact kind of financial trouble that would keep many from ever achieving it. Your people let the foxes set the rules for the henhouses, and now you’re blaming the new farmer for the lack of chickens.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 4, 2012 5:29 PM
Comment #334035

C&J you act as if you have never taken a risk or have never been deceived in dealings with salesmen. Taking risks is as American as apple pie, C&J, those that win are celebrated as hero’s in our society.

You also seem to forget as some of these companies were selling the bundled loans they were also shorting them. Yet instead you blame the buyer and the government.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 7:04 PM
Comment #334037

C&J,

“We conclude that these two entities [Fannie and Freddie] contributed to the crisis, but were not a primary cause. Importantly, GSE mortgage securities essentially maintained their value throughout the crisis and did not contribute to the significant financial firm losses that were central to the financial crisis.” http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-reports/fcic_final_report_conclusions.pdf

The GSEs contributed to the crisis by purchasing highly rated non-GSE mortgage-backed securities. “Their participation in this market added helium to the housing balloon, but their purchases never represented a majority of the market.”

“The Commission also probed the performance of the loans purchased or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. While they generated substantial losses, delinquency rates for GSE loans were substantially lower than loans securitized by other financial firms.”

In other words, the original loans directly purchased by the GSEs and securitized by the GSEs did not significantly contribute to the financial crisis. However, their investment purchases of packaged loans marketed by non-GSEs did contribute to the crisis.

The idea that the GSEs were the principal buyers of the sub-prime originations is simply wrong.


Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2012 7:34 PM
Comment #334040

“The banks could have said no or pushed for legislation.” – but why should they? They were playing by the rules of the game. Freddie and Fannie were willing to buy up the poor risks.

I believe in full disclosure. I agree with you that derivatives should be limited because they can create systemic risk. I agree that we should prevent banks and other institutions from becoming too big to fail. The Obama folks really dropped the ball, as I wrote in a earlier post.

But the threat is to the system and that is the one we have to address. Unlucky or greedy borrowers as individuals are not a concern. Nothing can be done to help. I figure I lost more than 100k on my home value. This is very bad. But nothing can be done to compensate me. I got to ride the market up and it went down too. This is the boat we are all in.

J2t2

I take risks all the time. I have been deceived by salesmen and I have lots piles of money on stocks and real estate. That is the cost of doing business. What I don’t do is bet the farm on bad risks.

There were two times in recent history when I did the right thing. I didn’t buy the dot.com firms because I couldn’t figure out how they could make money. Turns out most of them could not. When they were flying high, lots of people gave me a hard time and told me that I was stupid, too cautious and too old. When they lost money, I saw no reason to give it back out of my money. More recently, as we are talking about, we had real estate. Chrissy and I live in a house that is well below our means and drive a seven year old Honda Civic. Others were buying “up” and taking out big loans to do it. We took a lot of shit from people (again) calling us stupid, too caution and too old to know what is going on. Some people made fun of us for being “cheap.” Now many of those people cannot pay their loan. Life is tough all over.

Rich

It is always easy to see how a crisis should have been avoided after the fact. I believe in sensible regulation. As I wrote in an earlier post, the Obama folks really blew it. I don’t believe they know how to regulate property.

What I am against is this unfocused anger. Obama vents, but doesn’t take the proper action. OWS camp, but target the wrong folks.

Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 8:21 PM
Comment #334041

“The thing that made me mad when I read about the Obama financial reforms, was that they indeed bailed out some of the bad actors.”

C&J,

Please, the financial reforms did not bail out the “bad actors.” That was TARP and the Federal Reserve’s actions in 2008-2009. You supported those actions to “protect the integrity of the financial system.” Quite frankly, it was a done deal by the time that Obama took office.

In truth, the banks and financial institutions are opposed to the financial reforms which are gradually taking effect. Why? Because they limit the ability of the “bad actors” to impose systemic risk upon the entire financial system and the economy in general. Because, they limit the ability of the “bad actors” to engage in predatory lending practices and subject them to oversight from a consumer protection agency. The financial reforms may not have gone far enough in limiting the problems of “too big to fail.” However, that is an issue of degree not direction. Perhaps, if Republican legislators had not obstructed more stringent reforms, it would have been more to your liking.

You want some “perp walks.” Well, so do I. However, you might want to revisit some of the conservative de-regulation mania of the last two decades and review those actions which gutted enforcement agencies and regulatory standards. Blaming Obama for a situation that conservatives created is the height of hypocrisy. At least Alan Greenspan has been honest enough to admit that he, and consequently the Fed, was wrong about relaxed and minimal regulatory control of the financial markets. His admission of great disappointment in realizing that the financial markets were not self-regulating speaks volumes about the regulatory schemes in place during the financial crisis. Now, you blame Obama for not prosecuting the “bad actors” that were operating in a legal free for all environment.


Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2012 8:59 PM
Comment #334042

“Freddie and Fannie were willing to buy up the poor risks.”

C&J,

Lets be clear here. Fannie and Freddie did not directly buy the sub-prime loan originations that caused the problem. Their securitized loan instruments containing their direct purchases were not the problem. They substantially outperformed non-GSE securitized loan instruments. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission data clearly indicates that.

The problem for Fannie and Freddie was in their investment portfolio which contained “high grade” CDOs marketed by private investment banks which included junk sub-prime loan originations acquired by those banks. They made the same mistake as other investors in purchasing mortgage backed securities rated “AAA” by credit agencies. They certainly should have known better. However, they were not the principal and first purchasers of the sub-prime loans.


Posted by: Rich at January 4, 2012 9:25 PM
Comment #334061

Rich

AIG got its bonuses during the Obama tenure. Goldman-Sacks got 100 cents on the dollar to cover their losses with government money during the Obama time. Executives at Fannie and Freddie got their bonuses during the Obama time.

Obama left in place all the reward structures. He talked loudly about change and did business as usual.

Obama took office only a couple months after TARP started. We all know that Obama could have shaped the deals. He also is not above changing his mind and changing deals he makes. He chose NOT to do it. He let it happen and helped it happen.

Your idea of “perp walks” shows exactly the wrong (Obama) approach. Obama does lots of high profile stuff. Talks a lot but doesn’t get at the system itself.

Certainly those who broke laws should be prosecuted. Obama doesn’t do that. Attorney General Holder instead goes after banks for not making loans to members of minority communities with subprime credit - sound familiar?

You are judging Obama by what he said is was going to do. I am looking at what he really did. The two are not the same.

Re Freddie and Fannie

The government has needed to pour billions into Fannie and Freddie, w/o hope of being paid back as others in TARP (besides GM) have done. Something is wrong with that.

I do not say that these organizations were the only bad actors. The biggest bad actor was probably Goldman-Sacks, much loved and protected by Obama’s folks and long a source of Democratic intellectual power on finance. The ones Obama rewarded with 100 cents on the dollar when others lost big money.

Posted by: C&J at January 5, 2012 4:43 AM
Comment #334063

C&J,

“Goldman-Sacks got 100 cents on the dollar to cover their losses with government money during the Obama time.” “The ones Obama rewarded with 100 cents on the dollar when others lost big money.”

You keep repeating this falsehood. It is not true. The payments were made in September of 2008 before Obama was even elected.

“The biggest bad actor was probably Goldman-Sacks, much loved and protected by Obama’s folks and long a source of Democratic intellectual power on finance.”

What position did Henry Paulson hold before he was appointed Secretary of Treasury under GW Bush?

“Obama took office only a couple months after TARP started. We all know that Obama could have shaped the deals.”

You repeatedly supported the TARP deal when it was initiated and structured by the Bush administration. Now you say that Obama should have re-structured the bad deal when he took office. Good when Bush formed it. Bad when Obama implemented the final phases five months after its passage.

“Certainly those who broke laws should be prosecuted. Obama doesn’t do that.”

Like I said, maybe you ought to reconsider the actions of conservatives in gutting financial regulations and regulatory agencies.

Lets agree, though, on one point. Both parties have been bought by Wall Street.

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2012 9:09 AM
Comment #334066

C&J you seem to have joined the extremist conservatives in denial about the facts of the financial meltdown as you continue to grasp at straws in your attempt to smear Obama.

How can we expect those on the right side of the aisle to fix any problems if they cannot even get the facts of the issue right, let alone the root causes?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2012 11:12 AM
Comment #334071

Rich

I misspoke about my timing but the cast of characters was correct:

‘After the federal government stepped in to rescue the teetering insurance giant in the fall of 2008, the New York Fed, then led by current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, directed AIG to pay its counterparties 100 cents on the dollar on their complex derivatives deals. More than $27 billion of taxpayer money went into the coffers of firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. The firms were also allowed to keep $35 billion in collateral previously posted by AIG.”

So then we got Dodd, Frank and Geithner reforming the system?

j2t2

Obama said many of the right things about the financial system being broken. He then did the wrong things to fix it.

Posted by: C&J at January 5, 2012 3:54 PM
Comment #334073

C&J-

“The banks could have said no or pushed for legislation.” – but why should they? They were playing by the rules of the game. Freddie and Fannie were willing to buy up the poor risks.

You think they had nothing to do with the way the rules of the game were set up? That they didn’t have their lobbyists in your Republican lead Congress cooking up the bills? I don’t care what kind of leader he is, but you can’t blame everything on one Democrat when your people could easily overpower him.

Quit denying it: Republicans lead Congress and the White House, and those entities encouraged, as a whole, the policies that lead to ruin. That includes laws restricting regulation on derivatives.

As for Obama? He made plenty of reforms to TARP that your people howled about. The issue with TARP is, you’ll never live down the fact that your party’s administration okayed it, asked for it even, and balked at the strings attached.

You’ll never live down the fact that despite all the promises you made, the people who accepted the funds acted like it was business as usual. Tell me, if the worst economic crisis in decades isn’t sufficient to teach these people their lessons, why are we depending on the market to punish them? We could have put strings on executive pay, but your people objected to that.

As it did, Obama not only managed to get back most of the money taxpayers spent on this (a fact you don’t really bring up all that often when you talk about a wast of taxpayer dollars) but he used that money to not only save the domestic car industry from collapse, but to get them permanently of corporate welfare life support, after months of them struggling on bailout money.

The Republican approach to the market is a sham, one maintained when times are good to stave off anything that might shave potential profits off a company’s earnings, and then coming to the rescue when that company makes a fatal or near fatal screwup. This is made worse, often enough, by the lackadaisacal approach taken to keeping companies from getting too big to fail, and the lack of regulatory insight that allows often predictable problems to remain unmanaged.

The approach of Liberal capitalism is that we’ll be honest: if a bailout is necessary, it’s necessary. We won’t sacrifice our national interests, particularly our economic interests, so our economy can run in a textbook style. That said, if you fail so spectacularly as to need a bailout, there are going to be reforms, so we stand a lot lower chance of seeing you back here begging at our doorstep again. And meanwhile, while you are sucking at the public teat, you’re going to accept some restrictions on how much you can enrich yourselves, since you’re not really earning this cashflow.

Republicans? Well, politics either forces them to make the dumb decision to let the damage occur, or (and this sometimes happens right after they try the first option) they give those guys a bailout, but do their best to put as few strings as possible on it, in keeping with their dislike for regulation. They just don’t want to come into conflict with the markets, since their dogma tells them that conflicts between government and the market are bad.

Really, if you want a manageable system, if you want a system where people accept the wealth of the wealthy, you have to set things up where the cheating and the chicanery are kept to a minimum, where people get something for their money, and there’s less question that those getting their money might be taking them for a ride.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2012 4:09 PM
Comment #334075

Comment #334040

“The banks could have said no or pushed for legislation.” – but why should they? They were playing by the rules of the game. Freddie and Fannie were willing to buy up the poor risks.”


Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 8:21 PM

C&J, not only were the banks playing by the rules; but the banks were more than willing to get rid of the bad loans, because the banks were FORCED to make the bad loans to people who could not afford them or face Janet Reno and her henchmen who would tie the banks up in audits for years. And the head of Fannie and Freddie were more than willing to buy up the loans (whether good or bad), because the more loans bought up, the higher the bonuses to the likes of Rains and others. It was a scam from the beginning; in fact everything the democrats do ends up as a scam.

“BTW being old doesn’t make you right it just makes you old Steve.”

Posted by: j2t2 at January 4, 2012 10:09 AM

Yes, I may be old and I may have been around the block a few times, and I may have been listening to liberal bullshit for years. Your kind have been around for a long time; they were called Torries in Washington’s day and they were called facists in Hitler’s day. Today they are called OWS ignorant punks.

Posted by: Steve at January 5, 2012 4:16 PM
Comment #334076

So let me make sure I have this straight C&J. GWB signed TARP into law. Later, after Obama took over the office he didn’t revise TARP or in actuality didn’t demand Congress revise TARP. So the blame goes to Obama for being the last one in the door? Not Congress just Obama.

So then Congress goes through the process and puts a fairly mild reform law on the presidents desk. This after much resistance from the repubs/conservatives/corporatist who didn’t think any reforms were needed. So in order to get this law onto the presidents desk members of Congress had to compromise with the obstructionist conservatives in Congress to get anything through, which they did. At that point it was do not sign it and get nothing in the way of reform or sign it and get some reform. Yet it is Obama’s fault that we did not get to big to fail reform? Is this your position?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2012 4:17 PM
Comment #334078
the banks were FORCED to make the bad loans to people who could not afford them or face Janet Reno and her henchmen

Reno hasn’t been in power since January, 2001; how could she be responsible for a housing bubble that occurred in the mid-2000s?

And the head of Fannie and Freddie were more than willing to buy up the loans (whether good or bad)

Oh really? Then why are the following two statements true:
the housing bubble occurred during a period when Fannie and Freddie’s market share dropped precipitously.

and
Overall, loans originated for private-label securitization have defaulted at about six times the rate of Fannie and Freddie loans.

Another Source for the claim regarding GSE’s market share.
Please stop peddling the Big Lie. Just because you keep on repeating something over and over again doesn’t make it true.


hey were called Torries in Washington’s day

Tory is a word that has been used to describe conservatives; For example PM Cameron is a Tory.

they were called facists in Hitler’s day
The nationalism at the heart of Fascism usually puts it at the far Right of the political spectrum. Posted by: Warped Reality at January 5, 2012 4:53 PM
Comment #334080

More reading material.

Remember that FNMA and FHLMC were not sinless. They were run as private business in the capitalist environment. This meant their number one goal was to maximize their profits. This led senior management at both firms to engage in massive accounting fraud. However, that fraud was induced by the profit motive and not any humanitarian desire to provide enable more people to purchase homes.

Posted by: Warped Reality at January 5, 2012 5:18 PM
Comment #334083

WR-
I wouldn’t say that they are sinless, but their sins are not the ones that the Republicans are offering.

This isn’t about whether Fannie and Freddie took risks they shouldn’t have. They did. This is about the Republicans trying to peddle this story where the government is once again the bad guy for trying to increase the fortunes of the the poor and middle class.

Like others mentioned, these were privatized corporations at this point, only more regulated than their competitors, not to mention the fact that they weren’t even in the primary mortgage business.

You might want to look at how contributors from the non-bank lenders spent their money both before 2008 and after. Hell, go look at where old Goldman Sach’s money is heading this election cycle, where it headed last time.

If you wanted the main reason they made their contributions where their donations went in 2008, you have only to understand that they expected a pounding. After they got their pounding, they were right back to work pushing for folks who would give them the permissive environment they wanted.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2012 6:41 PM
Comment #334085
Yes, I may be old and I may have been around the block a few times, and I may have been listening to liberal bullshit for years. Your kind have been around for a long time; they were called Torries in Washington’s day and they were called facists in Hitler’s day.Today they are called OWS ignorant punks.

Steve I am right up there in age myself. The difference between us is I stopped drinking the kool aid a long time ago. Based upon your comments here it seems you have taken to the myths, misinformation, half truths and outright lies that is conservatism today. the latest comment of yours is an example of the revisionist history you are spreading, although it is an outright lie it is more likely just mythinformation on your part as you have fallen for the revisionism that is needed to get people like you to blindly follow the conservative movement leaders as they continue to spread their foul propaganda. So to be accurate in your statement it seems to me you would need to revise “Today they are called OWS ignorant punks” to “Today they are called Tea Party ignorant punks” to accurately reflect the facts. But then you could always leave out the “ignorant punks” part and not sound so foolish and unintelligent yourself.



“English conservatism, which was called Toryism, emerged during the Restoration (1660–1688). It supported a hierarchical society with a monarch who ruled by divine right. However the Glorious Revolution (1688), which established constitutional government, led to a reformulation of Toryism which now considered sovereignty vested in the three estates of Crown, Lords, and Commons.[7]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism

.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2012 7:24 PM
Comment #334086
I wouldn’t say that they are sinless, but their sins are not the ones that the Republicans are offering.

This isn’t about whether Fannie and Freddie took risks they shouldn’t have. They did. This is about the Republicans trying to peddle this story where the government is once again the bad guy

I agree. Although FNMA & FHLMC were flawed entities from the start, they were not the instigators of the crisis we experienced a few years ago. All the housing crisis did was expose flaws from long ago, the biggest one being the hybrid nature of those GSEs. They had both a profit motive as well as a public mission and there was no way to reconcile the two. Also, those GSEs had an implicit guarantee from the government which let them take risks that private actors could not, which perverted the market.

Compare FNMA & FHLMC with GNMA (Ginnie Mae). GNMA is a government corporation and not a privately owned entity like FNMA & FHLMC. This means the decisions made at GNMA are not done to please shareholders, but are done in order to best serve the public. Look at the results, GNMA never needed a bailout.

Posted by: Warped Reality at January 5, 2012 7:33 PM
Comment #334089

Warped Reality, you seem to e a little more knowledgeable concerning Freddie and Fannie. If GNMA was a government controlled entity; perhaps you could tell me if Freddie and Fannie were subject to the same laws and regulations as other privately owned banking systems? Or better yet, is Freddie and Fannie subject to the SEC?

There is a reason for liberals continuously defending Fannie and Freddie. It is because they were part of FDR’s New Deal, and God forbid that we find fault in the new deal.

Posted by: Steve at January 5, 2012 8:15 PM
Comment #334090
There is a reason for liberals continuously defending Fannie and Freddie. It is because they were part of FDR’s New Deal, and God forbid that we find fault in the new deal.

Steve, the reason you see us “defending” F&F is because those on the right, in this case you and C&J, attack F&F as the cause of the financial meltdown. That is wrong, yet they persist in making this falsehood a conservative myth that people believe. To let the extremist on the right continue to spread this misinformation for political gain would only serve to keep the same type of problems occurring in the future.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2012 8:34 PM
Comment #334091

Thanks WR for your answer, Oh!, that’s not WR, it’s j2t2. Sorry j2t2, but Freddie and Fannie were the cause for the financial meltdown. Whenever the government gets involved in socialist programs, everything goes to hell.

Amtrac: busted
SS: busted
Medicare: busted
Post Office: busted
Government Motors: busted
Freddie and Fannie: busted
obamacare: busted
Welfare: busted
Food stamps: busted
NASA: busted
Government banking: busted
NLRB: busted
National debt: busted

You name it; either busted or going to be busted.

Posted by: Steve at January 5, 2012 8:45 PM
Comment #334092

Steve, not letting facts get in the way of your ideology I see. Well I guess your entitled to your myths, just don’t think you get a free ride for spouting them here.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 5, 2012 8:53 PM
Comment #334095

Steve,

If Fannie and Freddie caused the financial crisis, how do you explain the following facts:

“Data from Inside Mortgage Finance shows that between 2003 and 2006 [time that crisis developed], the private-label share of mortgage-backed security issuance increased from 21.6% to 56.0%, overtaking Fannie and Freddie. Over this time, the private financial sector accounted for 72.1% of the total increase in mortgage-backed securities outstanding and 54.6% of the increase in overall home mortgage debt.”

“Over 97% of the increase in private-label securities was backed by subprime and Alt-A loans.”

“Between 2003 and 2006, Fannie and Freddie (and Ginnie Mae) accounted for just 27.9% of the increase in mortgage-backed securities and 13.9% of overall home mortgage debt.” http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/11/fannie-freddie-and-the-foreclosure-crisis/

Posted by: Rich at January 5, 2012 9:31 PM
Comment #334096
Freddie and Fannie were subject to the same laws and regulations as other privately owned banking systems? Or better yet, is Freddie and Fannie subject to the SEC?

FNMA & FHLMC were regulated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), not the SEC.

There is a reason for liberals continuously defending Fannie and Freddie. It is because they were part of FDR’s New Deal, and God forbid that we find fault in the new deal.

FNMA was originally created in the New Deal, but its original role has been handled by GNMA for the past few decades. FHLMC originated in the past few decades as well. In any case, I think nearly everyone on the Left will admit that the GSE’s had serious flaws in their conception; however, it’s just ludicrous to then say “Freddie and Fannie were the cause for the financial meltdown.” If FNMA and FHLMC were the cause of the financial meltdown then those two firms should’ve seen their market share increase in the years leading up to the collapse (ie when the bubble was growing the most). Also, the default rates on the loans backed by FNMA and FHLMC would have been higher than average if those two organizations were the instigators of the whole mess. However, when we look at the data we discover that the GSE’s market share went down during the mid 2000s and that the loans backed by the GSE’s had a lower default rate than average, so the only rational conclusion is to say that Fannie and Freddie were not the cause of the financial meltdown. This isn’t to say they had no role; they certainly did have a role in the crisis, but the role was much more marginal than that portrayed in conservative media.

Whenever the government gets involved in socialist programs, everything goes to hell.

Amtrac: busted
SS: busted
Medicare: busted
Post Office: busted
Government Motors: busted
Freddie and Fannie: busted
obamacare: busted
Welfare: busted
Food stamps: busted
NASA: busted
Government banking: busted
NLRB: busted
National debt: busted

You name it; either busted or going to be busted.


We’ll that’s a big can of worms that you have there. If you stick around around long enough, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of engaging discussions about each of those organizations and/or programs. However, I will say this: There are many successful governmental organizations and/or programs that have been omitted from this list. Some of the organizations and/or programs that you included are quite successful at what they do, so I don’t know what you mean by “busted”; governmental organizations and/or programs aren’t supposed to turn a profit so that cannot be the metric you are using. Other organizations and/or programs that you listed were quite successful in the recent past, but it could be argued that they have outlived their usefulness. Posted by: Warped Reality at January 5, 2012 10:05 PM
Comment #334122

WR-
The effect Fannie and Freddie had pales in comparison to that the non-bank lenders had, especially since they were often originating the very loans they were selling off. The real problem wasn’t encouraging lending to lower income Americans, it was a system rigged to indebt them in order to claim higher profits on paper, which unfortunately had this tendency to collapse when people realized how few of these private market loans actually were panning out.

The problem is that the folks who ran these systems were intent on making a profit whether or not the long-term obligations to investors were fulfilled.

I would agree that there was a problem with these sort of hybrid organizations, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that these companies operated for thirty out of their forty years without precipitating a crisis in the market, and as others point out, weren’t really the culprits with this current crisis. The real problem is the market as a whole, an entire culture of irresponsibility encouraged by those who equate profit with virtue in a company, and think the market needs no rule of law applied to it to prevent fraud and misbehavior.

Steve-
Lets go over your list:
1) It’s Amtrak, and it’s cheaper per passenger than what we pay to maintain the federal highways system.

2) Social Security is nowhere close to being busted. We only need a few revisions, including raising the cap on the payroll tax, in order to pay for full benefits.

3) Medicare’s main cost overruns comes from the fact that medical care itself has become unsustainably expensive.

4) The post office would be profiting just fine, if it weren’t for the draconian fiscal requirements your side imposed on them, requirements no other agency or private concern bears. That has funnelled billions of dollars out of the Post Office Budget, making this at best an example of Republican ineptitude, and at worst the deliberate result of anti-government fanatics writing policy.

5) General Motors has returned to profitability, and the government is steadily getting out of it. This is much better than the alternative you would have, where the entire domestic car industry would have cratered.

6) Fannie and Freddie busted as private companies, and so did a lot of non-bank lenders the Republicans shilled for. The GSEs, ironically, outlasted a lot of the purely private lenders, only going bust on the eve of the financial crisis itself, as credit froze up.

7) Obamacare, as you termed it, has already saved the taxpayer money, and contributed to many people becoming ensured. Ironically enough, though, the main reforms of the Affordable Care Act haven’t even gone into motion.

Oh, and further irony, what you call Obamacare is originally the brainchild of your leading candidate and your leading thinktank, and was formulated to rely on the private market to lower costs, with the mandates getting rid of the free rider problem. So, really, it hasn’t had a chance to be busted, and if it does, it was your idea to begin with!

8) Welfare. Hmm. Interesting case here. Welfare as it once existed is over with. It’s now mainly a program for mothers with children. It requires those mothers to seek work. There’s no evidence its costs are going out of control. I guess you just had to throw something in to fill out your list.

9) Government Banking. Not sure what you mean by this. I mean, left to itself, it was the private economy that was going to go splat. Not exactly your best argument for the virtues of the private market. Oh, I know, the GSEs tempted them like Satan in the Garden with Eve. They just couldn’t help themselves getting so greedy. As it is, TARP looks like it’s going to break even. Much of the money has been paid back. The real question is whether we’re going to have to keep on bailing out the folks who are supposed to be the rugged individualists of the American economy, or whether we’re going to work to minimize our risks.

10)NLRB. Well, it’s not busted anymore, now is it? The point of the NLRB is to deal with the relations between labor and management in America, but I guess for you, if the NLRB isn’t taking management’s side, it just isn’t working, now is it? Obama made his recess appointments to that board because your side refused to allow anybody to be confirmed. Rather than working by legislative powers to change things, the Republicans in Congress decided to take the board hostage. The NLRB isn’t busted.

11) The national debt.

Well, you tell me: why are we so deep in debt? Was it Democratic Party policies? We balanced the budget. Then a Republican Party, with little help from the Democrats, passed policies that raised spending and lowered taxes.

So, if anybody’s to blame for the current situation, it’s people like you, who substituted faith in an economic theory for mathematics and common sense.

But lets go back and look at your claim: are we really busted as far as the national debt goes? Actually, we’re not even close. We borrow below cost. People essentially pay us to park their money. If you want irony, when your people pulled that debt ceiling BS, guess where people sunk their money to weather the storm?

In Treasury Bonds. Our national debt! So, busted, despite your side’s worst efforts? No, fortunately not.

Modern GOP politics nowadays seems to be about seeing failure everywhere, and trying to cause it where it’s not, so Democrats get the blame. Unfortunately, with policies like yours, and a stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge when they go wrong, the modern GOP doesn’t exactly sow bonanza success in its footsteps either.

Your politics is about telling people what to fear, but in the end, the results of your policies are what we really have to fear. Everything has to be the fault of socialism or big government. Works nice for getting people panicked and manning the walls, to fend off the rivals of your besieged party, but the truth is, many of the failures you complain about are private failures, or failures that come from your party’s policies. Others? Other things are just busts you claim, crises that don’t actually exist.

Everything is a shell game with the GOP. It’s coming back to haunt you, though. You don’t get candidates like you got when your people are savvy as to what’s going on.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 6, 2012 9:26 AM
Comment #334130


Steve, liberals may only be able to answer one question at a time, but that puts them one up on conservatives.

Tories were liberals?

Amazing what you can learn from Fox history 101.

The Webster dictionary: Tory- 1. A member of the conservative party of Great Britain and Canada. 2. A conservative. 3. A person who supported the British in the American revolution.

Contrary to popular conservative beliefs, the tea party rather than the OWS is the better example of tory.

The Nazi party was a right wing nationalist party. The word socialist was added to the party name in an attempt to attract workers. The attempt wasn’t as successful as hoped because of the staunch anti union stance of the party.

Upon gaining power, the first act of the Nazi party was the outlawing of trade unions. Before going after the Jews, they went after the unions, the socialists and the communists.

Fox history 102 will discuss the age of enlightenment which began with the election of Reagan.

Fox history 201 will explore the Barney Frank Administration (2001-2009).

Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2012 2:23 PM
Comment #334135

jlw

Words change their meaning. A conservative in other places and times is not the same definition.

A “conservative” in American supports the free market, believes in stricter constructionist view of the constitution (rule of law), believes in limited government and tends to respect traditional relationships.

A “liberal” in modern America distrusts market solutions, supports greater government involvement in the economy, supports a more revolutionary interpretation of the constitution and suspects traditional relationships are oppressive.

Nazi leadership in the 1930s believed that government and the people were the same thing (Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer - i.e. vastly expanded government), believed that the constitution was worthless and was willing to change everything, they wanted to change all the existing relationships.

Nazis are like neither American liberals nor American conservatives. Their core beliefs are very much like their cousins the communists (although both would violently reject this idea). They were totalitarians, which means that the government owns or controls virtually all economic activity. This is what makes them socialist.

We cannot get tied up with what people call themselves or are called by others. Judge people, things and movements by what they really do.

Posted by: C&J at January 6, 2012 6:32 PM
Comment #334139

“Sorry j2t2, but Freddie and Fannie were the cause for the financial meltdown. Whenever the government gets involved in socialist programs, everything goes to hell.”

Steve,

Please take the time to review the comments of Warped Reality who pointed out that the only mortgage financing institution that entirely avoided the financial meltdown was a pure government agency, Ginnie Mae.

Posted by: Rich at January 6, 2012 7:36 PM
Comment #334145


C&J, I did not associate the Nazi party with modern conservatives or liberals. I merely stated a fact, they were right wing nationalists. Many who supported the Nazi’s thought they were going to restore the monarchy, Hitler had other plans. They tried to use him, but.

It was one of your conservative allies that was making comparisons. With age comes wisdom, right.

Reagan was a small government conservative, so was Bush. Both increased government spending, the size of government and both had a love affair with the national debt.

The affect that capitalism has had on traditional values would make a good article, you should write it.

Fortunately for most of us, the Founding Fathers weren’t strict constructionists.

Isn’t strict constructionist another way of saying conservative interpretation.

“They were totalitarians, which means that government owns or controls virtually all economic activity. This is what makes them socialist.”

That must be why large numbers small businessmen and wealthy elites joined the Nazi party and why Kodak, DuPont, the Rockefeller’s, Henry Ford and many wealthy American elitists liked them so well.

Saddam was a totalitarian, so was Gaddafi, and Cheney had no problem doing business with them.

Aren’t the Communist Chinese totalitarians? Businessmen don’t seem to have that big of a problem with totalitarians.

I have no problem with conservatives ending the welfare state, eliminating regulatory agencies, reestablishing traditional values, reintroducing laissez faire, and caveat emptor. I wish you had the power to do it tomorrow.

Maybe Romney will do it after the great conservative wave sweeps the liberals out of Washington.

I also have no problem with you defining conservative any way you want, but I know that conservatives are not homogeneous, and free market is as liberal as it gets.


Posted by: jlw at January 6, 2012 9:21 PM
Comment #334148

Question to Warped Reality:

“Freddie and Fannie were subject to the same laws and regulations as other privately owned banking systems? Or better yet, is Freddie and Fannie subject to the SEC?”

Answer from WR:

“FNMA & FHLMC were regulated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), not the SEC.”

(A presidential appointed overseer who answers to the president and not the congress)

Second question to WR:

“If F&F are non-governmental owned banks, why aren’t they under the same rules and regulations as any other private or publicly owned bank?”

If F&F had been under the same rules and regulations as other banking systems, would the outcome have been different?

SD; your comments show your ignorance of finance.

Jlw: your comments show your complete lack of knowledge of history and word meanings.
In the early 60’s, the southern democrat party voted to deny blacks civil rights. According to your logic, the same democrat party of today is still racist. Is that true, or do you say the democratic party of the 60’s is not the same democratic party of today?

“Steve,

Please take the time to review the comments of Warped Reality who pointed out that the only mortgage financing institution that entirely avoided the financial meltdown was a pure government agency, Ginnie Mae.”

Posted by: Rich at January 6, 2012 7:36 PM

Are there any liberals on WB who have any intelligence? Ginnie Mae could not end up in the same trouble as F&F; because their purpose was different:

“Ginnie Mae does not buy or sell loans or issue mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Therefore, Ginnie Mae’s balance sheet doesn’t use derivatives to hedge or carry long term debt.”

http://ginniemae.gov/about/about.asp?Section=About

And I might suggest to C&J; if obama and the democrats had their way, they would have control of all private industry and our personal lives: therefore liberalism’s goal is socialism.

Posted by: Steve at January 6, 2012 9:37 PM
Comment #334149

jlw said:

“C&J, I did not associate the Nazi party with modern conservatives or liberals.”

Don’t back peddle now… Your comments about Nazi’s were meant to imply Conservatives were the same.

Innuendos and implications…the mark of a true socialist liberal.

“Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈuɣo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβes ˈfɾi.as]; born July 28, 1954) is the 61st and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and “Socialism for the 21st Century”, he has focused on implementing socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution, which has seen the implementation of a new constitution, participatory democratic councils and the nationalisation of several key industries.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Ch%C3%A1vez

According to Michael Savage, 4 more years of Obama will not make America a European socialist country; it will make us Venezuela and will make obama a second Chavez dictator. You do know Michael Savage, U of Berkeley grad and former socialist liberal? But hell, who cares, let’s just attack the messenger. Let the attacks begin.

Posted by: Steve at January 6, 2012 9:54 PM
Comment #334150
Don’t back peddle now… Your comments about Nazi’s were meant to imply Conservatives were the same.

Innuendos and implications…the mark of a true socialist liberal.

Most conservatives of today are not like the Nazi’s. The more far right extremist conservatives/fascist and the far right skinheads are like the Nazi’s. That is just a known fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far-right_politics

Most conservatives of today are more like the people of Germany in the late 20’s and early 30’s. Basically good people with good intentions, they mindlessly follow the movement leaders without question. If Rush says it or, in your case Steve, Savage says it then it must be true, not to be questioned. Despite all evidence to the contrary. What is the difference between conservatism as practiced and fascism? Not much.

Talk Radio conservatives are dangerous despite their good intentions because of the group think mentality of conservatives. Much like the German people of the 30’s wanting to restore Germany to it’s former greatness. Nationalism then and nationalism now.

These talk radio conservative leaders have continued to shift the national political debate farther and farther to the right these past 30 + years. To the point they think Obama and most of us lefties on WB are socialist.

It is only a matter of time until the far right TRC’s meet the extreme far right in thought and deed as long as they continue to listen to their leaders without question. The nationalism, the fear of others different from themselves is what leads them closer to the edge, the extreme far right edge of the political spectrum.

The main difference between conservatives and liberals today, IMHO, is not laissez faire economics as we all agree that the economic system needs regulations we just disagree on what regulations. Even Greenspan has acknowledged the failure of modern day laissez faire thinking. Nor is it traditional values, as we can readily see our politicians on both side of the aisle talk the talk but don’t walk the walk as is the case for many Americans.

The main difference between conservatives and liberals is “the core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and a justification of inequality.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/genius-and-madness/200809/is-political-conservatism-mild-form-insanity


Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2012 11:01 PM
Comment #334151


Words change their meaning. A conservative in other places and times is not the same definition.

C&J here is what Steve said.

Yes, I may be old and I may have been around the block a few times, and I may have been listening to liberal bullshit for years. Your kind have been around for a long time; they were called Torries in Washington’s day and they were called facists in Hitler’s day. Today they are called OWS ignorant punks.

If we suppose for a minute your comment is correct C&J it still doesn’t change Steve’s falsehoods. Steve tried to tell us the Tories of the revolutionary war were akin to the OWS movement of today. The Tories were the conservatives of the day, plain and simple. The believed in the traditional form of government and wore their religion on their sleeves for all to see. Not “my kind” as Steve would have us believe, but “his kind”.

Steve then tried to misinform us about the Nazi’s claiming they were akin to “my kind”. He was factually wrong. The Nazi’s were extreme right wing more akin to Steve’s “kind” than “my kind”. Nationalist they were, definitely a right wing trait.


Today the OWs movement isn’t considered conservative by any one. It is closer to “my kind” which makes it the opposite of the other two. Hence the Tea Party, which would match “Steve’s kind” as the others did. Steve was trying to be insulting, he just wasn’t intelligent enough to pull it off. Instead he embarrassed himself with his foolish comments. Defending him….. well enough said.


Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2012 11:38 PM
Comment #334152
You do know Michael Savage, U of Berkeley grad and former socialist liberal? But hell, who cares, let’s just attack the messenger. Let the attacks begin.

” Instead, you provide a link to a liberal hack site called media matters.”

Posted by: Steve at January 4, 2012 8:59 AM

Steve, Let ye without sin cast the first stone….

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2012 11:54 PM
Comment #334164

Steve-
You can say my comments show ignorance, but you have yet to correct that ignorance. Really, though, how much expertise in finance does it take to realize that if Fannie and Freddie really were the drivers of the bubble, we would see both an inflation in their market share and the riskiness of their portfolio, neither of which has been seen.

Meanwhile, you have these non-bank lenders and too-big-to-fail big banks that all of a sudden go into bankruptcy early in the Crisis, or require bailing out at the end of it, and their asset sheets show a whole lot of these toxic assetts.

Funny how that works. If somebody robbed the bank, would I accost a punk on the street who counting hundreds in his wallet, or would I go after the man running away with duffel bags and an assault rifle?

As for Ginnie Mae? Ginnie, it looks like it, provides government backing for privately originated loans and securities. In other words, they’ll pay that loan, even if that asset goes south. That’s why GNMA loans are considered such safe investments, even in tough times.

The main difference, I would say is that there is a combination both of oversight and an explicit guarantee of the securities in question.

As for this?

And I might suggest to C&J; if obama and the democrats had their way, they would have control of all private industry and our personal lives: therefore liberalism’s goal is socialism.

You’re really just saying this. It’s unproven fear mongering you engage in because you’ve got something to sell us that would otherwise not seem like such a great deal: your Wild West version of the free markets, which have, as of late, cratered to a much greater degree than even the GSEs. You just say “private good, government bad!”, and your analysis doesn’t seem to get any more sophisticated than that.

As for Media Matters, time and again I’ve got to their site to research something, and they provide quotes to support whatever supposed outrage the Republicans just said. They even provide the context, since Republicans are so sensitive about that. Partisan doesn’t have to mean sloppy with the facts.

As for this?

According to Michael Savage, 4 more years of Obama will not make America a European socialist country; it will make us Venezuela and will make obama a second Chavez dictator. You do know Michael Savage, U of Berkeley grad and former socialist liberal? But hell, who cares, let’s just attack the messenger. Let the attacks begin.

Your comments are worthy of attack. You’re sloppy, and lead with label-slapping basically meant to disqualify people from being trusted- textbook ad hominem attacks, where you target the trustworthy of the source, rather than reviewing their claims and dealing with those.

You say Michael Savage, by virtue of being a former liberal and Berkeley grad, knows precisely what we’re up to, and what we’re going to do. Well, I’m a former Republican and conservative, and I went to Baylor University, one of the most politically conservative campuses in the nation. Hell, a few years after I left, they went and hired Ken Starr to head the place!

So, does that make me an expert on the intentions of the Republican Party, all by itself? Or would you scoff at me using such a weak inference?

I don’t need to attack you, your argument is bad enough that I can take it down by sheer weight of its own fallacies. If it’s true, then everything I say about Republicans must therefore be true, and you wrong. Of course, if it’s true what Michael Savage says, the opposite must be true as well, and essentially the whole country’s in the box with Schrodinger’s Cat.

But maybe Michael Savage is getting ahead of himself. Maybe he’s just repeating this line because there’s little else to motivate Republican voters but existential fear of the left. The question you need to answer the rest of us, for your theory to earn crediblity, is just how Obama would do all this, and whether Obama has actually done or said anything that would actually lead to this.

Of course, me having said that, you’re likely to claim that any step in a liberal direction is a slippery slope to Hugo Chavez style socialism. It’s simply assumed that if we raise taxes on the rich a little bit, all of a sudden the rates will be at 98% or something. It’s simply assumed that if we stop taking the management side in every labor dispute, we’ll be Soviets by the end of the week.

No real sense of policy shifts, or anything like that, just hysterical fantasy based on panic over liberals getting back some power we once had.

You know, when I was born, things were considerably more liberal, politically speaking. Funny thing is, I didn’t see many Republicans going around and saying that their country was equivalent to the Soviet Union, or some Banana Republic Socialist dictatorship. Now, in loose logical terms, if we are to analyze the rhetoric coming out of the Right these days, if things were much more leftward, much more liberal than they are today, yet the Republicans of the time weren’t, for the most part, saying that the country was run by commies, then what does that say about the rhetoric of the Right today, with it’s socialism this, it’s communism that, and it’s claims that we’re going to be a totalitarian dictatorship before the end of the next Obama term in office?

If you ask me, what’s changed is not that Barack Obama or any other liberal have gotten all that much more left-wing. We’re about evenly divided between self-described liberals, and self-described moderates, with conservatives making up the balance. In fact, in real terms, self-identified liberals are not the majority of the Democratic Party, conservative and moderates form that majority.

What’s changed is that your side, constantly boiling itself down to further concentration of its ideology, has gotten considerably more apt to overreact to any hint that they are losing power and influence over the country they once dominated.

Republicans and Right Wingers are jealously trying to hold onto power, after a series of collosal failures in policy, and the only way to scare people out of abandoning the discredited orthodoxy of your party is to act like any policy shifts on the part of the left represent an existential threat to Democracy and capitalism. Anything short of that, and people begin to recognize that at this point, your economic policies, and your governing policies represent a greater danger to freedom and prosperity than anything we Democrats are coming up with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 7, 2012 7:59 AM
Comment #334166

jlw

The Founding Fathers couldn’t be strict constructionists because they were constructing that new order.

I think that much of our thinking (yours and mine) on these matters depends on our implicit view of history.

Progressives - although the often ironically reject the idea of progress - believe that society is/should evolve with the eventual goal being some sort of egalitarian society.

Conservatives - although we often ironically embrace the idea of progress - believe that human nature doesn’t change very much. We can go “forward” with greater prosperity, but we can also go backward and there is no eventual goal.

My view of history is that it is mostly nasty with some wonderful bright spots but that overall technical progress is making possible a better life for most people. How we organize society is important in this respect. We can organize in ways that encourage or discourage innovation.

From the beginning of history until around 1750, life sucked for most people. A peasant in Roman Gaul in AD 1 would have easily recognized the life of a peasant in France in AD 1750 and would not have been impressed. The funny thing is that Caesar Augustus is AD 1 would have recognized the life of Louis XV and would also have not been impressed.

After that, things changed a lot. We have to ask ourselves why after centuries of misery did the world suddenly change. And it didn’t happen everywhere at once. What were the factors in Western Europe and Eastern North America that made possible this grand break with the benighted past?

The difference seems to be the commercial revolution and the rise of free markets. The Romans, Chinese, Arabs, Moguls etc had all the ingredients, but failed to make the jump. The difference was the arbitrary power of the state. The Chinese emperor ended the Chinese age of exploration because he feared the changes it might make in the social order. An emperor in Europe might have done the same thing, but there was nobody with that power.

Our Founding was fortuitous. It came at almost exactly the time when the forces of freedom were at their breakout stage. Our Founding Fathers knew to limit the power of the state and not to mess very much with commerce. Our constitution actually has a clause re patent protection. This is a great legacy.

After that, the forces of darkness and control made a concerted counter attack. We had pernicious monsters like Karl Marx who wanted to reimpose the power of collectivization. America resisted the re-imposition of state power better than many others and we beat back the threat - twice - in the 20th century, first Nazis and then communists.

Now let me address your ideas about business men and your gratuitous attack on Cheney.

All people are susceptible to corruption. People naturally will try to expand their power. This is human nature and it cannot be changed. That is precisely why we need NOT to concentrate power. This is the argument against big government. You cannot trust the good will of Ford or Rockefeller to protect the free market. You have to have competition among them and others.

Re foreign monsters - we overthrew Saddam. It was a lot of trouble. Surely you don’t believe we should go out and slay all the monsters. We dealt very little with Saddam from the 1980s until his fall. There is a lot of BS that we “supported him”. I have explained that many times. Beyond that let me give you that statistics. Of Saddam’s vast arsenal, only 0.47% came from the U.S. that is ZERO point four-seven percent. I walked through vast junk yards of Saddam’s arms. I never saw anything American.

I understand why foreign enemies want to associate us with people like Saddam, but I fail to understand why my fellow Americans take such pleasure in spreading lies about their own country.

American influence is everywhere. You can find examples everywhere if you look. But blaming Americans for monsters like Saddam is like blaming rain for the growth of weeds.

Posted by: C&J at January 7, 2012 8:25 AM
Comment #334167

Stephen

I am not sure how “right wingers” are trying to hold onto control when Democrats have controlled most things since 2006 and certainly since 2008.

All that we want is better leadership. Conservatives will never to perfect; neither will liberals. Romney won’t be a perfect president. He will just be better than Obama.

j2t2

It is a major fallacy to associate Nazis with American conservatives. This is what I am always fighting against.

The communists has a major classification victory when they managed to get people to believe that they and the Nazis were on opposite sides of a spectrum. In fact, they are both heresies of the same totalitarian religion. They both believed in the power of the state. Neither believed in free markets. Both favored strict regulation, central planning and the imposition of economic “justice” by use of state power. And both communists and Nazis believe in the primacy of group rights over those of individuals.

There are only a few real differences between them. The primary difference is how they oppress. The Nazis see the world as a struggle among races, so they kill or oppress people based on their race. Communists see the world as a struggle among classes. They kill or oppress based on class membership. For both communists and Nazis, membership in the proscribed groups/classes is immutable.

That is why it is so silly to compare someone like Newt Gingrich to Nazis/communists. He is pretty much the opposite of these kinds of guys.

I understand that liberals are not trying to establish communist/Nazi states. What I worry about is that government expansion can create conditions to allow oppression to grow. If you expand the power of the state and the concentration of power, that means that the “good” and the “evil” can also use it.

If you expand power so that someone like Obama can use it, you also expand the power so that someone like Cheney can use it. I like Cheney. I choose him as the example because I know that leftist hate him. So consider that. Would you want to expand Cheney’s power. If the answer is “no” be careful expanding it for Obama et al.

Posted by: C&J at January 7, 2012 8:39 AM
Comment #334168

C&J, I am not politically correct; in fact I believe political correctness is killing America. Therefore I say to your statement, “I understand why foreign enemies want to associate us with people like Saddam, but I fail to understand why my fellow Americans take such pleasure in spreading lies about their own country”; it is because they hate America. The left’s attitude is seen in their messiah’s comments made all around the world. Apologizing for America’s success, apologizing for America’s military power; and in Obama’s eyes we are a corrupt nation that has stolen the resources of the world. We have a Constitution that is outdated and lost its usefulness and therefore should be revised. We have a president who hates (loathes) the military and is forced to make occasional commendations to them. These little puppet socialist lefties, the worshippers of Obama, spend their waking moments defending every anti-American statement made by Obama.

There are ignorants on WB who constantly try to change history. Comparing conservatives or the Tea Party to Nazis’. The Nazis marched through the streets of Germany, blaming bankers and corporations for the ills of the nation. They hated the Jews and blamed them for the problems of Germany. They burned books by the thousands and believe an informed public was a dangerous public. They stole from the Jewish merchants, burnt their businesses, and had no problem exterminating them by the millions. Now, let’s compare these events to the OWS protestors and their anti-Semitic signs. They blame the bankers, blame corporations, result to civil unrest, and threaten to kill those they oppose (as the unions have done to Gov. Walker in WI). Not one single violent act has been committed by any person at a Tea Party event; and yet there have been hundreds of arrests at the OWS protests. Not to mention the local governments who were sympathetic to the OWS and allowed them to get by with crimes the TP would have never gotten by with.

It doesn’t matter how many times the evidence of a financial meltdown points to Barney Frank or Chris Dodd, the left continues to spout their facts and figures and deny the truth. With all the responses from SD and others; I have yet to see one of them tell me that Freddie and Fannie were subject to the same rules and regulations that other financial institutions were subject too. And if not, why weren’t they???

J2t2 said:

“These talk radio conservative leaders have continued to shift the national political debate farther and farther to the right these past 30 + years. To the point they think Obama and most of us lefties on WB are socialist.”

Yes they have, and this is after 50 years of Democratic control of the Congress. The only direction the American people could go after 50 years of the New Deal was to go right. The Democrats had taken us about as far left as they could. This is a perfect example of the left’s hatred for someone to tell the American people the truth. All during the 50 years of Democrat control, the only means of media was the big 3 news media’s and as they still do today; they promote the socialist agenda. Hence, the left’s attacks on the messengers and not the messages; attacking Savage, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, or Fox News. They hate the message, but the attack the messenger.

The only comparison between the Tories and modern day socialist liberals are that they were both the enemy of the American Republic. I would suggest, if the founding fathers were alive today and were able to hear the liberal agenda for America; they would suggest “tar and feathering” of these anti-American traitors.

Posted by: Steve at January 7, 2012 9:22 AM
Comment #334173

C&J-

I am not sure how “right wingers” are trying to hold onto control when Democrats have controlled most things since 2006 and certainly since 2008.

The key word is “trying”. In some cases succeeding, via a scorched earth use of the filibuster and other procedural obstacles. You literally cannot look back in American history, even in the sixties, even to anything the Democrats did, and find so obstructionist a Senate minority.

In doing what they’ve done, they’ve prevented a lot of liberal policies from passing, which would otherwise succeed in passing. I think neglecting that effect as we talk about who has real power, and who’s trying to get power they don’t deserve would be foolish in measuring the effect your people have had. You haven’t succeeded in blocking so much of the Democratic Agenda because you were able to regularly convince Democrats to deny their own side majorities. Instead, you’ve invoked rules on a constant basis which requires supermajority votes. The Senate literally cannot proceed to a vote on these matters until that supermajority vote is satisfied.

So, it is little different in effect from the Republicans killing the bill by getting a majority against it, apart from the fact that they didn’t and don’t actually have to bring a majority around to their side to do it. I believe the numbers on Richard Cordray had 52 people in the Senate voting for him, which is to say that he could have been confirmed if it weren’t for the extraconstitutional restraint Republicans have placed on his appointment.

People are getting very angry about the gridlock in Washington. If your people are the primary authors of that gridlock, I think it’s time to do the politically smart thing, and stop these obnoxious power-grabs. It’s no coincidence that Obama is using this occasion to try and score points with voters. It really is something that’s frustrating people, and Republicans these days don’t seem to care. In politics, that can be a lethal weakness.

Steve-
Political correctness. Oh, how horrible. The real problem, though, is not political correctness. It’s the naivete of the right about how we’re seen, and how we should be seen. In a way, you want people to take a rather sanitized, sugarcoated view of America that they’re actually not obligated to take.

My person view here? World’s a tough place. We’re biased about our own country, in no small part because it is our own country. So, we want people to see the best in us, and forgive the worst.

But there are limits to that, and you ought to acknowledge it, rather than tiptoe through the tulips getting mortally offended everytime somebody bashes us. The question is whether they have a point, not whether it’s loyal or not to admit that. If we don’t take care of the things that cause real problems with other countries, we ought not to walk around with a sense of entitlement to a good reputation.

So, the President has things to apologize for because we do have things to apologize for. But if you weren’t so intent on exposing him as a traitor from the outset, you might notice that he’s also a booster of this country and its interests, and he also can be blunt with other nations when he thinks they’re doing wrong, more than Bush or others on occasion.

But hey, you got this bull**** story to support, so he’s going to be a potential Hitler for you.

As far as the financial meltdown goes, I keep on reiterating facts that on their face tell us that the bad decisions at Fanny and Freddie couldn’t have done this much harm. They didn’t sell enough mortgage securities on enough risky loans to do all that. They didn’t play the critical role you’re casting them in.

You can have a hissy fit about that, if you want, but it won’t change the fact that this was an sector-wide problem. Just look at all the folks involved. This wasn’t merely secondary mortgage security brokers, this was AIG, an insurance company, Lehman brothers, an investment bank, and multiple non-bank lenders and hedge funds.

Fannie and Freddie, as a matter of fact, were subject to more stringent rules, especially after 2005. They literally could not resell all the loans that the non-bank lenders could, including the ones that collapsed more than a year previous to the collapse of Fannie and Freddie. Fannie and Freddie were more heavily regulated than their competition.

How’d you miss that? Why didn’t you know that? You’re simply repeating the foolishness of a lot of other Right-Wing conspiracy theorists who themselves haven’t bothered to research the full extent of what happened. Why should they? They are so intent on preserving the status quo on Wall Street and it inconveniently happens to be the case that what those so-called job creators you rush to defend did formed much of the momentum to take this nation into economic collapse. They didn’t fulfill your prophecy of profit by virtue, they subverted it utterly, and if you admitted they did that, you would be forced to concede something to people like me.

You’re too proud to do that, too stuck in this notion of bashing people like me as collectivists and socialists to realize that what you’re really selling is just one kind of capitalism, not the only kind that can exist. You don’t want to admit that you’re having a disagreement with people who basically agree with market economics, but don’t see it as the completely self-sufficient force for economic justice that you see it as.

You can talk of traitors, but only in slander and libel of real Americans who simply don’t buy your starkly anarchistic vision of the regulation of our economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 7, 2012 1:22 PM
Comment #334175

Stephen

Democrats controlled the House until 1994. They were pretty obstructive of Reagan, but he was a better president than Obama and figured out how to compromise.

Things will get better when we get a better president, maybe next year.

Posted by: C&J at January 7, 2012 2:47 PM
Comment #334176

Steve,

“FNMA & FHLMC were regulated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), not the SEC.”

(A presidential appointed overseer who answers to the president and not the congress)

And who was the President of the United States in the mid-2000s? The reason the OFHEO didn’t intervene earlier is because most of the MBS purchased by FNMA and FHLMC were rated AAA. When FNMA and/or FHLMC attempted to buy securities rated less than AAA, OFHEO stopped them:

During the first quarter of 2006, OFHEO informed Freddie Mac in a conclusion letter
that “rapid expansion of the nonagency home equity asset-based security portfolio had
outpaced the development of the attendant risk management infrastructure. OFHEO
concluded that the governance and risk management framework was not adequate to WLRos s & Co.
FCIC Reply Letter
Page 5
support investments in nonagency ABS rated below AAA.” Freddie Mac did not pursue
investment in PLS rated below AAA.
During 2007, Fannie Mae launched a program to purchase up to $3 billion in PLS rated
below AAA. OHFEO informed Fannie Ma e ’ s management that they had to limit their
risk in this activity to no more that $500 million in these bonds, and then only after they
implemented a satisfactory risk management infrastructure. Based on OFHEO’s actions,
Fannie Mae reversed its purchase of $2.4 billion in these bonds, and maintained a
position below $500 million. Once they met the infrastructure requirements and began
purchasing these bonds, OFHEO described some activities conducted by the traders as
unsafe and unsound. The purchase activity ceased before they reached $500 million
through OFHEO’s direct intervention.

Ginnie Mae could not end up in the same trouble as F&F; because their purpose was different.

Very True, Ginnie Mae was never a private corporation and was never seeking high profits, which means they had no reason to issue MBS or trade derivatives in the secondary mortgage market. From your link:

What Ginnie Mae does is guarantee investors the timely payment of principal and interest on MBS backed by federally insured or guaranteed loans — mainly loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Other guarantors or issuers of loans eligible as collateral for Ginnie Mae MBS include the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH).

Ginnie Mae securities are the only MBS to carry the full faith and credit guaranty of the United States government, which means that even in difficult times an investment in Ginnie Mae MBS is one of the safest an investor can make.

Imagine what a difference it would have been if FHLMC and FNMA didn’t have an incentive to engage in all that risky behavior. OR imagine if FHLMC and FNMA had no government component and were purely private firms. In the former case, those two organizations would have steered clear of the mess just like GNMA. In the latter case, FHLMC and FNMA would have found themselves in trouble just like AIG, Bear Stearns and all the other private actors did. Of course FHLMC and FNMA wouldn’t have had that implicit guarantee from the taxpayers, but the lack of such a guarantee didn’t stop the government from bailing out AIG and the other firms that went belly up.

C&J,

It is a major fallacy to associate Nazis with American conservatives. This is what I am always fighting against.

The Nazis earn the conservative label due to their profound nationalism. This is not to say that American conservatives support Nazism; they do not. However, most American Conservatives base their ideology on the same premises that the Fascists based their ideology upon. Also, it must be noted that the Nazis were able to obtain a great deal of support from Weimer Republic conservatives during the period of Fascism’s ascension. Ultimately, only the SDP opposed the Nazis until the bitter end in the Reichstag.

The Communists earned the left wing label because their rhetoric is rooted in the belief that all men and women are equal, which was derived from the liberal maxim “all men are created equal”. The Communists err by forgetting that although people are created equal in the eyes of the law, they are not equal in other arenas.

Support for the free market is a liberal philosophy; opposition to the free market is a conservative philosophy as history has shown us (eg Divine Right Monarchism, Fascism, etc).

We can argue labels all day, but in the end conservatism is all about establishing hierarchies, chains of command and establishing loyalty. For centuries, conservatives accomplished this with monarchist institutions. In Europe, religion became intertwined and it became prevalent for people to believe that every monarch’s rule was ordained by God. There was a revolution in thought in the 17th & 18th centuries that produced the very first truly liberal government (the USA), although it wouldn’t be until the 20th century when the promise of liberalism was fully realized when women and minorities were fully enfranchised. However, conservatives have been reacting to that revolution for the past 200+ years. Initially, they tried to reestablish our hierarchical relationship with the UK (ie Tories during the War of Independence). Then they tried to establish hierarchial relationships between the races (the Confederacy in the US & the Fascists in Europe). Lastly, they are trying to establish hierarchical relationships based upon economic status. However, the 200+ year old revolution is not over yet and we will overcome those who wish to take away our freedom.

Posted by: Warped Reality at January 7, 2012 5:35 PM
Comment #334178
The difference seems to be the commercial revolution and the rise of free markets.

C&J The age of reason, the enlightenment not capitalism is what drove the changes at that point in time. Did the founding fathers mention “capitalism” or “free market” in the constitution?

It is a major fallacy to associate Nazis with American conservatives. This is what I am always fighting against.

No more so than associating communism and liberalism yet in the mind of many conservatives they are one and the same.

BTW what I said was ” Most conservatives of today are not like the Nazi’s. The more far right extremist conservatives/fascist and the far right skinheads are like the Nazi’s. That is just a known fact.” The danger is in the growing numbers of extremist on the far right C&J. Those people are conservatives and unless other more main stream conservatives can identify these people within their ranks and “out” them, which BTW is what didn’t happen to the Germans in the ‘30’s, history teaches us what could happen.

it is because they hate America.

You see C&J from Steve’s misinformation and outright lies that hatred exists on the far right. How far from the people of Germany, who wanted Germany to return to greatness, is Steve? From his comments we can see the hatred, the desire to classify all of us to the left of Hitler as “These little puppet socialist lefties, the worshippers of Obama, spend their waking moments defending every anti-American statement made by Obama.” So yes most conservatives are not Nazi’s yet these very same conservatives condone this type of attack on those different from themselves politically. The only difference between the people of Germany of the ‘30’s and most conservatives today is the lack of leadership, the charismatic figure who can make things happen. The followers are there.

If we continue reading Steve’s comments we see how he is using propaganda to smear the OWS with misinformation, mythinformation, exaggeration, half truths and outright lies, as Goebbels did back in the ‘30’s. Of course Steve is not Goebbels, but he is a movement follower that uses the misinformation supplied by the propagandist to revise history and current events to further his cause. I see no difference between these TRC’s like Steve and the people of Germany who allowed the Nazi’s to rise to power but were eventually victimized by the Nazi’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2012 6:39 PM
Comment #334179
It doesn’t matter how many times the evidence of a financial meltdown points to Barney Frank or Chris Dodd, the left continues to spout their facts and figures and deny the truth.

Thank you Steve for the little bit of truth here, I have to say I am surprised that you could bring yourself to admit that facts don’t matter. That facts are not the truth when the truth is not what you have been misled to believe. Kinda like the German people caught up in the desire to see Germany restored to it’s former greatness in the ‘30’s.

With all the responses from SD and others; I have yet to see one of them tell me that Freddie and Fannie were subject to the same rules and regulations that other financial institutions were subject too. And if not, why weren’t they???

Who cares Steve it would still not change your need to believe the mythinformation you have spouted here. Facts don’t matter to you, as you have said, and whether F&F were subject to the same regulations regarding derivatives is irrelevant as there were no regulations regarding derivatives. Hence the problem with derivatives.

This is a perfect example of the left’s hatred for someone to tell the American people the truth. All during the 50 years of Democrat control

This 50 years was after the conservatives run that lead to the gilded age and the great depression. Face it Steve the ideologies of conservatives when put into practice didn’t work then and failed us once again. This is historical fact not Beck revisionism.

Hence, the left’s attacks on the messengers and not the messages; attacking Savage, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, or Fox News. They hate the message, but the attack the messenger.

While it might not seem obvious to you Steve most of us here at WB find these people you mention attacking us and others like us. They spew hatred and propaganda that is wrong. They cause otherwise good people to , well like Germany in the ‘30’s. Their message when wrong,and many times it is wrong, and speaking for myself I feel it is my civic duty to respond to the misinformation, half truths and outright lies of these propagandist.

The only comparison between the Tories and modern day socialist liberals are that they were both the enemy of the American Republic.

Well at least you admit your previous comment was nonsense. To bad the hatred in you doesn’t allow you to see we are not the enemy Steve. It is sad we cannot have a disagreement in political discourse without this hatred causing you to be blind to reality. I find it odd that conservatives of today realize the conservatives of the revolutionary era were wrong then but are right today. Perhaps you should stop and reflect on things a bit Steve instead of spewing such hatred.

I would suggest, if the founding fathers were alive today and were able to hear the liberal agenda for America; they would suggest “tar and feathering” of these anti-American traitors.

I would suggest that the founding fathers would “suggest” that all of us today from the far left to the far right be tarred and feathered like you conservative fathers of the revolutionary era were Steve. People like you Steve for falsely alleging those that disagree with your extremist politics are traitors and myself for bothering to respond to such hateful outright lies.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 7, 2012 6:44 PM
Comment #334181

C&J-
You know, you’ve got to stop acting like it’s as simple as who had the majority. Majorities count for something, but so does unprecedented obstruction.

It also is worth noticing that from 1981 to 1987, Republicans controlled the Senate. Only in the last two years did he face a fully Democratic Congress. He also had the benefit of the fact that many of the leaders were old fashioned, and didn’t seek to utterly annihilate the Republican’s agenda, or Reagans. There was resistance, but I can show you the numbers, the objective comparisons that show that resistance of Democrats to Reagan, hell, to George W. Bush, was nowhere near as fierce as Republican resistance to Obama.

I wish you would realize how far over the line your party’s gone. I wish you would realize that their obstruction isn’t making people nostalgic for the days of Republican rule. In my opinion, the best thing for the Republicans to do is to let the Democrats clean up their mess, and then to come back with a more moderate party platform.

Easing back, though, is not a Republican strong suit these days. It needs to become so, though, if you want to shed your party’s reputation for being hardline, inflexible, and radical, among other things. The sorts of fools, jerks, and madmen that populated your presidential field only comes along when you’re so afraid to concede to outsider’s evaluations of your candidates, that you actively rationalize their weaknesses, and therefore fail to prevent their rise and encourage alternatives.

If you don’t want a repeat, you’ve got to free your party from those who run it more like a cult than a going political concern that has to make more than just it’s fiercest adherents happy. You need a moderate wing to your party.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 7, 2012 7:47 PM
Comment #334183

j2t2 & Warped

The Founders assumed relatively free markets. They specified government would be limited.

Freedom is not easily divisible. You really cannot have free inquiry if government, the church or any other centralizing power limits economic freedoms to a large extent.

Re Nazism and communism and liberals and conservatives - as I said, Nazism and communism are both totalitarian movements which means really, really big government.

In continental Europe, conservatives were associated with the ancient regimes, i.e. monarchies. These were believers in big government, just a different sort.

American conservatives, in contrast, are supporters of the free market. There was nothing quite like them in world history … except liberals of the classical sense.

This is how the words get mixed up.

When we say “far right” we are usually using the word in the pejorative sense.

As far as I know, none of the extremists in the world call for free markets and free exchange. They always want to restrict such things.

The whole idea of left and right, with communists on one side and Nazis on the other is seriously flawed. The Nazis and the communists hated each other and saw themselves as opposites, but Nazis and communists were wrong about most things.

Nazis and communists are heresies of the same religion. Heretics usually hate each other more than they hate outsiders, but they are more similar than different.

Re conservatives and nationalism - I am very proud to be America. I will risk my own life for my country and sacrifice for it. I do not consider this a conservative trait. Do you?

So what do we mean by extreme nationalism? Being willing to risk death is a pretty strong commitment.

Warped

Your misunderstanding comes in your statement that “For centuries, conservatives accomplished this with monarchist institutions.” AMERICAN conservatives were never like this. American conservatives are in favor of free markets. Monarch never were. The free market is the most revolutionary system every created by man.

Monarchy is control and centralization. That is not what the free market gives you. Monarchy can also be paternalistic. The Prussian/German chancellor Otto von Bismarck gave us the world’s first system of social security. He was a conservative in the continental European tradition. What do we call someone in America who wants to expand social programs and wants the state to take more responsibility for managing the economy?


J2t2 & Steve

I don’t think liberals are traitors. I disagree with much of what they want for our country and I think four more years of Obama would be very bad, but I don’t question their patriotism, only their wisdom.

I recall the old saying, “Never attribute to malice what is more easily explained as incompetence.”

Re OWS - I think they are generally misguided. The group has three components: professional lefty organizers, well-meaning mostly young people and street people looking for handouts.

I do not believe a “occupy” protest is sustainable. If you keep large numbers of people on the street, the shit literally starts to pile up and the weirdos come to dominate. We have seen both those things.

Posted by: C&J at January 7, 2012 8:06 PM
Comment #334185
American conservatives are in favor of free markets.

No they aren’t. They are in favor of institutions that will establish hierarchies. You are really foolish if you think conservatism is about “small government”. Conservatives might shrink the size of the government in Washington DC, but it comes at the expense of larger governments on Wall Street and corporate board rooms all across the country.

Re conservatives and nationalism - I am very proud to be America. I will risk my own life for my country and sacrifice for it. I do not consider this a conservative trait. Do you?

So what do we mean by extreme nationalism? Being willing to risk death is a pretty strong commitment.

There’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism; the difference between the two is not related to one’s commitment to a nation, but rather the nature of that commitment. A patriot is willing to die for his/her country. A nationalist refuses to accept any criticism of his/her nation. In his/her eyes, his/her nation is perfect in all respects and cannot do any harm. If a fellow countryman/countrywoman suggests that the nation has erred and can do better, the nationalist will accuse the other of treason. Steve, the new commenter is a nationalist; look at how he brandishes his fellow Americans as traitors going as far as suggest that we should be tarred & feathered for doing something as simple as standing up for American ideals. Nazi propaganda pushed the storyline that Germany did not lose WWI, but was rather stabbed in the back by Leftists & Jews.

The free market is the most revolutionary system every created by man.
Because I am a liberal, I support the free market system precisely because it is so radical. Posted by: Warped Reality at January 7, 2012 8:53 PM
Comment #334186

Warped

“larger governments on Wall Street and corporate board rooms all across the country.”

But these are not united. The government has the responsibility of keeping them competitive. But who will keep the government in check. That is why we need competing institutions.

Re free markets - liberals, in the American sense, are trying to control markets to a great extent.

If you favor free markets, we agree, but you probably would not fit in with what the Democratic Party has become.


Posted by: C&J at January 7, 2012 10:17 PM
Comment #334187
But these are not united.
That is because we have a vigilant society that ensures that doesn’t happen. However, conservatives advocate that we stop taking proactive measures to maintain competition.
who will keep the government in check.
We the people have a responsibility to keep our institutions in check. As has been said before, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.
you probably would not fit in with what the Democratic Party has become.
I have never described myself strictly as a Democrat. However, I do know that a greater gulf exists between my philosophy and what is prevalent in the GOP at the moment. I believe GOP proposals will weaken the free market and ultimately will undermine the United States. Posted by: Warped Reality at January 7, 2012 10:43 PM
Comment #334189
I don’t think liberals are traitors. I disagree with much of what they want for our country …

Of course they are not but then you are a more moderate conservative than extremist TRC’s like Steve C&J. His information comes from those Savage and others mentioned earlier and their message is one of hate. He is a prime example of those I refer to when I talk about the people of Germany in the late ‘20’s. It is a real problem conservatives need to deal with.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2012 12:00 AM
Comment #334194

j2t2

Intolerance is not a conservative thing.

I recall a longish threat on this very blog where our liberal colleagues were discussing whether “Jack” was evil or just stupid. It never occurred to any of the participants that there could be an intelligent AND honest conservative position.

On the pages of this blog, liberals have accused the American president of starting a war in pursuit of personal profits.

We have heard that we are the 1% who want to oppress and cheat everybody else.

Our friend Stephen constantly tells us that conservatives are dangerous to our country’s future.

It is easy to see in our opponents and hard to recognize in those we like or ourselves.

Liberals assume that they are right. The liberal generosity consists largely of being open to letting others join them.

Re being a “moderate” conservative - I don’t think so. I think the dominant part of my conservatism is to know limits - in government and in personal life. Lots of things just are not our business. That is why I like smaller and more efficient government. I have strong opinions about many things, but I consider most things as “not my business”. Liberals don’t believe in this.

I do dislike what I see as a liberal propensity to blame America. I am morally certain that American influence in the world has been a big net good during the last two centuries. We need to recognize both the good and the bad but I think it is more useful and honest to emphasize the positives rather than dwell on the negative. Many times when I am accused of being conservative, I am defending my country. I think that is one reason liberals sometimes can be characterized as anti American.

Let me give an example. I believe that the United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. I understand that it might be bad manners to say that really loud, but imagine if I write a post saying this and outlining my reasons. Do you think the liberals on this blog would limit their comments to something like, “yes, you are right, but we should be balanced.” I don’t think so. We would get the litany of American sins.

Dissent can be patriotic (although liberals didn’t think so what the Tea Party was dissenting) but ONLY dissenting is silly and not patriotic.

RE Germany of the 1920s - it was a hard time. The free market was not well established and the Germans were really oppressed by the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler didn’t have to make that up. The totalitarian twins - communists and Nazis - were fighting for control. Either one would have killed democracy and they were equally deadly (Stalin killed more than Hitler and Mao killed more than either). We do not face a situation anything like that.

Posted by: C&J at January 8, 2012 7:22 AM
Comment #334199
Intolerance is not a conservative thing.

It is an extremist conservative thing though. The problem is seems is when we respond to all these attacks from people like Steve you think it is more than simply defending ourselves.

I recall a longish threat on this very blog where our liberal colleagues were discussing whether “Jack” was evil or just stupid. It never occurred to any of the participants that there could be an intelligent AND honest conservative position.

Proof of intolerance? As conservatism has continued its swing to the far right these past decades we tend to hear from the extremist and their followers as they are the loudest. Finding intelligent, honest responses from them is akin to looking for the needle in the haystack. Perhaps you got lumped in with them trying to defend their positions?

On the pages of this blog, liberals have accused the American president of starting a war in pursuit of personal profits.

Myself included. Still not sure why GWB would hire the VP’s company on a no bid basis to electrocute our soldiers. This type of extreme free market ideology is what many of us push back against. The same NeoCon advisers of GWB are now Romney’s advisers BTW, should we be worried as they try to get us back into Iraq?

We have heard that we are the 1% who want to oppress and cheat everybody else.

Obviously not all of 50% of Americans are the 1% C&J, but many do become vulgar at the mention of OWS, yourself included. You guys definitely defend the wealthy 1%.

Our friend Stephen constantly tells us that conservatives are dangerous to our country’s future.

Our friend Stephen, what about me and the Germans of the ‘30’s? The actions of conservatives are dangerous to the country but we do not call them traitors as they call us.

It is easy to see in our opponents and hard to recognize in those we like or ourselves.

The problem with conservatives it seems ,C&J, is the matter of degrees. Cannot conservatives put things into perspective? Look at just the nonsense of Steve’s and then your complaints about us to the left and notice the difference in levels of tolerance.

Liberals assume that they are right. The liberal generosity consists largely of being open to letting others join them.

Let ye without sin….

Re being a “moderate” conservative - I don’t think so. I think the dominant part of my conservatism is to know limits - in government and in personal life. Lots of things just are not our business. That is why I like smaller and more efficient government.

Sorry just my assessment of your comments, no insult intended. So you identify yourself as an extremist conservative but, IMHO,you don’t sound like your out on the fringe as many conservatives do. As conservatism has gotten more extreme since the days of Reagan and more angry and hateful you seem to have held yourself in check more than most. Why you have even added “more efficient” to the bumper sticker “small government” when you post ;)

I have strong opinions about many things, but I consider most things as “not my business”. Liberals don’t believe in this.

Speaking for myself I do think much is not my business as I think most people do. The difference seems to be what is not the liberals business and what is not the conservatives business.

I do dislike what I see as a liberal propensity to blame America. I am morally certain that American influence in the world has been a big net good during the last two centuries. We need to recognize both the good and the bad but I think it is more useful and honest to emphasize the positives rather than dwell on the negative. Many times when I am accused of being conservative, I am defending my country. I think that is one reason liberals sometimes can be characterized as anti American.

Trying to fix a problem is not anti anything. I think many of us on the left can see the fine line between patriotism and nationalism and find that extremist conservatives seem to edge out to the nationalism side at times. Which is why they then consider us to be “anti”.

Let me give an example. I believe that the United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. I understand that it might be bad manners to say that really loud, but imagine if I write a post saying this and outlining my reasons. Do you think the liberals on this blog would limit their comments to something like, “yes, you are right, but we should be balanced.” I don’t think so. We would get the litany of American sins.

I would suggest you write the column. Because of the conservative tendency to nationalism often we feel the need to respond to the blaring inconsistencies in the comments of conservatives, the other side of the argument if you will. GO ahead and persecute us for being able to see the grey areas, the nuances, both sides of the issues bu that is what makes us different from the far right.

Dissent can be patriotic (although liberals didn’t think so what the Tea Party was dissenting) but ONLY dissenting is silly and not patriotic.

Well it seems you have asked and answered here. Did the Tea Party do anything but dissent? Well dissent and exaggerate? Kinda like what Goebbels did to the….

RE Germany of the 1920s - it was a hard time. The free market was not well established and the Germans were really oppressed by the Treaty of Versailles.

The treaty was in response to the German caused destruction in WWI. But yes the times were hard for the Germans after starting and losing the war, not to mention the worldwide depression of the ‘30’s. They were good people looking for answers but instead fell into the deep end of the political pool when they listened to the propaganda of the Nazi’s. Kinda like the conservatives of today who think that by supporting the top 1% they will trickle down prosperity on us.

We do not face a situation anything like that.

No we don’t it is again a matter of degrees. The point of the GP30 comparison is to point out how good people with good intentions can be led down the wrong road. The analogy fits the conservative movement followers of today in many ways.

But then again yes we do, just a matter of degrees. The free market of today is becoming more like the free market of then, not really a free market but a corporatist market being sold to us as a free market.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2012 11:34 AM
Comment #334201

C&J-
Conservatives aren’t themselves dangerous to the future of their country, but their increasing insularity isn’t helping us solve the many problems we face, and in fact helped create some of those problems.

We all got different philosophies, and there are a cross section of policies we would suggest, drawing from those ideas, that actually might do some good.

Unfortunately, Republicans have gotten so afraid of people like us moving policy, so convinced that we would destroy our own country if given the chance, that Republicans aren’t being so selective about what they’re opposing. In fact, when we concede policies to them, many times, they become opposed to that, too!

Conservatism has a future, and a constructive place in American politics. But not where it’s leaders are currently taking it. We need people like you to lead your party back to the point where function and responsibility matter more than excluding liberals, destroying liberal policies, and opposing Democrats at every turn.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 8, 2012 1:23 PM
Comment #334209

J2t2

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. I hope that I am extreme in that sense.

Re government, big and small - It is possible to become prisoners of our own rhetoric. Conservatives should be for limited and efficient government. I think we react against the stupidity of intrusive government by heated rhetoric.

the biggest source of my opposition to big government is not based on ideology per se. It is practical. I do not believe that a large organization run politically and implemented by necessity by a bureaucracy CAN effectively do most of the things that liberals ask.

Government MUST be administered by a rule-based bureaucracy. I say MUST because if you imagine a broadly innovative bureaucracy you are imagining something that is illegal. Bureaucrats must implement, not make law. Otherwise they are usurping the power of the people.

I would also add that MOST of the usurpation would NOT be made for efficiency but rather to expand the power and enhance the careers of politicians and bureaucrats.

So when you will a new task for government, you are willing a new bureaucracy to do it. If you think this is the best way to accomplish this goal, you might still want to do this. But remember that bureaucracies rarely die, nor do they fade away when the conditions that called them into existence no longer apply.

Re Germany of the 1920s - we have nothing even approaching the situation they faced. Life in America is simply great for almost everybody. I know that most don’t recognize this in their rhetoric, but they say so in their actions. Beyond that, the only conservative mass movement of recent times is the Tea Party. It has been completely non-violent and has as a goal LESS government. Nazis were always violent and demanded MORE government. There really are no similarities except that both groups appealed to patriotism. This, BTW, is something that everybody does.

RE Goebbels et al - They had a plan. They were not merely dissenting. They had a plan for a revolutionary change in Germany. They planned - and did - dispense with the old order and created an effective state power, w/o the “problems” of old fashioned institutions.

Re Versailles - Keynes was at the Versailles negotiations. He predicted that the horrible “Carthaginian peace” would destroy the world economy and probably result in another great war. The treaty was a crime. The Germans reacted against it in an inappropriate way, but the thing that most led to the rise of Hitler was the Treaty of Versailles. It also, BTW, was a base causes of the Great Depression. Rarely in human history have so many smart people gotten together to produce such a stupid result, but that is another story.

Posted by: C&J at January 8, 2012 3:24 PM
Comment #334220

Extremism in the name of political power for the aristocratic few however is a vice Mr. Goldwater. Which is where the right wing seems to be today C&J.


What liberties are the right wing defending that needs to be defended and from whom? The right to take out dictators in the middle east? The right to go to war on the next generations dime? The right to bankrupt the country while claiming it to be free market liberties. Conservatives want the government small enough to drown in the bathtub, a stated goal. They talk of small government but we know what the means when it is small enough to drown in the bathtub C&J.


The nonsense of Obama’s policies being socialist is an extreme that has nothing to do with liberty. The health care reform plan was from the conservatives before it was from the “socialist” yet now it takes away our liberties.

It seems conservatives spend more time trying to deny liberties such as the right to vote to poor and those that may disagree with them. Certainly they don’t want marriage rights to apple to all people.

Conservatives want economic liberties for themselves C&J at the expense of hourly workers.

So to sum up C&J,IMHO conservatives do not hold the high ground on liberties as much as they use liberties to deny others. That is extreme conservatism.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2012 5:57 PM
Comment #334226
Re Germany of the 1920s - we have nothing even approaching the situation they faced. Life in America is simply great for almost everybody.

Compared to Germany after WWI I would agree C&J.

Beyond that, the only conservative mass movement of recent times is the Tea Party. It has been completely non-violent and has as a goal LESS government.

Wow C&J after all this time you are telling me the conservative movement started with the tea party. Denial of the movement, your scaring me C&J.The conservative movement has been active long before the “keep the government out of our medicare” crowd that roared in rage at the election of Barack Obama C&J. The tea party thing was just the movement leaders fooling the movement followers into action after the “communist and socialist” dems won the presidency. It was a diversion so the propagandist could unite them after the failures of ideology during the GWB administration. It was theatrics to allow for obstruction of the Obama administration until power could be regained. As we speak many on the right try to blame F&F for the financial meltdown despite so much evidence to the contrary. They down play the failures of deregulation and other conservative ideological necessities such as unfunded wars and unfunded mandates and unfunded reforms.

Here is some reading on the subject of the movement history-
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Conservative_Revolution.html?id=jn9mEDvqdZAC


And here is where, as they say, it starts- the indoctrination of the young. At Reagan Ranch no less.
http://www.yaf.org/

Nazi’s demanded more control not more government, there is a difference C&J. They built the army for conquest not social programs to build the nation.

RE Goebbels et al - They had a plan. They were not merely dissenting. They had a plan for a revolutionary change in Germany. They planned - and did - dispense with the old order and created an effective state power, w/o the “problems” of old fashioned institutions.

Conservatives have a plan as well, a plan for revolutionary change in America. They plan to drown the government in he bathtub. So they don’t have to deal with the old fashioned liberal/new deal institutions of government. Kinda seeing some similarities here C&J, your scaring me.

Look at how the conservatives have militarized our police forces at the state and local levels since the days of GHWB. Crime is down they say, crime is down. Look at how we have been building and filling prisons this past 25 years. All because of conservatism.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2012 6:39 PM
Comment #334232

j2t2

Actually, Goldwater was quoting Marcus Tullius Cicero, as was John Kennedy when he said “Ask not …”

I understand that liberals always claim that conservatives are supporting “aristocrats” but the profile of conservative voters doesn’t support this. Conservatives make up 40% of the population, the same as self-described moderates and twice as many as self-described liberals.

I also suppose that most conservatives are paid by the hour. I am. So I wonder what you mean by taking away the rights of hourly workers.

Beyond that, liberals tend to hold traditionally aristocratic positions in government & universities. Families that could reasonably be called aristocratic because of the inter-generational power, such as the Kennedys and now even the Rockefeller, tend to be liberal.

As I pointed out, larger government was the hallmark of aristocrats, who generally distrust the market-made wealth and independence. Otto von Bismarck set up the first modern social security system.

Re the right to vote for the poor - what conservatives want is to prevent voter fraud. It is not too much to ask for identification. A person cannot do almost anything else w/o identification.

Remember that anybody who votes twice or otherwise votes illegally steals an honest person’s vote and disenfranchises an honest citizen.

Re gay marriage - I have written in favor. I would go farther allow polygamy, as long as it is voluntary.

As I have also written, very few gay couples actually want to get married. After the political tempest died down in Mass, for example, the numbers dropped.

I think that we should legalize gay marriage across the country and not recognize any other forms of “partnership”. This is being abused, where partners can give benefits w/o commitment.

Re socialism - socialism is a specific term. It has never really existed in America. By nature, it is comprehensive, which means that you don’t just get a little of it.

My home city of Milwaukee had socialist mayors for years. They were good old fashioned socialists who believed in hard work. Their main goal was to build roads, sewers and parks. In fact, they were called “sewer socialists” w/o it being meant as a pejorative.

What I fear liberals want is not socialism. It is a kind of extension of the power of the state in attempts to create some sort of equality. The modern liberal has embraced the idea of group rights. You can tell in the language. For example, they refer to chimeras such as the GBLT “community” and want to extend special rights. They talk about “gaps” and went policies to address them.

This kind of rights revolution is probably worse than socialism in many ways. Socialism puts lots of responsibilities on people in return for what they get from government. The liberal state identifies victims and gives them free passes.

Posted by: C&J at January 8, 2012 7:31 PM
Comment #334234

j2t2

Re the Tea Party - I was talking about contemporary mass movements.

Re lower crime. I think this is a good thing. I don’t think conservatives can take credit for it. Crime has dropped in most big cities and most big cities are mostly run by Democrats. I always try to give bipartisan credit to the drop in crime. I think your liberal buddies would object to your crediting conservatives, even if it is a backhanded compliment.

I thought of writing a post on the drop in crime, but instead just wrote on the drop in violence. But when I was reading about crime drop, I came on a interesting dynamic.

Crime rises as the incentives for crime rise, i.e. people can get away with it. It is the perception that is more important than reality. In the 1960s, crime became easier, i.e. the risk of punishment declined. Respect for law declined too. We brought it back in the 1980s, but there is a lag time.

Now that crime is down, we will soon expect prison population to decline. To paraphrase the old song, you don’t do the time if you don’t do the crime.

Posted by: C&J at January 8, 2012 7:39 PM
Comment #334264

The Democrats Secret Weapon is fear.

This is why their rhetoric revolves around:

Republicans will take away your “freebies.”
Democrats will give you more “freebies.”

Republicans will make you think and live for yourself.
Democrats will think for you and dictate how you should live for you.

This is why Democrats promise more and more government to the weak and Republicans promise smaller government to those who still support what made this country the greatest ever.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2012 12:48 PM
Comment #334270


Kctim, the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: jlw at January 9, 2012 1:59 PM
Comment #334294

I was gonna give you last word C&J, but I just can’t let the aristocracy thing go.

Actually, Goldwater was quoting Marcus Tullius Cicero, as was John Kennedy when he said “Ask not …”

Thanks, Goldwater popped into my head when I saw the quote so I probably didn’t realize it was a re-quote.


1. Just because you are not part of the aristocracy doesn’t mean you don’t support it. Conservatism supports aristocracy by definition.

2. College professors may be considered aristocracy in their small corner of the college by conservatives but they are looking at the trees and missing the forest. The top 1% if the wealthy are the aristocracy, make no mistake.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 10, 2012 11:52 AM
Comment #334297


C&J, has a tendency to confuse the upper echelon of the bourgeoisie with the aristocrats.

“a hallmark of aristocrats”

The beliefs held by the wealthiest are no more homogenized than the beliefs of the other classes. There is a reason why Soros is singled out by conservatives.

“I suppose that most conservatives are paid by the hour.”

Something Governor Kasich is now painfully aware of.


Posted by: jlw at January 10, 2012 1:23 PM
Comment #334353

Guys

When we talk “aristocrats” it means (to me at least) it has to be an identifiable group with significant inter generational wealth or power.

Somebody he just makes a pile of money doesn’t really fit. In fact, aristocrats are famously scornful of “new money”.

Somebody like Soros is not an aristocrat. I am not a lover of Soros, but he just would not fit the profile.

We really don’t have many aristocrats anymore. I suppose you could call people like the Kennedys, Rockefellers, or Bushes, since they have possessed economic and political power for more than a couple generations.

Aristocrat, BTW, is not a completely pejorative term. It implies a certain level of sophistication and perhaps responsibility.

If you want the pejorative that would apply to the Soros of this world, maybe the word you are looking for is plutocrat.

Posted by: C&J at January 11, 2012 5:08 PM
Comment #334405

C&J-
Extremism in the defense of liberty can be liberty’s destruction. Everybody’s got a different idea of what should be free, and what should be constrained. Only by mutual moderating of extremism do we get to a point where folks can live with each other, and their individuality in relative peace.

Take the Treaty of Versaille. Of course we should punish the Germans! Teach them a lesson! Doesn’t matter how harsh the lesson, or what we leave behind, we must make sure they never do it again!

Of course, rather than that turn out to be the case, the treaty helped keep Germans enraged and impoverished. It created a demand for somebody to right what they saw as an imbalance.

As for aristocrats? We don’t need them, and it’s not really that positively perceived of a term. Fact of the matter is, what makes Democracy a better system is that really, the folks we call aristocrats, whether they be real or just folks who are rich or heirs to a fortune, are just regular, fallible humans in better clothes. They aren’t the best of us, though some may have virtue, They aren’t necessarily where they are because of the good things they did

The reality is, folks who have a lot need to be pushed to do more than just sit around. More has to be asked of them, or they start centering their lives and their leadership around their own enrichment, rather than increase of prosperity in general.

They also need to be in a position where they just as easily can become just another joe or worse, if they screw things up. Fewer golden parachutes for those who run their companies into the ground. Less deference from the government for their interests. More likelihood that if they fail, there is an ambitious person of humbler background ready to take their place.

People did not truly enjoy freedom until they realized that the inalienable truth that all men are created equal actually meant something.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 12, 2012 5:30 PM
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