Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Political Rant: Barney Frank's Honorable, Tough Stand Against GOP Propaganda

Good Morning Bloggers - I hate to beat the proverbial dead horse as they say, but I just had to post another article about how the Republicans are using race to explain away their own mistakes related to predatory lending and the credit crisis.

One of my favorite Congressman, Barney Frank, the man who recently suffered the obnoxious slings and arrows of that Fox "News" moron, Bill O'Reilly, supported my assertions yesterday that Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation's housing crisis is a veiled attack on the poor that is racially motivated.

According to the AP's Glen Johnson reporting from Boston yesterday, the Massachusetts Democrat and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the GOP is "appealing to its base by blaming the country's mortgage foreclosure problem on efforts to expand affordable housing through the Community Reinvestment Act."

He said the blame "is misplaced, because those loans are issued by regulated institutions, while far more foreclosures were triggered by high-cost loans made by unregulated entities." As my regular bloggers know that is a point that I've been banging away at for over a month now.

The Republicans refuse to acknowledge that regulatory protections were in place to insure against fraud and credit problems. They act like the Community Reinvestment Act and other legislation left lenders unprotected and vulnerable like sheep ready for a slaughter. To anybody who has read the legislation and the accompanying regulations (see my earlier posts) the assertions are wrong - or lies if you will.

Do you Republicans even listen to yourselves? The whole idea is crazy. It was caused primarily by a lack of oversight by the Bush Administration over the past eight years. Other causes involved Republican-led deregulation signed by Clinton in 1999 (he was wrong too), a housing bubble (caused by the lack of oversight and subsequent, over-confident market forces), and ultimate mismanagement and greed.

After a lot of homework, including a review of recent congressional testimonies, I would say the causes are pretty much in that order. The poor people who took the loans are the least guilty, unless they lied - also the fault of the predatory lenders in my opinion. Aren't there ways to find out if people are lying?

Frank said Republicans controlled Congress for 12 years and passed no regulation, while Democrats passed a Bush administration Fannie and Freddie regulation package since gaining control of the House and Senate in January 1997. Frank is rightly accusing the Republicans of race baiting their constituents. "They get to take things out on poor people," Frank said at a mortgage foreclosure symposium in Boston. "Let's be honest: The fact that some of the poor people are black doesn't hurt them either, from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people."

Frank dismissed charges the Democrats failed on their own or blocked Republican efforts to rein in the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I agree with him. I researched and discovered that both parties attempted Fannie and Freddie reform legislation from their own party perspectives, and both failed over the years due to a lack of compromise. Much of it was caused by the Bush Administration and its demands for massive structural changes designed to help Wall Street, and less industry regulation that Democrats felt threatened a system that has worked well for decades. Despite the congressional conflict, the crisis still grew out of a lack of Bush oversight.

House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio called Frank's remarks "a lame, desperate attempt to divert Americans' attention away from the Democratic party's obstruction of reforms that would have reined in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and helped our nation avoid this economic crisis."

Mr. Boehner, the only lame and desperate things here are you and your party. You guys are willing to lie, cheat and steal to get your way. You are lying to the American people about the cause of this crisis, and you are attacking an honest man like Barney Frank to beat him in November and back up your absurd, deceitful, conspiracy theory that poor people brought down Wall Street.

Barney Frank did not cause this crisis. More than twelve horrible years of Republican "leadership" caused this crisis. The same leadership that brought us war, tragedy, and corruption on a massive scale. It is time the Republicans stop blaming others for what they caused, and take responsibility for their failures.

Rovian tactics like "muddying the waters" to make everybody look bad in this situation will not work. It was Bush and the Republicans. I hope you take the time to learn what I've learned, and vote them out of power in November.

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

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