Wednesday, October 1, 2008

GOP strategy, always blame the victim

Tom Frank lays waste to the GOP and their standard operating procedure in today's Wall Street Journal. A sampling, 

Two weeks ago, I wrote that the breakdown of the nation's financial industry was undeniably a self-induced injury; that it would finally force conservatives to own up to the wrongheadedness of their deregulatory project; that they couldn't possibly blame the disaster on any of their traditional bogeymen.

But I had forgotten about conservatives' extraordinary instincts for blame-evasion. This is a movement, after all, that blandly recasts its greatest idols as traitors once their popularity has crashed; that routinely sloughs off responsibility for . . . well . . . anything since, by its logic, conservatism has never really been tried in the first place. Consider in this respect Mitt Romney's remarkable speech to the Republican convention a few weeks ago, in which he rallied his party against Washington -- a place his party has controlled, to one degree or another, for nearly three decades -- by listing the city's various institutions and crying, "It's liberal!"

Or consider the way the House Republicans torpedoed the bailout bill a few days ago. The real reason they did it was almost certainly to evade responsibility for an unpopular measure but the announced reason seemed designed to convince the nation's 7-year-olds -- because Nancy Pelosi said something mean.

On economic questions the standard exculpatory maneuver is even simpler. When some free-market scheme blows up, one needs only find an institution of government in close proximity to the wreckage and commence accusing.

The GOP is unable to every accept responsibility for anything. They have thoroughly screwed up two wars and the economy and they insist that nothing is their fault. As if they have been little more than by-standers all these years. It's pathetic and sickening. The GOP deserves the electoral drubbing that it will be getting this fall and then some. Perhaps the few sane Republicans left can regain some control over the party and take it back from the religious base and the Grover Norquists foot soldiers. That coalition is funamentally unserious about governing and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. 

Go give it a read. We need to support Frank at the WSJ, one of the very few voices of sanity on their op-ed pages. 


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but how are the Republicans responsible? I keep hearing the names of Clinton, Raines, Frank, Dodd, Gorelick, Reno and Cuomo attached to this low-income mortgage mess, but exactly which Republicans are being accused of causing Frannie and Freddie to go under or blocking reforms?

Steve Balboni said...

John McCain's campaign manager was F&F's top lobbyist and still recieving checks from them last month.

Does the name Phil Gramm mean anything to you?

How about Alan Greenspan?

Besides that, pretending that this is a problem with just F&F is simply ludicrous. We have a systemic failure caused by 30 years of GOP presidents and 15 years of a GOP Congress not just actively de-regulating but also blocking regulations of new financial instruments. Chris Dodd didn't have a lick of power until 18 months ago.

Riddle me this, what was Hank Paulson's job before he became Secretary of the Treasury? Oh, that's right.

Anonymous said...

Who did F&F shower with campaign donations? Dodd, Obama, Clinton. 30 years of GOP presidents? Come on, WJC must be in there somewhere. Where does ACORN fit in the picture? For years the D's have pushed policies to loan money to people who can't pay. You have to admit there are bad apples on both sides. No? Or is it all Rick Davis and Phil Gramm's fault? And Reagan's too. I forgot.

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this, which campaign is Franklin Raines advising? Oh, that's right. Barney Frank routinely stood in the way of reform. Chris Dodd? AWOL. Andrew Cuomo and Janet Reno? Pushed, under threats from Justice Dept., to increase number of mortgages to unqualified borrowers.

Steve Balboni said...

For anyone interested in a thorough rebuttal to "anonymous" might I suggest this,

I don't have the time or the inclination to "debate" someone who is so clearly willing to ignore reality and facts.

It's fun to watch the wingnuts pretend like they haven't been running the show for 30 years.

For the party of personal responsibility they sure are quick to run and hide from their messes.