Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate season (mercifully) ends

I missed most of last night's third debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. I have it recorded on my DVR but the probability of me ever going back and watching it are somewhere south of 2%. I did see about the last half hour, and some of the post-games shows on Fox and CNN, and I've got a couple of thoughts.

  1. Barack Obama is the next President of the United States*. I am, obviously, not happy about that. I think it has the potential to damage the country significantly, particularly as he will be unchecked by any legitimate opposition at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

  2. The reason that Obama will be the next President is because he gets up on the national stage and speaks and acts as if he's a moderate. This country is about to elect the most liberal administration ever, but it's still a center-right country. Obama's winning by running as a center-right guy.

  3. He gets away with it because he is able to sit there, in front of God and the American people, and lie with impunity. He can lie with impunity about McCain's health care proposals, his campaign ads, abortion, taxes, Ayers, ACORN**; he can lie about whatever he wants or needs to, secure in the knowledge that the press won't call him on it, and if McCain does, the press will "tsk, tsk" McCain's "negativity."

The tragic aspect to all of this is that Obama's strongest asset for the last month ought to have been (one of) his fatal weakness(es). And McCain's biggest weakness should have been one of his greatest strengths. The crisis in the financial sector and the markets was brought on by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which was, in turn, caused by government pressure on mortgage-lenders to lend to people who couldn't qualify for mortgages using reasonable risk standards. Government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac poured money into those loans, buying them up, and the combination of easy money and government mandates inflated housing values, creating a huge speculative bubble. Bubbles pop.
  • The Bush administration tried to increase regulation and oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Democrats in congress resisted. McCain tried to sponsor and pass a law to deal with them three years ago, when some people could see the threat. Democrats in congress resisted.

  • Barack Obama represented ACORN in Illinois in 1994 in a case to force Citibank to make bad loans stop "redlining." From 1989-2008, only Christopher Dodd took more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than Barack Obama. Former chairmen Jimmy Johnson and Franklin Raines, under whose watch the bubble built, have both been reported as advisors to Senator Obama. And while he tells a tale of an apocryphal letter of "concern" which he allegedly sent to someone, maybe the Fed chief, he hasn't produced the letter or any evidence that he wrote or sent it.

If we had an independent media in this country, rather than merely a media-wing of the Democratic party, the economic crisis which has virtually assured the success of Senator Obama's run for the Presidency should have ended it.

But we don't...

* - Conservatives need to pray fervently for the health and well-being of Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and even Kennedy, for the next four years. I suspect that Justices Stevens and Ginsburg will go during the Obama administration, and be replaced by Justices as bad, or worse. Justices appointed by conservatives sometimes disappoint - justices appointed by liberals never do. (Well, they don't disappoint the liberals by growing more conservative.)

** - OK, to their credit, CNN did do an Obama-Acorn story.

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