Patterico's Pontifications

10/6/2008

L.A. Times Distorts the Record on Responsibility for the Mortgage Crisis

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Dog Trainer,Economics — DRJ @ 11:03 am

[Posted by DRJ for Patterico; Written by Patterico.]

The Los Angeles Times has a typically ridiculous article about who is to blame for the mortgage crisis. Not surprisingly, it includes almost every liberal claim floating around out there, and eliminates virtually every fact that might indicate Democrat inaction and Republican action.

The headline reads: In D.C., few evade blame for financial crisis. The deck headline reads:

Congress had a big hand in oversight failures and deregulation, in part through a philosophy of reducing government’s role. Rep. Waxman begins hearings today.

And the first paragraphs read:

WASHINGTON — When Congress voted last week to bail out Wall Street banks and investment houses, members were also indirectly voting to repair damage lawmakers themselves had caused during a decades-long era of deregulation.

As the blame game moves into high gear in Washington, there seem to be few winners. Already under scrutiny are lawmakers from both political parties, Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and their predecessors, and record amounts of money funneled to Congress from Wall Street and the two government-backed mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here is the sum total of the credit given to Republicans:

But others — including Clinton — insist that members of Congress from both parties should be held accountable. The two-term leader rapped Democrats last week for “resisting efforts by Republicans in Congress and by me when I was President” to tighten regulatory and accounting standards on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Republicans are now touting the role that their presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, played in advocating stricter regulation of the mortgage giants.

You’d think you might hear more about this, but you don’t. What efforts did Republicans and Clinton pursue to tighten standards on Fannie and Freddie? Did McCain actually play a role in advocating stricter regulation — despite Obama’s and Biden’s claims that he has always been for deregulation??

We are never told. Nowhere does the paper mention John McCain’s support for regulatory legislation:

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market…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 and Freddie pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

So what are the specific reasons given for the crisis? First, we’re told that “[t]he influence of money from special interests — which flowed into congressional campaign coffers in huge streams — is cited by some as a prime factor.” And “Exhibit A on the use of money to court decision-makers is the record of Fannie and Freddie.”

So this is the part where we hear about the fact that Barack Obama was the second biggest recipient of donations from Fannie and Freddie from 1989 to 2008? No, that doesn’t make its way into the article; nor does the fact that McCain doesn’t even show up on the list. No, what is important is that McCain’s top campaign advisor took money from Fannie and Freddie — even though this could not possibly have affected McCain’s vote during the relevant time periods.

Instead, we are told about a Republican (Christopher Shays) who the paper says has a mixed record on supporting regulation, and a Democrat (Byron Dorgan) who supported regulation. By selecting these individuals as examples, the article manages to suggest that Democrats were champions of regulation in this area, and Republicans sought deregulation.

Nowhere are we told that Democrats took money from Fannie and Freddie and then asserted that there was no problem:

Nowhere is there a quote from Barney Frank telling us: “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis.”

Unbelievable.

The lesson here, John McCain, is that the media is not going to make this case for you.

You have to do it yourself.

28 Comments

  1. The lesson here, John McCain, is that the media is not going to make this case for you.

    You have to do it yourself

    .

    McCain’s biggest problem is his annoying tendency to be “collegial”, like a campaign is just an extended Senate field trip. You’re running for President. You can’t act like a Senator when you’re President. Don’t be all “my friend” this and “my esteemed colleague” that toward people that would happily see you dead, but would prefer seeing you broken and miserable in defeat.

    Get some stones and attack O!bama head on, and don’t let up.

    Comment by I'm Geekier (62f9bc) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:20 am

  2. …the media is not going to make this case for you.

    McCain is asking himself: “What would Ted Kennedy do?”
    …and the answer is: “Blame Republicans!”
    So “Maverick” McCain will blame Republicans!

    Comment by Perfect Sense (9d1b08) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:26 am

  3. DRJ Patterico – They forgot to list global warming as a cause of the mortgage crisis and the Bush Administration’s failure to take any actions to counteract AGW. Then again, what so you expect from a third rate newspaper. Maybe you should send a note to the editor noting their lapse in this instance.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:27 am

  4. I expect the Left to complain about this article even more.

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (a757fd) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:31 am

  5. He is. See Hot Air.

    Comment by rightwingprof (fbb932) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:43 am

  6. It would seem that, according to RedState, McCain is taking the gloves off regarding this issue…

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (a1c284) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:44 am

  7. It would seem that, according to RedState, McCain is taking the gloves off regarding this issue…

    Good. About time he listened to me.

    Comment by I'm Geekier (62f9bc) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:48 am

  8. Two years ago we watched in stunned disbelief as the GOP sat on it’s fat rear end and let MSM/Dems win dominance in the House and Senate.

    The issues of fence-first border security and illegal immigration were there for the taking, ringing like a bell, but the GOP closed their minds and their ears and did nothing to seize the day, define the issues, and lead the voters to their side. That was on George W Bush. His policies cost the GOP control of Congress, and look at the disaster that brought us, the bailout.

    You can’t win if you don’t try. Sure, timeing is important, but it’s better to be a little early than to finally start shouting and find that it’s too late, the train left the station before you ever got there.

    Comment by Ropelight (1be620) — 10/6/2008 @ 11:49 am

  9. If the Republicans were so concerned with Freddie and Fannie in 2005, why didn’t the legislation get passed? They controlled both houses at the time.

    Comment by Rob (4cff86) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:15 pm

  10. The market is finally anticipating an Obama victory. I do not belive today’s meltdown had much to do about the credit crisis as all that information seems to be in the market.

    Look at a chart, as Obama’s lead started to widen, the market has shown much more strength on the downside.

    An O presidency will be a disaster for the stock market and it’s saying so right now.

    MCCain should point this out during the debate tomorrow night and say, hey, wanna see a difference. Give me a shot, change those polls and watch this market swing back up. Dare ya America, watch and see.

    Comment by PC14 (ec0516) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:26 pm

  11. Because the bill locked up 50/50 in committee. That’s the sign that the minority party is going to filibuster it. If opposition is strong enough to lock up the committee, it ain’t going to fly in the full Senate. Where nobody tends to have the 60 votes to pass things.

    Comment by Al (b624ac) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:26 pm

  12. Maybe it’d be a good to send Governor Palin out to actually talk to the media.

    Wow, talk about being between a rock and a hard place. What’s a man to do. Reveal the idiocy of your VP choice by letting her talk, or surrender.

    Great choice, Senator McCain. You deserve to lose.

    Comment by jharp (2282bb) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:34 pm

  13. harpy – As you have said on more than one occaision, Trig speaks better than Sarah.

    Why are you here?

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:38 pm

  14. To show my patriotism and to help rescue our country from the GOP.

    Haven’t you had enough of the GOP failures?

    Comment by jharp (2282bb) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:44 pm

  15. Because the bill locked up 50/50 in committee.

    Specifically, Sen. Dodd, the man who has taken the MOST money from Freddie and Fannie, took active steps to kill the bill.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (a1c284) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:50 pm

  16. McCain had better get going and get going now. I’m sure most are aware but here it is.

    The Keating Five video as promised.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g72BuIvMbWY&eurl=http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein

    A crushing blow to McCain and timed beautifully. Like him or not Obama is running a masterful campaign.

    Comment by jharp (2282bb) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:53 pm

  17. Keating Five. Yawn.

    So will Baracky throw John Glenn under the bus now and reject his endorsement? He was mixed up it that whole thing too, ya know.

    Comment by I'm Geekier (ac8c06) — 10/6/2008 @ 12:56 pm

  18. jHarp, what part of “cleared by Clinton’s own lawyer” are you unable to grasp?

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (a1c284) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:07 pm

  19. “So will Baracky throw John Glenn under the bus now and reject his endorsement?”

    Yawn. Who cares.

    This is about McCain and it is devastating.

    Comment by jharp (2282bb) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:08 pm

  20. Something that happened when Barack was snorting coke off people’s backsides doesn’t interest me. My attention span is too short.

    Comment by I'm Geekier (ac8c06) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:10 pm

  21. Yawn. Who cares

    People who give a damn about facts, you vacuous dipshit!!!

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (a1c284) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:15 pm

  22. This is about McCain and it is devastating.

    This is about McCain and it is dishonest.

    There, fixed that for you.

    Comment by JD (f7900a) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:17 pm

  23. This is just another distraction to get people to avoid properly vetting Obama.

    Comment by daleyrocks (d9ec17) — 10/6/2008 @ 1:23 pm

  24. What’s a man to do.

    How would you know?

    Comment by Dmac (cc81d9) — 10/6/2008 @ 4:56 pm

  25. This is about McCain and it is devastating.

    Devastating how ?

    McCain was exonerated .

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (a757fd) — 10/6/2008 @ 10:43 pm

  26. I think you’ll all be pleased to hear that the Waxman has agreed to have his oversight committee look into Fannie & Freddie: The Hill.

    Hold their feet to the fire.

    Comment by Bob Loblaw (6d485c) — 10/7/2008 @ 12:56 pm

  27. Bob – Care to take any odds on the date of those hearings? I would be willing to go 2.5/1 against the hearings being held prior to the elections, and if they are, I guarantee that Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick are not sworn in …

    Comment by JD (f7900a) — 10/7/2008 @ 1:01 pm

  28. JD – I’d give higher odds than 2.5:1 that it won’t be held before the election – in fact if pressed, I would think it “will be a cold day….” ;)

    Comment by Bob Loblaw (6d485c) — 10/7/2008 @ 1:08 pm

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