When the time came for McCain to let the American know how the current crisis came about, he demurred and instead went populist, going on and on abstractly about Wall Street and greed, when the fact is that financial houses were compelled to give housing loans to people with little prospect of paying it back. The role played by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in this, and the unwise risks they took in the name of boosting their profit numbers, not to mention their questionable accounting practices made it a certainty that this was going to happen sooner or later. Worse was that they had many high ranking Democrats on the committees in congress overseeing them on the take – so that over the years every time the fact that they were cooking the books came out and anyone tried to do anything about it, they ensured that nothing happened.
We even have quotes from many Democrats screaming and shouting that everything was perfectly fine with the GSEs – Maxine Waters even hinted that any suggestion that there was something wrong with Franklin Raines empire was simply racism. It’s just as much public record as the fact that Obama is the third highest recipient of donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the Senate after the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Banking and Finance committee.
So why did John McCain fail to mention all this? Including the fact that he actually co-sponsored a bill that would have reined in Fannie and Freddie’s excesses more than three years ago?
I think it’s because he realized that actually telling the truth, that this is a 90% Democratic caused problem would have jeopardized the bailout deal that is apparently a do-or-die affair. Democrats might have pulled out of the deal and levelled the accusing finger at McCain for “introducing partisanship” into the crisis. The media would, of course, go along with the Democrats’ new narrative – i.e. while McCain is busy playing the “blame game” they’re “working hard” to come up with a solution. This, of course, ignores the fact that the Democrats have been all through blaming Fannie and Freddie’s shenanigans on “deregulation” and attacking Republicans as responsible.
McCain’s decision to let the Democrats off the hook is probably therefore just an offshoot of his “Country First” theme – he truly believes a deal is necessary and he would do nothing to jeopardize it. It’s admirable. But ultimately, I think McCain should have told the truth (including naming names – scr*w Senate collegiality) and found a way to get Obama to condemn Fannie, Freddie, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, etc.
Quite frankly, a general election candidate debate is no place for putting partisanship aside.