September 07, 2012

Now Entering the Binary Zone of the Campaign

There's no sign post up ahead to tell you that, either.  As noted yesterday, the election will now revert to standard amygdala-driven impulses.  Liberal critics of Obama, those chronic malcontents ( rang?), must now shut up with their endless cavils, their pet complaints, and get with the program.  There is an election to win here.  Forget the Bill of Rights, forget Obama's abandonment of millions of American homeowners who were underwater on their mortgages...

Well, on that point, it appears that even the reliably liberal New York Times is not willing to cut the O Man any slack, going into excruciating detail in an editorial piece about how the President was willing, with the banker-friendly encouragement of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, at all stages of the game to assist Wall Street banks with their solvency (and bonus) problems, but offered only the pathetic "HAMP" program to help out the millions of Americans whose mortgages exceeded the value of their homes.  There was so much more the President could have done to alleviate this problem, but it was opposed by Wall Street because the resulting "impairment of collateral" in the form of reduced or "crammed-down" mortgages would have negatively affected the balance sheets of the big banks.  And we can't have that; their profitability (and bonuses) depend on their continuing ability to mark-to-fantasy all of the worthless junk they carry as assets, such as all those fraudulently marketed mortgage-backed securities.  In haec verba from the Times article by Binyamin Applebaum:

“Mr. Obama sponsored cramdown legislation as a senator, endorsed it as a presidential candidate and called on Congress to pass it in the Arizona speech.
But he also repeatedly pressed the pause button. When proponents sought to add a cramdown to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in September 2008, Mr. Obama, who had flown back to Washington from the campaign trail, persuaded them to postpone the “partisan” effort as an example to Republicans, who said the measure would violate existing contracts.
In February 2009, after Mr. Obama became president, the White House asked Democrats not to attach the measure to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, fearing it would cost votes. In March, a watered-down version finally passed the House, but the mortgage industry rallied opposition to block it in the Senate.”

This is, of course, absolutely vintage Obama.  It may recall virtually exact behavior regarding the "immunity for telecom companies" regarding illegal wiretapping, or, more tellingly, Obama's refusal simply to let the "Bush tax cuts" lapse at the end of  2010, when the Democrats controlled the Senate, the House and the White House, and the Bush tax cuts, that fabled marginal rate on all the "millionaires" was going to sundown under its own provisions.  And Obama sold it out to buy another year of unemployment insurance instead, reenacting the mess of pottage deal from another era.

Refusing to help millions of homeowners by using real money, instead of lavishing it all on the "fat cats" he pretends to despise, resulted in millions of Americans forced into the street through foreclosure.

But what about Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric last night, his populist call-to-arms?  What about, you know....all of that?  Well - it was a good speech.  He's good at doing that.

Yet as I's time to put all of that grousing away.  It's crunch time.  If it's not Obama, it will be that carpetbagger Mitt Romney, the robber baron in funny underwear.  The O Man at least mouths the right attitudes about certain things.  Gay marriage, for example.  And he was willing to admit that global warming is not a "hoax."  It's true that Mr. Obama did not throw much American weight behind the recent Rio Conference (or, actually, even attend), but at least he says climate change is real, whereas the Carpetbagger makes clunky jokes about it.

Thus, um, so what you should do is...hmm, where was I?  I guess that's about it.  I know our President is in a tight spot because the millions of individual donors who rallied to his cause in 2008 seem mysteriously to have disappeared, and we're in the somewhat anomalous situation where the incumbent is in danger of being seriously outspent in this campaign.  I just can't imagine why the President's liberal base has eroded over the last four years.  Whatever.  In America, as in driving a car, voting should be a defensive act.  You don't vote for what you want; you vote to try to avoid what you most fear.  If that isn't Exceptional, please tell me something that is.

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