Thursday, January 31, 2008


Pandering and Consequences

Glenn Reynolds and his readers over at Instapundit offer vigorous rejoinder to an outrageous pander by John McCain in last night’s debate. Read the whole thing, all updates. It pretty much encapsulates the entirety that shouts “lie!” to McCain’s narrow (and thoughtless) pandering.

Talking about the subprime crisis, McCain stated last night that there may be some “greedy people on Wall Street who need to go to jail.”

Glenn mentions the syrupy bathos that passes for financial feature-commentary on National Public Radio (NPR), attempting to sympathetically portray their version of the “victims”:

But I heard a typically sad-toned NPR story on subprimes tonight, and despite their best efforts to evoke the Joads it was a story of people who "used their houses like ATMs," taking out home equity loan after home equity loan when they started with a subprime mortgage, only to wind up owing far more than their houses were worth and unable to make the payments. Boo hoo. Shouldn't there be a price for being an idiot? And -- despite not being on Wall Street -- a greedy idiot? Why does McCain want to bail these people out? Why does he want to put Wall Street people in jail?

Glenn’s readers offer lost of other anecdotal evidence, mostly in support of his position and critical of McCain.

Mark Steyn at The Corner also noted McCain’s remark, and made this caustic observation:

As for his line about "some greedy people on Wall Street who need to be punished", aside from being almost entirely irrelevant to the subject under discussion (the subprime "crisis"), it reveals, I think, one of the most unpleasant aspects of McCain. For a so-called "maverick", he's very comfortable with the application of Big Government power, and the assumption of Big Government virtue. Undoubtedly there are "greedy people on Wall Street". Why should he and his chums be the ones who decide whether they need to be "punished"? If greed is to be punishable, why doesn't he start with a pilot program applied to, say, the United States Senate and report back to us in five years how that's going?

Primary triumph doesn't seem to be doing anything to mitigate the small and graceless side of McCain.

So why again should McCain be understood as some kind of Republican counterpoint to the Democrats (at least either of his certain opponents)?

As the days go by, I grow more certain that mindless idiots (they’re either that or cynical, amoral opportunists, take your pick) in both parties are determined to enact some “big government remedy” to the so-called “subprime crisis.”

And thereby, these idiot/opportunists will ensure that those most responsible for whatever we want to think of as this “problem” get rewarded for their bad behavior, and the entirety of the rest of us – who did the right thing or did not do the wrong thing – get wrongly punished by being handed the tab.

This stands as indictment against McCain in my book. Let him explain.

Who’d have guessed years ago. I could have bought way beyond my means, ignored all manner of warnings about ARMs and balloon payments, taken second and third mortgages, blow it all on consumptive living, and then sat back fat, happy and 2 miles under in debt. What me worry? Here comes some craven politico to bail me out.

Juts another example of Big Government, ready to step between any idiot and the consequences of his bad behavior.

Why bother holding anyone accountable for anything? Oh, that’s right, we still need to blame Bush for anything that goes wrong, anywhere. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much been McCain’s schtick these past 7 years.


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