Thursday, June 12, 2008

Johnson and Gramm and the Selectively Howling Monkeys of the Media

Obama is taking flack for his appointment of Jim Johnson, former head of FNMA and recipient of a loan from Countrywide, to vet VP candidates. Fine, this is a mistake. The media howl, especially the cable news.

But where was the howling several weeks back when it emerged that the egregious Phil Gramm was formulating McCain's policy proposal for handling the sub-prime mess - the one that would do nothing for home-owners- while still working as a lobbyist for USB, whose portfolio is full of sub-prime junk.

Just sayin'.


Bruce Webb said...

Kevin, it is not simply malicious, though that is in the mix, instead there is a pervasive narrative that 'bleeding heart liberals' have a positive obligation to meet their own standards in the purest form no matter what the individual sacrifice while 'market conservatives' have a positive obligation to meet their own standards in the purest form no matter what the individual gain.

You see this all the time in myriad forms often enough in the 'I thought you guys were supposed to be the compassionate ones' or in my favorite the "Jimmy the Stockboy' argument against minimum wage. If a policy change that would result in a huge net gain for workers results in job losses at the margin workers are expected to just suck it up. Because think about poor Jimmy.

Republicans are expected by themselves and others to maximize their individual self interest. whereas any appearance of a Democrat doing the same thing makes him a traitor to the principles of the Party.

It is mind-boggling that the Right has been able to frame this as "I am entitled by my philosophy to be selfish and self serving, you are bound by your philosophy to be St. Francis" but it has been stunningly successful in shaping the discourse

CityUnslicker said...

surely you mean UBS?

kevin quinn said...


yes- sorry. UBS

Kevin Carson said...

While we're at it, how about McCain having Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard, as economic adviser. Along with Jack Welch, "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap, and Bob Nardelli, she's a poster child for MBA Disease. You know the behavioral symptoms of that disorder: decimate human capital, strip assets, and otherwise gut long-term productive capability, in order to inflate the short-term numbers and game your bonus and stock options.