Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Partisan Democrat's Solution To End Partisanship

He is Washington's Most Toxic Asset. He, along with Chris Dodd and Bill Clinton, were the architects of our current economic meltdown. He is the Banking Queen - Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, as thoroughly partisan as anyone to ever have sat in Congress. In response to soon to be former Sen. Evan Bayh's chastisement of Congress for rank partisanship, Frank agreed and proposed his own solution to that problem:

. . . Frank says his fellow Democrat could do more to change that by staying in Congress and helping change the filibuster rule than by stepping out of public service.

Hah. His answer to the partisan crisis is to make the minority party irrelevant, thus allowing the majority Democrats to ignore Congressional Republicans. It would end partisan rancor by dispensing with any need for bipartisanship. When in God's name will Mass. voters turn this walking disaster out of office?


OBloodyHell said...

> When in God's name will Mass. voters turn this walking disaster out of office?

With any luck, November, 2010.

Greg said...

Dodd and Clinton were architects of our economic meltdown? If any politician should be considered an architect it is Ronald Reagen. He is the one who deregulated the very same corporations that caused the US meltdown to be so severe. But this is a global economic meltdown, sorry to bust your Americentrism.

The Dems certainly should make the republicans irelevant. They offer absolutely nothing to our government right now. All they are geared to do is to try and get Obama out of office. The current filibuster rule is horrible and does need to be changed. It completely takes away majority rules.

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GW said...

Greg: Thx for stopping by and commenting.

Let's take this in reverse order. The filibuster is a Senate Rule that has been in place, in one form or another, since the early 1800's. The consequences would be a tyranny of the majority along with causing extreme volatility in our politics. It would work a sea change to our political system, wherein the filibuster has acted as a break on majority rule for most of our history. That would be fine for Democrats now, devestation for them in a few years.

As to the causes of this meltdown, you are, I believe, very far off base indeed. Read http://wolfhowling.blogspot.com/2008/10/hurricane-subprime-part-i-1977-to-2000.html and then let's chat on this some more.

As to it being a global economic meltdown, do you think that if the U.S. economy didn't tank and if all the U.S. denominated mortgage backed securities did not permeate the world economy that this would still be a global meltdown? I would be happy if the blame lay outside U.S. shores, but unfortunately, I think the U.S. birthed this virus, the rest of the world then became infected.

Greg said...

I am aware of the history of the filibuster. But as it stands now it really takes no work to filibuster something. If the minority just doesn't agree then they can easily filibuster. I don't think we need to get rid of it, we need to reform it. (Although I am of the opinion we need to drastically reform the two party system in general because most Americans are not represented by either of these corporate sponsored parties)

I read your post on the subprime deal. You certainly take a much more sophisticated approach than most of that opinion (less of a blatant racist one as well), but the fact is that it is still horribly narrow-minded. The underlying reason for the economic crisis is the enormous gap between rich and poor. There is no such thing as a middle class. To call what we call a middle class is so ridiculous because the gap between lower class and middle class is a smidge compared to the gap between what we call middle and upper. How does this relate to the crisis? Well without being verbose, if all of the money is concentrated at the top the people who truly get an economy going (the majority of the people who normally have some money) consumer spending goes down. This was exacerbated by subprime lending, which I agree is the major ignition for the meltdown. Only conservatives like to blame the people for wanting to buy a house. Imagine that! poor people wanting somewhere to live. how dare they. These were normal people not trained in business and finance. Not trained in the capitalist art of deceiving people for profit. That's what banks did and they knew they had the safety net of a government bailout.

It isn't a republican or democrat thing. Reagan started it, HW Bush continued, Clinton made it worse, and GWB took it to a whole new level of allowing these businesses free range to do whatever they wanted. Now, they have 0 accountability. We can deregulate the markets, but we certainly should not bail them out if they mess up. We foreclose houses on the poor because their wages are not there (not because they are not hard working, but because that rich-poor gap is so large) I'm sick of the American idea that if you're poor it's your own damn fault, and if you're rich you should get the benefit of the doubt and we'll help you if you mess up. It should be the other way around.

GW said...


Thank you again for the response. If you have suggestions for reform of the filibuster or the two party system, post them on your blog and then link them here, I will be happy to read them. The two party system is not something required by any legislation of course, that is just the way it has worked out.

Regulation for regulations sake is nonsensical. Much like hitting one's head with a hammer, just because one can doesn't mean one should. Government's have a strong bias towards vast overregulation for a variety of reasons. Overregulation atrophys that which is regulated and needlessly kills off innovation. To the extent that your mention of Reagan is in regards to the S&L crisis, that played no role in our current meltdown. To the extent that you are referring to the sufficiency of capital reserve requirements, that is certainly one of the issues raised in the current crisis.
Just a few other minor points. You mention that my take on this is “less blatantly racist . . .” Actually, there is not a single thing that is racist in either the Subprime post nor anything else you will find on this blog. At this point in America's history, we really need to move into a post racial society where considerations of race are striken from our laws with the sole exception of cases of actual racism – those need to be dealt with, I would argue, more severely than they are now.

Further, as I mention in the subprime post, the goal of increasing home ownership among the lower middle class and working poor was a “laudable goal.” I doubt you would have found any in Congress to disagree with that. But that doesn't mean that the only way to achieve that goal was to eviscerate lending standards across the board and turn the issue into one of identity politics. We see the results of that today. As I point out in the subprime post, the market solution to this issue would have been programs to assist those in need to raise credit scores and accumulate downpayments – and perhaps even programs to provide additional post purchase assistance under select conditions.

I am unsure of what you mean by some of your generalizations. Perhaps if you could be more specific in regards to which particular regulations – or de-regulation - you think contributed to our current meltdown, that would help. And if you could tie those to an admistration, that would help also. As to the last Bush administration, they tried on multiple occasions to reign in Fannie and Freddie before they fell, only to be rebuffed each time by Congress – Barney Frank and Chris Dodd leading the way – ergo my extreme dislike for those two individuals who literally created the subprime crisis and who then protected them from any new set of regulations throughtout the Bush term, at least until it was clear that Fannie and Freddie were in catastrophic failure.

suek said...

What would be the purpose intended by reforming the filibuster?

What protection does the minority have without the filibuster?

By the way, GW...if you check out Greg's blog, you'll see that he is an ardent admirer of Zinn. That should give you an idea of his philosophical underpinnings.