Dan Rodricks is struggling to connect with the American people, that much is clear ("Amnesia + misplaced anger = nutty politics," Oct. 21). Like many elites, Mr. Rodricks assumes that the unenlightened masses are angry at the current administration due to our own personal faults. We have "short attention spans" and are "distracted" by the confusing world around us, not to mention "unthoughtful" and "not rational." The result is "misdirected anger" and "nutty politics."
And Dan isn't alone. Such statements are no doubt common fare at the liberal elite tea and crumpet parties where middle class bashing is common practice, as evidenced by the scores of similar statements appearing among local and national columnists and media personalities.
I would remind Mr. Rodricks that before he gets too curdled up about corporate campaign ads, he should recall that candidate Obama first agreed (along with John McCain) to accept federal campaign financing, a first step to getting the corporate lobbying money out of politics, but later withdrew that offer once the dirty money started pouring into his campaign, including over $100,000 from AIG, a company he later bailed out at taxpayer expense.
And if the corporate ads bother you so much, does it also bother you that the Department of Health and Human Services has been running a television ad blitz for the last few weeks, at taxpayer expense, touting the unproven benefits of the new health care plan? Do you think this is a good use of money borrowed from the Chinese, to be paid back by our children? Any chance this could be politically motivated?
And before you get too caught up in the "good Democrat, bad Republican" mantra, recall that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, Democrats both, were up to their elbows in the financial mess. Representative Frank, who currently chairs the House Financial Services Committee, insisted in 2003 that soon-to-fail Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not "facing any kind of a crisis." In July 2008, just weeks before they collapsed and were taken over by the federal government, Mr. Frank publicly maintained that "Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound — they are not in danger of going under." Mr. Frank told the Boston Globe's Donovan Slack that "he missed the warning signs [in 2003] because he was wearing ideological blinders," while in 2008 "he was deliberately trying to reassure the public."
(Gee, thanks for looking out for us).
As far back as 1991, the Boston Globe reported that Mr. Frank lobbied Fannie Mae to ease its rules restricting mortgages on two- and three-family homes, even though the default rate on those mortgages was far higher than the rate for single-family dwellings. In 2005 Barney Frank gave a speech praising the "advocacy groups that work with us so that we can make homeownership available to people who might not on their own in a market situation be able to afford it."
I don't know Mr. Rodricks, do you think this type of thinking may have contributed to the meltdown? Are we nutty for thinking that it did? If Barney Frank himself now acknowledges that he played a large role in the financial meltdown, how come you can't come to grips with this fact?
In the world according to Rodricks, if you disagree with bailing out fatcat CEO's, which is what the federal government did, then you are nutty.
If you disagree with the premise that we should allow any poor person on the planet who wants to enter our nation to do so (Mr. Rodricks is an open-border guy) and give them health care when they get here (Mr. Rodricks is also a universal health care guy), and give them housing, and food stamps, and of course a free cell phone (yes, the federal government does this as well), and that this will in no way impact the standard of living of the next American generation, then you are nutty.
If you disagree with the philosophy of passing tens of thousands of dollars of debt to each of your children, then you are nutty.
If you disagree with "more of the same" in Washington, then you are nutty.
If you disagree with borrowing money from the Chinese to bail out car companies, to pay unions back for their votes, to provide golden parachutes to fat-cat CEO's who ran their companies into the ground, and to subsidize housing for people who can't afford to live at the address of their choice, then you are nutty.
Mr. Rodricks, I believe you are out of touch and living in a la-la land that's unsustainable. I've seen your brand of socialism fail in the past, and in fact it's failing right now in France, as proven by the mobs of rioting union-members dependent on the government for their existence and unwilling to give up any of their cushy entitlements to save their nation from bankruptcy.
Mr. Rodricks, by your standards, I'm not just nutty, I'm a lunatic, and I can't wait to cancel out your elitist vote on Nov. 2.
Michael DeCicco, Severn