Via the Right Scoop, who’s incredulous that Trump could breeze so easily past the history of the CRA and which side of the aisle was more gung ho for subprime lending. Saying that both parties were to blame (as Trump will undoubtedly do once some of his new fans on the right start grumbling about this) would have been unremarkable. Saying “I don’t think the Democrats would have done that” makes this, shall we say, special.
What happens now? On the one hand, this is a direct challenge to conservative orthodoxy, which holds that the roots of the ’08 crash lie in the left-wing idea that the government should make easy money available to the poor for home-buying regardless of their ability to pay it back. Click the image below and listen not just to Trump but to Mark Levin, making that case at length a few years ago. Giving Democrats a pass on the financial crisis is like giving Bill Clinton a pass on the rise of Al Qaeda in the years before 9/11. If you wanted to choose one single soundbite from the past two months to support the case that Trump’s a Democrat in Republican clothing, this would be it. On the other hand, the way populist hero-worship works is that whatever the hero says is true and correct whether it contradicts ideological orthodoxy or not. If Trump says Republicans alone were to blame for the crash, well … that’s just his way of reminding the Beltway RINOs that they’re complicit in the subprime crisis too. He’s trying to tear down the GOP establishment. Why would we begrudge him this hugely damaging lie in service to that noble cause? The most important thing now is to stop Bush; reminding the world that Jeb’s brother presided over the crash helps do that, even if Democrats are destined to pull this soundbite and beat the hell out of the eventual GOP nominee with it in attack ads. The reason it’s called a “cult of personality” is because, ultimately, it’s about personality, not about correctly apportioning blame for the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression in the middle of a presidential race.
Someone onstage is going to throw this in his face at the first debate and Trump, despite his reluctance to apologize, will certainly retreat from it. I wonder if that’ll pop the bubble. You know what the weirdest part of this is, though? For a guy who’s making lots of noise lately about potentially running as an independent, this is a strange issue on which to take an essentially partisan stance. If there’s any issue of the last, say, 40 years on which a third-party candidate would want to blame both parties, it’s the financial crisis. A pox on both their houses for wrecking Main Street to protect Wall Street; that’s why we need independent leadership in the White House! Instead, Trump’s telling you flat out that the Democrats are more reliable on the economy than Republicans are. Vote Hillary, I guess. Click the image to watch.