A new group opposed to the bailout has released an ad discussing the origins of the financial crisis, and hailing John McCain as one of the few who sounded the alarm. “Fighting” hits Democrats hard, in a manner that many Republicans want to see Team McCain adopt:
How effective will this be? It depends on the resources Right Change has. This kind of message needs constant repeating to counteract the notion that “deregulation” caused this crisis. Deregulation didn’t create this crisis, but to the extent that regulators didn’t stop it from snowballing, it was Democrats who blocked them from doing their job, and Republicans who wanted stricter controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
John McCain has been very quiet about this, preferring to talk about greed on Wall Street as a cause. However, having watched Nancy Pelosi destroy a carefully-constructed alliance with a partisan attack just before the first House vote, McCain probably wanted to avoid throwing blame while negotiating a second package. Now that the bill has passed Congress, McCain can start telling the real story of the collapse — how he and a few other Republicans called for stricter controls on Fannie and Freddie, only to be blocked by Democrats using government to distort the lending markets while they called OFHEO regulators racist for blowing the whistle.
McCain needs to help himself on this issue. Barack Obama took more money from Fannie and Freddie sources over the last four years than any other member of Congress, then stood silent while they defrauded investors. McCain has to start making that case today, and every day for the next four weeks. Even outside of the election, the American people need to know what really happened — so that we don’t do it again.