Divorced From Reality: The Right’s Alternate History Of The Financial Crisis

From its intellectuals to its political leaders, the American conservative movement has fully endorsed an interpretation of the Bush-era housing bubble and Wall Street collapse that cannot be reconciled with reality. The political right insists that government policy encouraging homeownership among low-to-moderate-income families is the primary – or even the only – cause of the crisis. But data on the home loan industry shows this argument is false. In fact, the subprime boom was driven by private firms who were exempt from the much-vilified Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, not by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government’s contribution to the crisis was its failure to regulate Wall Street, not its efforts to expand homeownership.

Right-Wing Rationale: It Was The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) And Government Lenders

GOP Presidential Candidates Blamed Government Policy For Housing Crisis. From Bloomberg: “The Republicans say the federal government pressed banks to make risky housing loans under a 1977 law called the Community Reinvestment Act, helping inflate home prices and ultimately sparking the crash. ‘The reason we have the housing crises we have is that the federal government played too heavy a role in our markets,’ Romney said in a Nov. 9 Republican debate. ‘The federal government came in with Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac, and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd told banks they had to give loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back.’ Gingrich has suggested jailing Frank, the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Dodd, who headed the Senate Banking Committee until his retirement this year.” [Bloomberg, 12/21/11]

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FRC’s Boykin: “I Don’t Know” If Obama’s In Muslim Brotherhood

QUESTIONER: My question is with all the visits that the Muslim Brotherhood has made to the White House, and President Obama’s acting as a catalyst between Libya and the Arab Spring, and Egypt, is he a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?


QUESTIONER: President Obama.

BOYKIN: Yeah, let me tell you something that you probably don’t know. And my answer is I don’t know. But Jeremiah Wright was a member of the Nation of Islam. How many of you realize that? He came out of college and joined the Nation of Islam. The theology of the Nation of Islam is James Cone’s liberation theology. Jeremiah Wright looked at the hierarchy in the Nation of Islam, realized he’d never get to the top because of Louis Farrakhan and Malcolm X, so he left Nation of Islam, went back and got his Ph.D., went to Chicago and planted a “Christian Church” and took James Cone’s theology and changed it to black liberation theology and began to teach the same thing in a “Christian,” and I use the term loosely, “Christian church.” So Mr. Obama sat under the teachings of James Cone, and it wouldn’t have mattered whether he was in the Nation of Islam or whether he was in a Christian church. He got the same theology, which was James Cone’s Marxist liberation theology, which runs parallel to the whole doctrine of Islam, which is all about social justice up to a point where Islam turns right and says there’s no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet, and Marxism turns left and says we’re an atheist therefore we’re communist. So he got the same thing, so I mean, I can’t—if he says he is Christian, I accept that he is a Christian. But the question is what kind of theology did he get in that Christian church.

[via Right Wing Watch]

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “Shelley Berkley, In The Wrong Corner For Small Business In Nevada”

An ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce targets Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for supporting health care reform and clean energy legislation. The ad asserts that the Affordable Care Act “hurts small businesses,” citing as evidence a Gallup survey of small business owners that, in fact, contains no mention of the health care law. Of course, the Chamber’s misrepresentation of ACA is predictable considering that health insurers paid it more than $100 million to oppose reform. The ad’s demonization of a clean energy bill supported by Berkley is similarly problematic, relying on a biased analysis from the right-wing Heritage foundation to exaggerate the legislation’s potential impact on Nevada families.

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Crossroads GPS: “Tried”

A Crossroads GPS ad attacking President Obama wrongly suggests several consequences of the recession are the result of the president’s economic policies. In fact, it’s Bush-era policies that drove up the federal debt, while the private sector has added jobs in each of 28 consecutive months for a total of 4.5 million new jobs since March 2010.

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American Crossroads: “Obama’s War On Women”

In a minute-long web video, American Crossroads triumphantly throws out every statistic it can find about the recession’s impact on women, claiming that higher poverty and unemployment among women add up to evidence of a “war on women” that’s “being waged in our economy.” But video clips of sad women looking out windows don’t make this line of attack any more valid than conservative groups’ standard attempt to blame overall recession-driven job losses on President Obama, who inherited an economy already hemorrhaging millions of jobs. In fact, while the recession impacted men and women differently by virtue of the fact that male-dominated industries like manufacturing were hit first, with jobs in which women are more heavily represented impacted later, men suffered the heaviest job losses in the recession. They also started earlier on the road to recovery, as Republican-favored trimming of the public sector continues to disproportionately impact women.

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AFA’s Fischer On LGBT Community’s “Christophobic Hatred”

On the July 10, 2012, edition of “Focal Point,” American Family Association director of issues analysis Bryan Fischer said:

I am convinced that there is plenty of hatred in the debate over homosexuality, there’s a lot of hatred, there’s a lot of vitriol, there’s a lot of venom. It’s coming from the homosexuals themselves. The real haters are homosexuals. The real venom is coming from those that support the homosexual agenda — either homosexual activists, homosexuals, or those that support the homosexual agenda. They are the real haters. There is a heterophobic hatred, there is a Christophobic hatred that is just seething, there’s a dark, venemous, demonic hatred that is in the homosexual community. [via Right Wing Watch]

Crossroads GPS: “Voice”

An ad from Crossroads GPS relies on regurgitated and misleading talking points about the Affordable Care Act to paint Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) as out of touch with his constituents. Contrary to the ad’s insinuations, Obamacare doesn’t cut Medicare benefits, the Independent Payment Advisory Board can’t restrict seniors’ care, and the taxes raised to support the Affordable Care Act pale in comparison to the middle-class tax cuts President Obama and congressional Democrats have enacted.

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Crossroads GPS: “Ants”

Crossroads GPS labels Virginia Senate candidate and former governor Tim Kaine “a cheerleader for massive spending” based on his support for the Recovery Act and time as DNC chairman. The ad relies on tired misinformation about the stimulus package, which created millions of jobs, and the cherry-picked projects Crossroads holds up as evidence the bill was wasteful are misrepresentations of the law’s allocation of funds.

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Crossroads GPS: “Show”

A Crossroads GPS ad attacks Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) by tying him to President Obama’s agenda, in the process leaving viewers with the wrong picture of the deficit-reducing Affordable Care Act and the American Jobs Act, the latter of which would have been financed by a surtax on millionaires. The ad also misleads on Brown’s vote to invoke cloture on an early version of climate change legislation, failing to mention that he was joined by a majority of Senate Republicans and relying on analysis from the conservative Heritage Foundation to represent the bill as a job-killer.

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American Commitment: “Cheering”

A new ad from American Commitment targets North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp’s support for the Affordable Care Act, repeating several falsehoods about the health care law. Contrary to the ad’s overblown rhetoric, the Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for millions of Americans, ultimately providing “more tax relief than tax burden for middle-income Americans.” Furthermore, the law reduces the deficit and does not cut Medicare benefits; in fact, Heitkamp opponent Rick Berg voted to preserve the Medicare savings the ad attacks.

Read more after the jump.