Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heart And Soul

Where was Rick Santelli when the banks and mortgage lenders were promoting and practicing bad behavior? Would Santelli have favored a computer voting system allowing all Americans to vote on all the issues when Bush was president? Why does Santelli think that commodities traders (or are they stock traders?) represent America? When was the last time you saw someone driving a ’54 Chevy? Was it fueled by water? Why are the anchors (or whatever they are) encouraging Santelli? They refer to the National Guard, the police, and the mob behind him. The weird woman anchor even tries to stage outrage. It falls flat. Why the hell are they doing that? Isn't it against the law to incite a riot?

Does Santelli remind you of the loud, belligerent drunk at your local bar?

There have always been people who could not afford their homes. There have always been foreclosures. This wasn’t a problem in the not so distant past. The lenders themselves minimized the number of foreclosures by being responsible lenders. It became a problem when the number of foreclosures skyrocketed. The lenders themselves encouraged people to take risky mortgages. They had become greedy, and in the process they had become irresponsible lenders. (And no, I don’t think it was the government that caused this, although they could have prevented it.) People like Rick Santelli want to blame everyone except the banks and the mortgage lenders. Are they really that innocent? In other words, the lenders used to deal with the “losers” (Santelli’s word, not mine) pretty effectively. What changed? Was there a sudden increase in “losers” or did the lenders simply allow more “losers” to participate?

The problem with foreclosures becomes worse when they spread like a contagion. Pretty soon everyone becomes susceptible, even if they don't become infected. Doctors try to stop the spread of infectious disease. Obama is trying to stop the spread of foreclosures. Mr. Santelli should not be so arrogant to think that he is immune from this. Given enough time, perhaps even he will become infected. If this happens, my guess is that he will come running to the government for help, just like the investment banks and the automakers have done. No one and no thing is too big to fail. That includes Rick Santelli. (And no, Mr. Santelli, that is not a threat.)

I really don’t know if what Obama is trying to do is the right thing to do. I am willing to give it a chance. I am also willing to give a little now if it means that I don’t have to give a lot (or everything) later. At least Obama is proposing something more than “rebate” checks (I call them bribes) and cutting taxes as a solution. It is a fact that certain American municipalities are in dire straits because of foreclosed property. Foreclosed property is already costing all of us money. Why isn’t Santelli talking about that?

For a very long time the government (and a portion of our tax dollars) has helped those that are less fortunate than the rest of us. Once upon a time the majority of Americans thought this was a good thing. Maybe since many of them had lived through the Great Depression and World War II they had a first hand knowledge of hardship and sacrifice. In other words, they knew what it was like to suffer, and therefore did not like to see other people suffer.

Rick Santelli has no soul and no heart. I’ll let you decide about his brain.

From This is not your father's country anymore by Jack Cafferty:

This is not your father's country anymore. And we had better all start getting used to it.

On the bright side, our history shows that times of shared national sacrifice have resulted in our greatest national achievements. It's been a very long time since we have been called upon to make any kind of serious sacrifice. We were overdue until one day in September, when Lehman Brothers collapsed. We're not overdue anymore.
Right-wing-nut inspired riots or shared national sacrifice. Which will it be? Kill your neighbor or help your neighbor? Which will it be?

I read a transcript of Santelli’s rant and to my dismay discovered that he was referring to Cuba when he spoke of the ’54 Chevy. So he was making some sense at this point. And the comment about running them on water makes some sense as well. If Santelli talked like a normal person I probably would not have made this error.

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