Palin is bringing up Barack Obama’s long connection to William Ayers… okay.
I don’t doubt that not enough Americans know about Obama and his ties to Ayers, and what an unrepentant domestic terrorist and SOB Ayers is. But that message is going to come up against a media that is hostile, determined to downplay the ties and/or willing to lie. (What the heck got into CNN lately? The past few weeks, they’re getting things 180 degrees flat wrong, again and again, about easily verifiable facts and the mistakes always benefit Obama. When all the mistakes point in the same direction, one suspects they’re not really mistakes.)
But I cannot emphasize enough how much the Campaign Spot’s readership is yearning for the Republican nominee to lay out the various ways that Democrats on Capitol Hill aided and abetted the mismanagement and risky gambles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Atrocious management at Fannie and Freddie isn’t the sole reason for our financial mess, but it’s a big one. And there were certain voices in Congress, generally on the right, who saw it as risky, and a lot of loud voices on the Hill, generally on the left, insisting that nothing was wrong.
The RNC web ad is a pretty good start, but how many will see it? (About 155,000 so far, in an electorate that will be measured in the tens of millions, probably considerably more than 2004’s 122 million.) Can the 1:30 version be cut down and put on television? Why can’t John McCain and Sarah Palin make the points about the how the crisis was built illustrated in the “Burning Down the House” (with the revised music) YouTube video? Could McCain please, please bring up some of this in Tuesday’s debate?
Don’t the American people deserve to know that Democrat Barney Frank, then-ranking member and now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said, “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing”? Isn’t the fact that the ranking Democrat in charge of oversight of Fannie Mae was in a sexual relationship with a high-ranking Fannie Mae executive a glaring conflict of interest? Isn’t it worth noting that Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters insisted, “we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines”? Shouldn’t the American people know that Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks insist that “there’s been nothing that was indicated that’s wrong with Fannie Mae”?
If nothing else, shouldn’t we salute Democratic Rep. Artur Davis for saying, “Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.” (His statement also criticized Republicans for lax regulation of Wall Street.)
One has to suspect that Obama’s ties to Wright, Rezko and Ayers — sounds like a law firm of evil — have persuaded just about all the voters that they’re going to persuade. But Americans are furious over the financial mess, and eager to blame somebody. The McCain campaign would be doing the nation a service by spelling out exactly whose bad decisions helped get us into this mess and how.
The excuses given by an unnamed source to U.S. News and World Report will not fly, and Spruiell’s objections are spot-on. I might even be harsher – does McCain want to be president and lead on all issues, or does he just want to handle the easily-explained issues? If John McCain doesn’t feel that the Democrats’ refusal to confront mismanagement of government-backed institutions that gambled and lost, requiring a massive infusion of taxpayer dollars, isn’t worth making an argument about, then you might as well let Obama have the presidency.
(And ever since the convention speech, I’ve gotten several e-mails a day, with many readers saying, “Since you’re in a position to suggest lines to Palin’s team, why don’t you tell her to say, ‘blah blah blah.’ Some are great, some are okay, and some are dreadful. But I haven’t forwarded any, and don’t plan on doing so, since my job is to write about the campaigns instead of writing for them. I’d urge readers to use their best lines themselves.)