This is a copy of a letter from 2004 House Democrats and sent to then-President George W Bush. In it, the signatories complained that the administration had taken a hard line with ‘housing-related government sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by insisting on emphasizing fiscal prudence and responsible lending over increased affordable housing access. The relevant section?

We have been concerned that the Administration’s legislative proposal regarding the GSEs would weaken affordable housing performance by the GSEs, by emphasizing only safety and soundness. While the GSEs’ affordable housing mission is not in any way incompatible with their safety and soundness, an exclusive focus on safety and soundness is likely to come, in practice, at the expense of affordable housing.

Needless to say, this letter more or less completely subverts the narrative – lovingly created during the 2008 campaign, and kept up ever since – that the entire housing meltdown was really the (racist) Republicans’ fault.  Barney Frank is particularly outrageous, here: he’s gone from being Freddie Mac’s most devoted patron to calling for its dissolution without once explaining (or apologizing for) his own role in the mess.  Which is a strategy that worked fine in 2008; but it isn’t 2008 anymore.

Several additional thoughts on the matter:

  1. I think that we have established by now that the unprincipled expansion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – fueled by Democrats (including Maxine Waters, who is under investigation right now for using TARP money to bail out her husband’s residential loan-happy bank), by the way – is incompatible with promoting ‘safety and soundness’.
  2. I’m pretty sure that having our GSEs in a state of perpetual bailout is doing even more to hurt access to affordable housing.
  3. The signatories of the letter are, to the best of my knowledge, either all still in Congress or have had their seats taken by another Democrat.  This should be repaired: there is a list below.

Moe Lane

Hypocrite District 2010 GOP Candidate Website
Artur Davis AL-07 Don Chamberlain
Mike Ross AR-04 Beth Anne Rankin
Raul M. Grijalva AZ-07 Ruth McClung
George Miller CA-07 Rick Tubbs
Barbara Lee CA-09 Gerald Hashimoto
Anna Eshoo CA-14 Dave Chapman
Michael M. Honda CA-15 Scott Kirkland
Sam Farr CA-17 Jeff Taylor
Brad Sherman CA-27 Mark Reed
Maxine Waters CA-29 John P. Colbert
Lucille Roybal-Allard CA-34 Wayne Miller
Nancy Pelosi CA-8 John Dennis
John Lewis GA-05 Fenn Little
Jim Marshall GA-08 Austin Scott
David Scott GA-13 Mike Crane
Sanford D. Bishop GA-2 Mike Keown
Luis V. Gutierrez IL-04 Israel Vasquez
Danny Davis IL-07 Mark Weiman
Dennis Mooore KS-03 Kevin Yoder
John Olver MA-01 Bill Gunn
Richard E. Neal MA-02 TBD
James McGovern MA-03 Brian Herr
Barney Frank MA-04 Sean Bielat
Martin Meehan MA-05 TBD
John F. Tierney MA-06 Bill Hudak
Michael Capuano MA-08 None
Stephen Lynch MA-09 TBD
William D Delahunt MA-10 TBD
Steny Hoyer MD-05 Charles Lollar /
Sander M. Levin MI-12 Don Volaric
John Dingell MI-15 Robert Steele
Betty McCollum MN-04 Teresa Collett
Lacy Clay MO-01 Robyn Hamlin
Bennie Thompson MS-02 Bill Marcy
Bob Etheridge NC-02 Renee Ellmers
David E. Price NC-04 B.J. Lawson
Melvin Watt NC-12 Greg Dority
Brad Miller NC-13 William A. Randall
Donald M Payne NJ-10 Michael Alonso
Robert Menedenz NJ-13 Henrietta Dwyer
Steve Israel NY-02 John Gomez
Carolyn McCarthy NY-04 Frank Scaturro
Gary Ackerman NY-05 TBD
Gergory Meeks NY-06 Asher Taub
Joseph Crowley NY-07 TBD
Edolphus Towns NY-10 TBD
Carolyn Maloney NY-14 TBD
Charles Rangel NY-15 Michel Faulkner
Joe Baca NY-23 TBD
Marcy Kaptur OH-09 Rich Iott
Earl Blumenauer OR-03 Delia Lopez
Robert A. Brady PA-01 Pia Varma
Chaka Fattah PA-02 Rick Hellberg
Paul E. Kanjorksi PA-11 Lou Barletta
Patrick Kennedy RI-01 John Loughlin
James Langevin RI-02 Bill Clegg
Ruben Hinojosa TX-15 Eddie Zamora
Charles  A. Gonzalez TX-20 Clayton Trotter
Chris Bell TX-25 Donna Campbell
Robert C Scott VA-03 Chuck Smith
James P. Moran VA-08 J. Patrick Murray
Jay Inslee WA-01 James Watkins
Jim McDermott WA-07 None
Nick Rahall WV-03 Elliott ‘Spike’ Maynard

Crossposted to Moe Lane.