I really, really wish that I was making this up, actually:
For those without video, it shows Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA-35) of the House Financial Services Committee... actually, summarizing this piece is almost impossible. The CNBC folks try their best to get some sort of coherent information out of Rep. Waters, and this is what they gleaned:
- Rep. Waters thinks that you can create a law requiring the banks to use alternatives to foreclosure in defaults and not mandate that somebody loses money in the process. This caused the first of many pauses in the interview.
- When asked whether people with underwater mortgages who are paying their mortgages anyway might be bugged at the notion that people who aren't are going to get consideration, Rep. Waters... I don't know; my nose started to bleed at that point and I lost consciousness.
- There is a horde of Attorney Generals just waiting for Rep. Waters to release them upon the bankers! OK, that one is sorta-kinda not completely and abjectly untrue.
- And, by the way, this entire foreclosure thing is the result of "massive collusion and fraud" by the banking industry.
- The CNBC guy - the CNBC woman did her best, but Rep. Waters apparently thinks 'moral hazard' is a golf term - made the mistake of pointing out that you can't actually assume fraud as a default option, and there's a lack of actual proof. Waters response? "It's proven by the fact that you have millions of people in foreclosure who should have never been in foreclosure... This just didn't happen because there were a lot of irresponsible people. Think about it, this is unprecedented that this many people, all of a sudden, would be in foreclosure."
- The use of the term 'collusion' is the problematical thing for the Democrats, here. While fraud doesn't necessarily require a conspiracy, collusion is the backbone of one.
So. Instead of the obvious - too obvious! - answer that our current foreclosure crisis was the result of the government foolishly encouraging people to take out mortgages that they couldn't afford, compounded by a governmental willingness to stomp on any attempts to put the brakes on that policy, and further compounded by the willingness by both the government and the banks to keep kicking the problem down the road... we get a banker conspiracy. And all those poor government officials and legislators... well, their mistakes were of omission, not commission.
But let us be grateful: in these enlightened times, at least the Democrats aren't suggesting that it's a Jewish banker conspiracy*. Although Rep. Walters certainly was happy to suggest at the very end that there may be foreign money involved in all of this...
Again: this is not some no-name, blink-and-you'll-miss-them Member of Congress like Grayson or Shea-Porter. Rep. Waters is on the Financial Services Committee and is one of its subchairs. She is also on the Judiciary Committee, and she is a Chief Deputy Whip. SHE SPEAKS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. And apparently the Democratic party is saying "secret banker conspiracy." If the Democrats don't want to be saying that, maybe they should make it clear that Rep. Waters doesn't get to speak for them...
Moe Lane (crosspost)