George W. Bush can’t quite figure out why his presidency is proving to be the greatest failure in modern history. In an an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson the other day, he was his usual clueless and inarticulate self.
GIBSON: Do you feel in any way responsible for what’s happening?
BUSH: You know, I’m the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President. [sic]
(Inarticulate is perhaps too kind. Sounds more like he’s doing a Linda Blair impression.)
Yeah, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1999, and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) that produced a speculative frenzy in oil and other commodities was passed in 2000, to the everlasting shame of Bill Clinton and Democratic senators like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. Just goes to show what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum.
But as the AP reported Monday, Bush paid no more attention to warnings that the housing market was set to explode than he paid to that infamous August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing titled: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.”
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer. Dec 1,
WASHINGTON – The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.
“Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect horror stories,” California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S. regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost her a job.
Bowing to aggressive lobbying — along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK — regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.
It’s bad enough that we’ll be spending the next few years, if not decades, trying to recover from Bush’s Great Recession. But I hope the mainstream media will spare us from the worst of the Republican revisionism and denial that is sure to follow.
But life will become a burden of existence unless you learn how to fail gracefully. There is an art in defeat which noble souls always acquire; you must know how to lose cheerfully; you must be less of disappointment. Never hesitate to admit failure. Make no attempt to hide failure under deceptive smiles and beaming optimism. It sounds well always to claim success, but the end results are appalling. Such a technique leads directly to the creation of a world of unreality and to the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••—The Urantia Book