The next battle in the political war is going to be assessing responsibility for the destruction of the financial industry. At first this seemed like a no-brainer to me: capitalism had been deregulated and freed to do its thing, and its thing happens to be boom-and-bust, euphoria-and-panic.
But conservatives are now counter-attacking, in the way they do so well, finding some government or non-market actor and pinning all the blame on them. Last week, in the space of two days, I heard four different commentators (one of them being George W. Bush) try to saddle Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with responsibility for the entire disaster. Others have found different liberal/state/nonmarket actors to go after. However unlikely it may seem, conservative strategists seem to think this is a winner, an issue that their side can ride to victory somewhere down the road.
Where they will give us more tax cuts, more privatization, more deregulation . . . and more destruction.
See also www.tcfrank.com.