Now Look What You Made Me Do

11/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Thomas Frank Author, 'Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?'

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.

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