Barney Frank and the financial crisis, Barney Frank quits, Democrats abandon white working class, Goodbye Barney Frank, Goodbye Herman Cain, Herman Cain Surrenders, Obama abandons working class, RIP Democratic Party
The previous week American politics was one marked by three major surrenders. Each event was telling and each with a different story to tell. Herman Cain, Barney Frank, and Democratic Party each announced they were giving up in one way or another.
Herman Cain Surrendered His Bid to Become President
The end of the week saw the latest surrender in the Republican run for president. Herman Cain decided to call it quits after a series of female accusers came forward. First came the revelation that he had three sexual harassment charges filed against him. This first chink in Herman Cain’s persona hurt him but did not sink him. The fact that the women were paid what amounted to a small amount of go away money and his outgoing manner combined to give him the benefit of the doubt. When another woman came out with a more graphic tale to tell it scratched a little deeper into his support. The fact that this woman also had financial difficulties and was standing beside a Democratic Party lawyer was enough to limit the damage to a couple of dropped percentage points. Then the latest woman showed up, armed with text messages (none of which were released) and thirteen years of history her story seemed credible to a large section of his base. Any man that would carry on an illicit affair for thirteen years is lacking the character needed to be a Republican presidential candidate. His base started to abandon him in droves and endorsements were withdrawn. Saturday he made it official, he was suspending his candidacy. (suspension allows him to continue to act as a candidate and use the money he has raised to run commercials in support of the party and even raise more money for political purposes)
The fact is even the last accuser had her problems. Financially strapped and unwilling to release the content of the texts she received from Herman it turned into a he said she said. Was she a pet charity project like Herman insisted or was there more? Who knows but the very fact he did not tell his wife is also problematic. The truth is his chances were wavering anyway, his meteoric rise had stalled even with out the torpedoes. His missteps and fumbles had been enough for many to question his qualifications. They were not nearly as plentiful or substantial as Obama’s were at this stage but Republicans are not Democrats, with Republicans competency trumps wanting to be historic. In the end he probably will be more effective working from the outside like Sarah Palin then as a candidate.
Barney Frank Announced He will Surrender His Seat in the House of Representatives
Barney Frank announcing his retirement was mostly a non-event. Almost no one thought he would be able to hold on to his seat come next year, retirement or defeat seemed inevitable. It was not that he had lost his base but the fact that his base had changed. In the end he was a victim of redistricting. Still it was news when he made it official. His supporter’s reactions were muted and his detractors celebratory. It seems his popularity even among Democrats, which always seemed miles wide, was, in reality, paper thin.
Barney had his moments, but to most it is his involvement in the banking disaster and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that will always define him. Because of his blocking of regulation, his pushing of subprime mortgages even as the financial system collapsed and claiming as late as July 14th, 2008 that the Fannie Mae was solid he is looked at as one of the disasters villians. Add to this steadfast refusal to take any blame for the problems that resulted he became arguably the most hated Democrat on Capitol Hill. His only challenger for this title would be Nancy Pelosi.
Divisive and ornery he could be kind to his friends but was crass and harsh to his critics. Barney never admitted a mistake and rarely apologized. While it is true he did not create the financial crisis alone his role was pivotal. What more than anything made him such a target was his outspoken denials and willingness to point fingers everywhere but at himself.
Barney enjoy your retirement, I am sure the Republicans will.
Democrats Surrendered Claim to the White Working Class
According to an article by New York Times blogger and long term political analyst Thomas Edsall the Democratic Party has given up on white working class Americans. The transformation of the party of the working class to the party of social engineers and the governmental dependents is now complete. This was not a transition that happened overnight. It really started with Jimmy Carter, a southern Democrat in name only. His weak kneed approach to communism and eagerness to accept a second rate America was out of touch with the working class Democrats that formed his base. These flag waving, patriotic and hard working folks did not appreciate being abandoned for the “gimme class” or being told to shut up and put on a sweater when things got ruff. Reagan grabbed these disenchanted voters and turned many away from the party of their birth for good. In Reagan, a plan spoken patriotic man who rode horses, split his own wood, and loved America, they saw a man that was everything they thought being a Democrat is suppose to be.
By the time the song “Song of the South” came out in 1988 and proclaimed “Daddy was a veteran, a southern Democrat, They ought to get a rich man to vote like that” the writing was on the wall. Clinton slowed the descent, especially by signing welfare reform, but the bleeding of support continued. This was most evident in the south where states that had been historically Democrat fail to Republicans one by one. The problem was the Democratic Party many Americans had identified with no longer existed. It had been taken over by collegiate 60s liberals that had a disdained for the riff raff that made America work. There new Democratic Party was too interested in social and economic justice to worry about those that earned their way by sweat and determination. These new Democrats were less religious, less patriotic and more elitist then the Democrats that came before. They were out of touch and out of step with main stream Americans who in turn were increasingly turning their backs on them.
Today the Democratic Party of Jefferson, Cleveland and Kennedy no longer exist if it ever really did. It is now a party of constituencies and special interests. Its ranks are made up of unions, college professors, poor minorities, far left anti-capitalist throwbacks, environmentalist and a host of others whose main commonality is they need to have a big all controlling government to advance their agendas. The worker who just wants to support his family and the businessman who just wants to make a living providing services to others have no place in the Democratic Party. The table is full and every seat taken, no need for apply or to even knock at the door.
RIP, The Democratic Party, 1792 to 2011
If you like this article pass it on