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Foreclosure Fantasy Folderol

The conservative Republican ideology for this first decade of the new millennium (during which they led the world into two holy wars, bankrupted a nation, and linked radical fundamentalist Christianity to governing) is boiled down to 11 words -- “screw you, I got mine, grow up and stop your whining!” -- is now spinning dangerously out of control.


CNBC’s tone deaf and decaf deprived Mercantile Exchange editor Rick Santelli stood on the trading floor and declared his own Chicago Tea Party, because he was one of the fittest to survive the economic meltdown, railed against the Obama foreclosure bailout program. His right wing bleating ditto heads on talk radio and in the blogosphere dutifully followed and we had 36-hours of true media crazy. I took the kids to the zoo, it was better for everyone’s blood pressure.

A man who earns millions commentating and trading stood there telling those who have experienced the living hell of a property foreclosure or bankruptcy to “grow up” because he was part of the 92% who paid their mortgage, so why should he or we pay for someone else’s problem!

That is the true American Way I rejected when I left because no one with a shred of common decency ever got the microphone and said, “hey, what are we doing to help our neighbors in need.” Say what you want about regulated and socialistic Europe, but they take care of their own. National health care, benefits when down, and a safety net when needed. Instead, in the USA, it’s a complete net-free high wire act zone.

This clown would rather have row upon row of empty foreclosed houses next to his, destroying his own property’s value, to demonstrate how morally disciplined and superior he was to those suffering. That's the epitome of the last 20 years -- get yours at any cost -- and it made me ill.

I moved to Europe 12 years ago and rebuilt a much simpler life after being shattered by bitter divorce and a foreclosure I should have seen coming (despite dutifully paying $4,000 per month in cash and benefits, I found it inconceivable the ex would just stop paying the mortgage AND run up $85,000 in credit card debt). What Santelli misses is that behind every one of those foreclosure stories lays a personal tragedy of proportions one cannot imagine. I celebrate the resilience of those who come back. The right just piles on the pain and disdain.

It’s easy to label every person experiencing a foreclosure “lazy, irresponsible, or stupid.” That’s also the American Way: opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and in true Palinesque fashion, if there is an open microphone, blog comment page, or radio call-in -– “fire-in-the-hole!”

Name-calling, bloviating, and soap box speeches do well Sunday morning at Speaker’s corner in London’s Marble Arch… they fall woefully short though when you are forced to watch people sit at a real kitchen table in abject terror trying to figure out what to do when their own American Dream dies.

Suze Orman made it sound oh sooooo easy on NBC, telling everyone to have an emergency fund of at least 8 months salary. That horse has already left the barn yet you make millions on books and commentating (is there a pattern here?) and so it does not touch you directly.

Rick Santelli, was your Italian-Jewish mother piling on the guilt and chastising every person who already felt like crap because they were forced to live out of a car, labeling them stupid for “building an extra bathroom!” How many people ended their lives within the hour of this broadcast? Should he not be held criminally responsible for being the last straw, because he won’t take any moral or personal responsibility for that.

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President Obama stepped into a cesspit -- that war profiteers and orgy traders like Santelli created -- and ended the party. He is the responsible adult walking into a teenage party filled with alcohol, bongs, and kids using every bed upstairs. He sent everyone home in a taxi, calling their parents to meet their kids and talk to them (yesterday he told America’s mayors that the Stim Bill money needs to be spent smartly) and is trying to bring order, adult supervision, and common sense to end two decades worth of an orgy of greed and avarice. For this, these goons have an open license to incite racial hatred and revolution?

How crazy is crazy?

Republican governors refuse federal bailout funds, depriving their states instead of providing for needed services just to make a political ideological point?

Rush Limbaugh is called out by conservative Christian preacher Pat Robertson for hoping President Obama fails?

On the campaign trail McCain supporters at a Sarah Palin rally yell “terrorist” and “kill him” about Obama?

Newly minted Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, facing startling ethics problems and as the only elected leader of the party (funny how he along with one other candidate for the leadership position and two other delegates were the only blacks in the room) will try to re-make the party into a hip-hop style to woo young ethnic voters?

The only person making sense the last 36 hours was former DNC Chairman Howard Dean who said the Republican Party has yet to get the message in Washington that voters sent Barack Obama to Washington because they are tired and want him to change the tone. The reason Republican governors are bucking their party and accepting the Stim Bill is they are accountable and have to get something done beyond fomenting hatred and hot air.

When Alan Keyes, a man who has failed to win any seat in any of the three presidential and two senate races he has run and was defeated by Obama for his Senate seat 70-27% in 2004, calls President Obama a radical communist who will destroy the country and declares war on behalf of the lunatics who are truly running this asylum, it is a sure sign the Republicans just don't get it.


Wow, one month to the day since he was sworn in. He must really have people scared in the Republican Party. Well done, Mister President!

Denis Campbell

Denis Campbell is a US journalist based in the United Kingdom. He contributes to newspapers and magazines, is a BBC Radio election commentator and publishes the daily e-magazine The Vadimus Post from the Latin Quo Vadimus – where are we headed and do we know why?