Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ruled by Resentment

Listening to the national discourse, it's pretty easy to see that any possible bailout of individuals in bad mortgage loans is probably going to fail. That is, if it's left up to the voters. I'm hearing the same kind of anger and resentment that we heard over the 'Wall Street Bailout' bill. To wit, people feel that they've been responsible, took on no more debt than they could afford, paid their bills on time - often at considerable difficulty - and for the government to bail out an imprudent neighbor who took advantage of what we now know was a ludicrous subprime loan just isn't fair.

It's odd but I think true that people would rather see their street plummet into decay with foreclosure lockboxes on every other door and their house value in the toilet in preference to seeing someone they have to see every day getting something they don't think they deserve.

Petty? Very. Short-sighted? Of course. But that's the way most people are. Trying telling them that bailing out their neighbor is ultimately in their own long-term best interests. Go on, try.

Weirdly, there's this from the National Review's David Frum, hardly a bleeding heart:

Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for a man who may well be the next president of the United States, incidentally the first African-American president?
I don't expect this line of reasoning to go over well with his readers.


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