Of course according to any right thinking person, the New York Times not only has a liberal slant, but lies to make that slant seem reasonable. So we can't believe any of Joe Nocera's column he titled "An Inconvenient Truth" (the title itself a slap in the face of right thinking people). Sure Nocera acknowledges how Freddie and Fannie not only wrote their own legislation and ignored attempts to regulate them, but had the well known accounting scandals in middle of the last decade. He even admits they made a "belated, disastrous foray into subprime mortgages" which ended up costing us all about $150 billion. But Nocera claims that Fannie and Freddie were not at the center of the financial meltdown. How can he make such a preposterous claim?
All parody aside, I found Nocera's column to not only a clear (and very fair) examination of both the virtues and recent faults of Fannie and Freddie, but also a good explanation of their place in the alternative (fantasy) history that Republicans have constructed. One local conservative commenter recently claimed that the Community Reinvestment Act was at the heart of the 2008 financial meltdown, that making sure that poor people of color could get affordable mortgages had somehow turned into liberals forcing banks to sell McMansions to blacks who could make the mortgages and bankrupted the banks. When I copied and pasted a passage from the Wikipedia page on the CRA about how (according to Paul Krugman among others) the CRA had had little effect on the meltdown (compared to mortgages given to more affluent people and for commercial property), this local conservative commenter stated that Obama and Krugman (!) had "cooked" the books at the Fed, just like the Soviets used to do.
My point being, not just the Republican Presidential candidates or the Republicans in Congress with their identical Climate Change denying or new found adherence to the Austrian school of macroeconomics (with its simplistic monetary theories that they cling to even though the real world behaves just the opposite of what they say it is doing - have you noticed our current hyper-inflation?), but even local conservative columnists and commenters on blogs all say the same things in the same way. Some times it seems like Democrats almost admire the way the Republicans march in lockstep. I think they are no more than a third of the country (Democrats and independents are each also about a third), but their very unity gives them an inordinate amount of power. But I wouldn't want the Democrats to be that united, since it might mean all Democrats would have to believe something like creationism, or all have to be pro-choice, instead of thinking for themselves. I think Democrats should have principles, but should always be open to discussing ideas. At least that's the way I want to be.