As we have watched the fall of Freddy Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch it reminds us of another time–in the not so distant past-when this country faced the S&L crisis. John McCain intervened to protect S&L magnate Charles Keating from federal regulators. He said in his initial defense of his actions that “I have done this kind of thing many, many times,” and said the Lincoln case was like “helping the little lady who didn’t get her Social Security.” McCain was criticized by the Committee for exercising “poor judgment” when he met with the federal regulators on Keating’s behalf.
He got off lightly, according to one bank regulator from California; he felt that Keating’s business involvement with Cindy McCain was an obvious conflict of interest. After being rebuked that is when the “Maverick” was born, as he tried to distance himself from the scandal.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown felt this was the time to bring up John McCain with all the lax oversight we have witnessed, shareholders losses and the taxpayers are footing the bill again. Déjà vu.
Here is what Brown had to say to Huffington Post:
“It is not so much his economic proposals but his economic record,” Brown said of McCain. “His main adviser is Phil Gramm — he was his mentor in the Senate — and you just tie it all together. Of course John McCain supported the oil industry, he has oil lobbyists working for him. Of course John McCain supported these trade agreements, he has got Wall Street people working for him… It is all wrapped up together. John McCain is a creature of these interest groups in Washington. He is no maverick and, from the Keating Five on, his ethics have been questionable. He’s not a maverick and Barack has got to just keep hammering on that.”
Obama points out parallels of the S&L crisis and today’s current financial failings in a speech he made.
“Instead of sensible reform that rewarded success and freed the creative forces of the market, too often we’ve excused an ethic of greed, corner-cutting and inside dealing that threatens the long-term stability of our economic system,” he said. “It happened in the 1980s, when we loosened restrictions on Savings and Loans and appointed regulators who ignored even these weaker rules. Too many S&Ls took advantage of the lax rules set by Washington to gamble that they could make big money in speculative real estate.”
With the US economy battered and bruised–from the housing crisis to the catastrophic failure of the Wall Street financial firms-and John McCain’s economic guru, Phil Gramm helped create today’s subprime meltdown. This is all so hauntingly familiar to the role he played in the 80’s. John McCain has been given a pass, to glide through this election by the press, without connecting the dots to all the ties John McCain has with lobbyists and powerful, well connected men behind the scenes.
We need to remind all Americans of these important and disturbing facts about John McCain. He’s no “Maverick”, he stands for the policies that have put this country once again on the brink of financial disaster. That’s not change I can believe in.. How about you?