Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Problem with Compassion

The problem isn't compassion. The problem comes when the government gets involved with it. Here's CNN:
After hearing the projections, Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden "argued that we were being too timid and that we needed to develop a plan that would save or create at least 3 million jobs," the aide said.
Will anybody ask the prez-elect exactly what "save or create" means? Seems it's either one or the other. But aside from that it's clear we have a new administration focused on spreading the wealth in a compassionate manner. That's what 'hope' was all about, right?

This morning's New York Times featured a column sub-titled 'The Reckoning' in which they blamed Bush for a large portion of our current meltdown. The piece never mentioned the Community Reinvestment Act, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, or others in Congress who bristled at clamping down on a program that made Jamie Gorelick and Franklin Raines filthy rich while bringing the dream of homeownership to their 'underserved' districts.
The only mention of Franklin Raines was an offhand comment about the administration 'loving us' (Fannie Mae) with no details about his Enron-like acconting scandals and subsequent ouster in 2005. For a truer picture of what happened in this whole mess invest some time to watch this.

But hold the phone, this isn't some kind of Sean Hannity kool aid post blaming the Democrats. Despite the Times article's one-sided nature it does hit on one of president Bush's biggest flaws-- a tendency to misuse compassion. He suffers from the same problem with illegal immigration, preferring to see illegal aliens as people first and lawbreakers second. We've seen the resulting chaos. How many sub-prime loans were made to illegals, for instance? One could also argue he nominated Harriet Miers for some of the same reasons.

Of course the left would immediately yell "Katrina" in an effort to shoot down this theory, but recall that one of his mitigations was to distribute relief credit cards that some used to purchase jewelry and porn. And those government-purchased trailers are at last check still sitting in a field down in Arkansas.

This isn't to say government should have no compassion. America leads the world in lending a helping hand during emergencies and we've spread wealth all over the world. Most Republicans are chastised for not having enough (see Cheney, Richard). But when compassion is applied to complex government solutions without proper regulation or oversight, and it leads to widespread unnecessary suffering, is it really that compassionate? Hopefully the new administration is taking notes.

MORE 12/21/08

The White House has now counterattacked, pointing out the missing elements of the story. They are correct of course. The Times' bias is utterly transparent these days but I'll stick with my opinion on Bush's tendencies. There's a school of thought that says speaking out from a presidential bully pulpit could cause a panic, which is reasonable, but it seems he could have done more behind the scenes. He has culpability.

Meanwhile, as this is being typed there's a story on History Channel about Star Wars that suggests George Lucas was using a Sith reference to president Bush when Anakin Skywalker said "with me or against me" in "Revenge of the Sith". No surprise there, especially since Lucas called Obama a Jedi when quizzed by reporters earlier this year. It's a wonder any Republican ever gets elected.

2 comments:

Jackpot said...
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Debbie said...

You are right about Bush. I remember him pushing for everybody to own their own home. He is not without blame here. But the idea that all Americans should have the opportunity to own a house is not new. All Americans have the opportunity, but not everyone should and can own a home. That's just a fact.

What got us into this mess is trying to give homes to people who could not afford them.

The NYT piece was a hit piece as usual, but everybody knows that.

These bailouts are just wrong.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth