BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO
The word of the moment for conservatives is outrage. We heard them use it most of the day yesterday, and it’s likely we’ll hear it again today.
In a campaign stop in Virginia yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden reminded the crowd that some government monitoring of the banking industry might help to prevent another financial catastrophe like the one that occurred at the end of George W. Bush’s second term. The same one that brought about the Great Recession.
Biden warned the crowd that Governor Romney’s plan to remove those regulations could “chain” Americans to another taxpayer-funded bailout. Conservatives gasped at the remark. There were African-Americans in the crowd, Joe Scarborough, said this morning. The MSNBC host of “Morning Joe” said, Biden knew he was using coded language.
Then the show’s producers showed Romney speaking yesterday afternoon, sounding like he was delivering a eulogy on a Spanish soap opera. He denounced the smear tactics of the Obama campaign, and he moaned that the president has degraded the White House.
Biden later said he meant to use the word “unshackle” in reference to a remark made by Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan. The comments from both men can be seen in this NPR report, and it’s unlikely either was making an insensitive reference to race.
While the rest of the show’s co-hosts feigned their disgust with Biden’s comments, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart abruptly turned the conversation on its side. Where was the outrage from conservatives over the coded language used against this president during his entire first term in office, Capehart asked. Where was all of the indignation to references to Obama’s birthplace, his alleged Muslim heritage, and his food stamp presidency?
Where was Romney’s anger then?
Viewers did have a right to be outraged over this spectacle, Capehart said, but for a different reason. A conversation about what really happened in the banking industry – which nearly caused an international collapse of the financial markets – was side-stepped, he said And he’s right.
It’s outrageous that most Americans saw huge losses in their 401k accounts, while the folks culpable for the mess walked away with millions. While most Americans saw their retirement savings evaporate and their plans to send their children to college get postponed, the Wall Street set complained about not getting bonuses.
It’s an outrage that the crowd with a half dozen homes was disgusted by middle-class Americans trying to leverage the meager equity out of their only home.
And it’s an outrage that years later, no one associated with the financial collapse has been charged for any criminal wrongdoing. But the people who have the courage to protest against the actions of these robber barons and their Republican allies are often arrested.