I’ve argued before that it is deeply ironic that the financial crisis benefited the Democrats this year, since the Democrats drove the reckless expansion of access to mortgages that led to the crisis, while Republicans — specifically, McCain and the Bush Administration — were sounding alarms.
As usual, Charles Krauthammer has the explanation:
This was not just a meltdown but a panic. For an agonizing few days, there was a collapse of faith in the entire financial system — a run on banks, panicky money-market withdrawals, flights to safety, the impulse to hide one’s savings under a mattress.
This did not just have the obvious effect of turning people against the incumbent party, however great or tenuous its responsibility for the crisis. It had the more profound effect of making people seek shelter in government.
After all, if even Goldman Sachs was getting government protection, why not you? And offering the comfort and safety of government is the Democratic Party’s vocation. With a Republican White House having partially nationalized the banks and just about everything else, McCain’s final anti-Obama maneuver — Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth charges of socialism — became almost comical.
In my next life, I want to be Charles Krauthammer, ideally without the whole paralysis thing. My path from liberal to neocon has paralleled his, and he has an uncanny ability to state, with perfect clarity, insights on current events that are only beginning to rattle around in my head.