Karl Rove Says "President Bush Tried to Rein In Fan and Fred"
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In today's Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove has an op-ed saying "President Bush Tried to Rein In Fan and Fred." It's true that liberal Democrats had been leading the war against "redlining" for years before  Bush took over, and that to the extent that Bush is to blame, it's because he was acting (on the advice of Karl Rove) like a liberal Democrat. It's also clear that when he decided to act like a liberal Democrat, he did so good and hard. This is from Steve Sailer's piece, Karl Rove–Architect Of The Minority Mortgage Meltdown, [September 28, 2008].

In December 2003, when signing the American Dream Downpayment Act, Bush bragged:

"Last year I set a goal to add 5.5 million new minority homeowners in America by the end of the decade. That is an attainable goal; that is an essential goal. And we're making progress toward that goal. In the past 18 months, more than 1 million minority families have become homeowners. (Applause.) And there's more that we can do to achieve the goal. The law I sign today will help us build on this progress in a very practical way."

What was truly significant about Bush's 2002 speeches (including the doozy he delivered on October 15, 2002 at his White House conference, which you should read for the schadenfreude alone) was not the legislation he endorsed–but the unsubtle message he was sending to lenders and, most importantly, to his own employees, the federal regulators.

Bush made clear at his October 15, 2002 conference that he opposed not merely discriminating against borrowers who might turn out to be bad credit risks–he wanted more money to go to documented bad credit risks. He brayed:

"Freddie Mac recently began 25 initiatives around the country to dismantle barriers and create greater opportunities for homeownership. One of the programs is designed to help deserving families who have bad credit histories to qualify for homeownership loans."

Let's put Bush's influence in perspective. I'm not saying that financial institutions would intentionally make hundreds of billions of dollars worth of bad loans just on the President's say-so. But what I am saying is that federal employees, such as financial regulators, do listen closely to what the Chief Executive says about what he wants done regarding those iffy loans.

Read the whole thing.
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