From Which of These Guys Would You Buy a Used Car?

This presidential election has been spun in every way under the sun by pundits from coast to coast.  But if one were to boil this huge pot of verbosity down to the only solid matter left, what single question would remain? 

When it comes to politics, my grandfather's election question has always been the most reliable:

"From which of these guys would you buy a used car?"

As my grandfather would explain, honesty and character are truly the only things one can count on in a candidate.  Once a man is in office, everything else -- promises, platforms, programs -- can be left at the polling-place door.  But character and integrity are indispensable, not easily shed behind even the grandest closed doors.

J. C. Watts is a man after my grandfather's heart, especially on "character": 

"Everyone tries to define this thing called ‘character.'  It's not hard.  Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking."

Which is precisely why 2008 may be the easiest choice Americans have had in a long, long time.  And the current financial crisis provides the perfect test case for my grandfather's used-car-lot question.

A Tale of Two Salesmen

Even without his teleprompter last Friday night, Barack Obama cut a fine figure of a man and gave one pretty terrific sales pitch on the financial crisis.  He managed to smoothly use his "Bush's fault" mantra, adding the other tried-and-successful-so-far line about McCain "voting with Bush 90% of the time."  He even managed to throw in the pitch about being the guy who will protect "the middle-class," which he has already turned into a TV sales ad

What a heap of lying balderdash!

Such brazen lies have not been seen in public since Slick Willy's, "I did not have sex with that woman."

As clearly evidenced by on-the-record events from the past decade, this debacle is only the fault of Republicans in so far as they failed in their numerous attempts to rein in the financial fraud being committed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Democratic Black Caucus, the Democratic leadership in Congress, and yes, even Barney Frank and Barack Obama, personally.  At this point, we could call Frank and Obama the it's-all-their-fault-finger-pointing twins.

We now know that the entire sub-prime mortgage meltdown that caused this crisis can be laid directly at the feet of Democrats in the Clinton Administration, especially Franklin Raines and Jaime Gorelick.  We know that Wall Street can hardly bear all the blame, when Congress forces lending institutions to make loans to people who could never afford to pay them back.  And it was this huge influx of money into the housing market that inflated the bubble, which crashed last month, and still hasn't stopped wrecking our economy and credit markets, like a line of falling dominoes. 

Do Democrats simply fail to understand that trust is the commodity that actually makes our economy sound? 

That lost trust cannot be instantly restored? 

We now know that lots of political fat cats have gotten rich on this housing scam, and that taxpayers are being railroaded into taking the fall for them.  We know that Barney Frank, Chairman of the Banking Committee, was a chief enabler of the phony mortgage house of cards that has finally come crumbling to the ground, and now threatens every one of us.

And we know that the top three recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyist -- yes, Senator Obama, lobbyist! -- money for all this protection of Fannie/Freddie fraud, were Democrats.  Chris Dodd, who tried to ram the bailout through without a public airing, has been the #1 recipient since 1989, at a walloping $165,400. 

(Open Secrets.org has the whole list here.

Senator Obama, of the oh-so-squeaky-clean conscience crowd, comes in as the #2 recipient, at $126,349, after less than 4 years in the Senate.  Does Senator Obama not understand the meaning of the word, "lobbyist," any better than Bill Clinton understood the meaning of the word, "is"?  It would certainly seem so.

Not only that, but Barack Obama has also been in the tidy Chicago bed of the Pritzker family since 2002, that Pritzker family with a banking fortune in excess of $15 billion.  Penny Pritzker, who is currently Barack Obama's campaign finance Chairwoman, was also on the board of Superior Bank of Chicago (part of the Pritzker financial empire), when it failed in 2001, due to the same problem we have now.  Overinvestment in  sub-prime mortgages. 

As meticulously summarized last week by Edward Sisson, at the American Spectator, Obama's finance Chair was actually the very person, who persuaded federal regulators to go along with these speculative ventures in risky loans, a move that resulted in the bank's failure and a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Yet Senator Obama thinks it's just fine and dandy to have her as his finance Chairwoman, and said Sunday that on the financial crisis, Senator McCain is "out of touch." 

Now that's audacity with a capital A!

Obama's claiming to be above dirty politics, while shamelessly taking hundreds of thousands from these lobbyists and surrounding himself with public shysters seems downright hypocritical.

Buy a used car from Obama? 

At this point, I would not buy a mechanical pencil from the man, much less an automobile.

John McCain, on the other hand, seems to have a very clear record when it comes to the current financial mess.  It is not 100% blot-free; he has received $21,500 from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac since 1989.  This is not really very much, especially compared with Senator Obama's $126,349 in less than 4 years.

And Senator McCain also made a pretty bold attempt to head off the current meltdown by co-sponsoring legislation that would have overhauled the regulatory body that oversaw the sub-prime housing debacle.  In 2005, McCain spoke passionately about the need for this action to avoid the current crisis:

"I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

"I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation."

The bill that could have avoided this crisis died, however, as reported by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

"It never made it out of committee.  Chris Dodd, then the ranking member of the Banking Committee and now its chair, was in the middle of receiving preferential loan treatment from Countrywide Mortgage, one of the companies gaming the system in the credit crisis."

Senator McCain, other Republicans in Congress and even President Bush all tried to warn of the coming crisis, urged regulatory reform, and were fought at every juncture by Democrats.

No wonder John McCain was having such a hard time containing his utter disdain for Barack Obama on the stage at last Friday's debate.  When John McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington, it was to make sure that the Democrats responsible for the putting our Country in such a fix did not ram through an even worse fix-it bill, without any protections for us taxpayers.  They had plenty of votes to do it, and the President was evidently prepared to do anything to keep the entire Country from going down.

Senator McCain even graciously tried to give the whole thing an aura of bi-partisanship.  Evidently, he does understand that trust is the foundation of our economy, even if Democrats do not.

Our media elites can play cover-up for their Democratic Party darlings all they want.  I'm just glad that there are at least a few Americans left who are willing to put the Country first.  Senator McCain is definitely one of them.

At this juncture, I haven't a single doubt about which of these two men -- Obama or McCain -- I would choose to sell me a used car. 

Do you?

Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She blogs at kyleanneshiver.com. 
This presidential election has been spun in every way under the sun by pundits from coast to coast.  But if one were to boil this huge pot of verbosity down to the only solid matter left, what single question would remain? 

When it comes to politics, my grandfather's election question has always been the most reliable:

"From which of these guys would you buy a used car?"

As my grandfather would explain, honesty and character are truly the only things one can count on in a candidate.  Once a man is in office, everything else -- promises, platforms, programs -- can be left at the polling-place door.  But character and integrity are indispensable, not easily shed behind even the grandest closed doors.

J. C. Watts is a man after my grandfather's heart, especially on "character": 

"Everyone tries to define this thing called ‘character.'  It's not hard.  Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking."

Which is precisely why 2008 may be the easiest choice Americans have had in a long, long time.  And the current financial crisis provides the perfect test case for my grandfather's used-car-lot question.

A Tale of Two Salesmen

Even without his teleprompter last Friday night, Barack Obama cut a fine figure of a man and gave one pretty terrific sales pitch on the financial crisis.  He managed to smoothly use his "Bush's fault" mantra, adding the other tried-and-successful-so-far line about McCain "voting with Bush 90% of the time."  He even managed to throw in the pitch about being the guy who will protect "the middle-class," which he has already turned into a TV sales ad

What a heap of lying balderdash!

Such brazen lies have not been seen in public since Slick Willy's, "I did not have sex with that woman."

As clearly evidenced by on-the-record events from the past decade, this debacle is only the fault of Republicans in so far as they failed in their numerous attempts to rein in the financial fraud being committed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Democratic Black Caucus, the Democratic leadership in Congress, and yes, even Barney Frank and Barack Obama, personally.  At this point, we could call Frank and Obama the it's-all-their-fault-finger-pointing twins.

We now know that the entire sub-prime mortgage meltdown that caused this crisis can be laid directly at the feet of Democrats in the Clinton Administration, especially Franklin Raines and Jaime Gorelick.  We know that Wall Street can hardly bear all the blame, when Congress forces lending institutions to make loans to people who could never afford to pay them back.  And it was this huge influx of money into the housing market that inflated the bubble, which crashed last month, and still hasn't stopped wrecking our economy and credit markets, like a line of falling dominoes. 

Do Democrats simply fail to understand that trust is the commodity that actually makes our economy sound? 

That lost trust cannot be instantly restored? 

We now know that lots of political fat cats have gotten rich on this housing scam, and that taxpayers are being railroaded into taking the fall for them.  We know that Barney Frank, Chairman of the Banking Committee, was a chief enabler of the phony mortgage house of cards that has finally come crumbling to the ground, and now threatens every one of us.

And we know that the top three recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyist -- yes, Senator Obama, lobbyist! -- money for all this protection of Fannie/Freddie fraud, were Democrats.  Chris Dodd, who tried to ram the bailout through without a public airing, has been the #1 recipient since 1989, at a walloping $165,400. 

(Open Secrets.org has the whole list here.

Senator Obama, of the oh-so-squeaky-clean conscience crowd, comes in as the #2 recipient, at $126,349, after less than 4 years in the Senate.  Does Senator Obama not understand the meaning of the word, "lobbyist," any better than Bill Clinton understood the meaning of the word, "is"?  It would certainly seem so.

Not only that, but Barack Obama has also been in the tidy Chicago bed of the Pritzker family since 2002, that Pritzker family with a banking fortune in excess of $15 billion.  Penny Pritzker, who is currently Barack Obama's campaign finance Chairwoman, was also on the board of Superior Bank of Chicago (part of the Pritzker financial empire), when it failed in 2001, due to the same problem we have now.  Overinvestment in  sub-prime mortgages. 

As meticulously summarized last week by Edward Sisson, at the American Spectator, Obama's finance Chair was actually the very person, who persuaded federal regulators to go along with these speculative ventures in risky loans, a move that resulted in the bank's failure and a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Yet Senator Obama thinks it's just fine and dandy to have her as his finance Chairwoman, and said Sunday that on the financial crisis, Senator McCain is "out of touch." 

Now that's audacity with a capital A!

Obama's claiming to be above dirty politics, while shamelessly taking hundreds of thousands from these lobbyists and surrounding himself with public shysters seems downright hypocritical.

Buy a used car from Obama? 

At this point, I would not buy a mechanical pencil from the man, much less an automobile.

John McCain, on the other hand, seems to have a very clear record when it comes to the current financial mess.  It is not 100% blot-free; he has received $21,500 from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac since 1989.  This is not really very much, especially compared with Senator Obama's $126,349 in less than 4 years.

And Senator McCain also made a pretty bold attempt to head off the current meltdown by co-sponsoring legislation that would have overhauled the regulatory body that oversaw the sub-prime housing debacle.  In 2005, McCain spoke passionately about the need for this action to avoid the current crisis:

"I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

"I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation."

The bill that could have avoided this crisis died, however, as reported by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

"It never made it out of committee.  Chris Dodd, then the ranking member of the Banking Committee and now its chair, was in the middle of receiving preferential loan treatment from Countrywide Mortgage, one of the companies gaming the system in the credit crisis."

Senator McCain, other Republicans in Congress and even President Bush all tried to warn of the coming crisis, urged regulatory reform, and were fought at every juncture by Democrats.

No wonder John McCain was having such a hard time containing his utter disdain for Barack Obama on the stage at last Friday's debate.  When John McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington, it was to make sure that the Democrats responsible for the putting our Country in such a fix did not ram through an even worse fix-it bill, without any protections for us taxpayers.  They had plenty of votes to do it, and the President was evidently prepared to do anything to keep the entire Country from going down.

Senator McCain even graciously tried to give the whole thing an aura of bi-partisanship.  Evidently, he does understand that trust is the foundation of our economy, even if Democrats do not.

Our media elites can play cover-up for their Democratic Party darlings all they want.  I'm just glad that there are at least a few Americans left who are willing to put the Country first.  Senator McCain is definitely one of them.

At this juncture, I haven't a single doubt about which of these two men -- Obama or McCain -- I would choose to sell me a used car. 

Do you?

Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She blogs at kyleanneshiver.com.