We did not arrive at this crisis by some accident of history. What led us to this point was years and years of a philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street that viewed even common-sense regulation and oversight as unwise and unnecessary; that shredded consumer protections and loosened the rules of the road. CEOs and executives got reckless. Lobbyists got what they wanted. Politicians in both parties looked the other way until it was too late. And it is the American people who have paid the price. The events of this week have rendered a final verdict on that failed philosophy, and it will end if I am President of the United States. We must build upon the ideas I have laid out over the last several years about how to modernize our financial regulation in this country, and establish commonsense rules of the road for our financial system to help restore confidence in our financial system.
While his speech may seem "post-partisan" at first glance, read it again to see what Obama is really saying. He's actually placing the blame for this crisis directly where it should be: on the failed Reagan-Bush-McCain "supply side, trickle down, laissez-faire" philosophy of governance. For decades, the GOP has scared us with their "tax and spend lib'rul!" dogma while they've practiced a "Reverse Robin Hood" way of stealing from the working class to bequeath upon the oligarchs.
Even during President Clinton's years in the White House, the Republicans were sometimes able to scare him into submission by using cheap political tactics to get their way and deregulate the market even more. And ever since Bush II has been in office, too many Democrats have still been too afraid to actually challenge him on his economic record. So for Barack Obama to actually stand up and call out the Republicans for what they've done to cause this crisis, good on him.
I just hope we don't see Obama lose his voice ever again this year. If he wants to win, he needs to continue pointing out how McCain is more of the same economic failure, and how Obama will bring about real change that will not only undo what Bush broke, but also bring about economic justice by restoring our middle class and the safeguards that protect it. Obama's on the right track now, and I hope this is only the beginning.