Last week I wrote about conservative efforts to deflect attention away from the real causes of the current financial meltdown, deregulation, corporate greed, and the failure of conservative ideology, and pin it instead on scary minorities. Now Fox News has an article up about how this whole mess is really about the buttsex:
Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank's efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.
So did Frank's partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency's push to relax lending restrictions.
Whether there was a conflict of interest worth reporting about there is besides the point (hell, we have the husband of a fabulously beer heiress who plans to run the business from the White House running for the presidency), conservatives are using this to stir up homophobia so they don't have to take the fall for their own incompetence. More after.
Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank's relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannie's assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.
Both Frank and Moses assured the Wall Street Journal in 1992 that they took pains to avoid any conflicts of interest. Critics, however, remain skeptical.
Those "critics" that the Fox News report quotes from are merely Republican strategists, and they're complaining about how the media isn't covering this enough. The "media bias" card is even older than the homophobia one.
Edroso has more on the conservative blogosphere's reaction (via digby):
"PART OF WHY THE USA GOT IT UP THE YOU KNOW WHAT," bellows The Astute Bloggers. "HOMO BARNEY FRANK WAS SLEEPING WITH MALE FANNIE MAE EXEC FOR YEARS." Ace O'Spades is of course on it like Lindsay Lohan on Samantha Ronson, and his commenters spray milk (at least we think it's milk) out their noses ("This sickens me on so many levels"). Dad29 assails "back-door-banditry" and asks, "Why should THEY worry about imposing a huge national debt on children?" (Please don't tell Dad29 they're allowed to adopt now, or he'll wear out his slur thesaurus.)
And a reader sent me a link to a local conservative blogger who jumped on this homophobic meme:
If you wondered why U.S. Rep. Barney Frank was so vocal in his defense of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac four years ago when he fought efforts by the Bush administration and congressional Republicans to regulate the two out-of-control mortgage lender giants, you need look no further than the man sleeping next to him in his bed for many years. Frank's spouse, significant other, gay lover or whatever you want to call him was Herb Moses, a top executive at Fannie Mae.[...]
His selfish desire to satisfy his own sexual appetite at the expense of the public good is self-evident from his actions.
Seriously? Is he implying that Herb Moses withheld sex in exchange for votes, years after their relationship ended?
The narrative is ridiculous enough as it is. They want us to believe that the current crisis was caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac giving too much money to risky minorities. This would mean that it had nothing to do with the lack of transparency when selling these loans in bonds, the amount of abstract, non-existent money being used to buy and sell credit default swaps, and the largess of finance firms that grew and grew as Republicans passed deregulating legislation until they were too big to fail.
Their argument's an absurd attempt to play to Americans' baser instincts, and saying that liberal elites used sodomy to convince one another to let minorities destroy America is just icing on this cake.
Consider this, from the Fox News article:
"If this had been his ex-wife and he was Republican, I would bet every penny I have - or at least what's not in the stock market - that this would be considered germane," added Gainor, a T. Boone Pickens Fellow. "But everybody wants to avoid it because he's gay. It's the quintessential double standard."
Considering how much conservatives whine, piss, and moan when anyone suggests that same-sex relationships should be recognized at all, I might find it surprising that they want everyone to be talking about this relationship. But they're desperate, and desperate times call for ignoring their established narratives and grasping at bare hatred and prejudice to find a scapegoat.
So next week will probably be time to find a way to blame uppity women, transgender people, Islam, and the French.