Obama, bailouts, and the New York Times’ fact-challenged corporatist elitism

Democrats lost only because the American people aren’t smart enough to understand how great all his policies are.

That’s my reading of the argument by NYTimes opinion writer Timothy Egan:

But more than anything, the fact that the president took on the structural flaws of a broken free enterprise system instead of focusing on things that the average voter could understand explains why his party was routed on Tuesday.

The piece is cheering up liberals apparently, and it’s a most-emailed article at NYTimes.com. Ira Stoll, at The Future of Capitalism, asks the right question: “What do Mr. Egan and the people e-mailing this piece to their friends from the New York Times site think they are if not average voters? Above-average voters?”

But if Egan does understand bailouts better than “the average voter,” he sure doesn’t show it here, where he makes up facts about the Bush bailouts of 2008:

Obama, as a senator, voted against the initial bailout of AIG, the reckless insurance giant.

I’d like Tim Egan to point me to that roll call vote. I may be missing something, but as I recall it, there was no vote on the AIG bailout while Obama was a senator. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York carried it out unilaterally, with NY Fed Tim Geithner at the helm, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke overseeing it all.

If anything, Obama voted FOR the AIG bailout after the fact by promoting Geithner to Treasury Secretary and reappointing Bernanke, whom Obama lauded for his “outside the box” thinking.

There’s a lot of silliness in Egan’s New York Times piece. Stoll, and CNBC’s John Carney (my brother) have good commentaries on it.

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