Here’s an interesting video from a Texas-based libertarian, John Barksdale (my spelling may be incorrect), who calls himself order9066. I’m impressed with the research he put into this subject, and I take his point very well that it was not just Republicans who were responsible for throwing out the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibited financial holding companies insured by the FDIC from owning other companies engaged in financial speculation such as Wall Street investment firms or insurance companies, with the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act of 1999.
While this video does serve as a corrective for the idea that Democrats share little or no blame in the gutting of New Deal protections that set-up the disaster of 2008, it goes overboard in pushing Republicans into the background of the blame picture. After all, the three authors and main sponsors of the bill were all Republicans, and both houses of Congress were, in fact, controlled by the GOP. But it does highlight two main points: The fingerprints of “Third Way” Democrats in Clinton’s White House (including Clinton himself, of course) are as much in evidence on the financial deregulation of the late 1990s as the Republicans’ are; and Congressional Democrats were ineffective, at best, in preventing (and, at worst, complicit in bringing on) Glass-Steagall’s demise.
But it would be simplistic to think politicians of either party bore sole responsibility for the disaster. As I’ve been arguing in previous posts, based on analysis by critics of the system like Max Keiser, Damon Vrabel, and Catherine Austin Fitts, to name just a few, this is not just a political problem we’re dealing with but a deep structural problem that has resulted in our system evolving to a politics in which the financially powerful call the shots. If it were merely a political problem, it could be solved in so many election cycles by replacing the current crop of representatives with ones more inclined to represent the interests of the people rather than those of the powerful. Does anyone really see that happening any time soon, given the centrality of financing and corporate lobbying to American democracy?
It will take more than elections to get at the neofeudal roots of the problem, and it will be incumbent upon all Americans interested in a solution to steer clear of the usual bi-partisan game-playing that mires American politics into a hugely and universally dissatisfying stasis. Our bi-polar politics of left and right have also failed us. It’s beyond time to reach through our prejudices, drop the talking points and work toward a true national consensus, if one is possible.