Baldwin Blames Financial Crisis on Clinton, Dems and Barney Frank

If a Bush-bashing, Republican-hating nincompoop like Alec Baldwin understands that Democrats are responsible for the current financial crisis, and is willing to say so on national television, why can't America's so-called "real" journalists?

Although it seems unlikely that Baldwin watches "The Factor," it is awfully coincidental that roughly 24 hours after Fox News's Bill O'Reilly tore Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) apart for his role in propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the typically inept Baldwin, appearing on HBO's "Real Time," not only pointed fingers at Frank for the current crisis, but also blamed former President Clinton and fellow Democrats.

Maybe more delicious, this came moments after comedian Garry Shandling blamed it all on -- wait for it -- George W. Bush (video embedded right, h/t American Thinker's Marc Sheppard):

GARRY SHANDLING, COMEDIAN: Is it as simple as George Bush doesn't listen to Suzy Orman who has the simplest, little basic laws like "Don't spend more than you have?" So, you go back to the war. Don't you go back to the war?

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: That Suzy Orman knows her stuff, I'll tell you. She does.

SHANDLING: Alec, what did..What, what did you say?

BALDWIN: I said that Suzy Orman knows some stuff, she really does. You can't deny that. But I want to say one quick thing. I just blew his mind.

SHANDLING: Hold on...

BALDWIN: I wanted to pull the camera away, so I just threw that dirt in his face. 

SHANDLING: I said you're aggressive.

BALDWIN: I put the rosin on my glove.

SHANDLING: I love it. C'mon, let's get it on. 

BALDWIN: Let's get it on.

BILL MAHER, HOST: What is your...

BALDWIN: I'm gonna rape you...The, the thing we have to remember, a friend of mine who is very close to the financial community in New York pointed out that Democrats have a lot of the responsibility for this as well. I mean, it was Clinton who killed the Glass-Steagall, and it happened under a Democratic president. Barney Frank and his committee, they, they kept propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saying everything's fine, everything's fine, everything's good. And it was his job to know everything wasn't fine. And Barney Frank let you down and let us down as well. And so, but I want to say there's blame to go both ways. But I will say, I want to, I maybe keep beating this to death, but I still think anyone in this Congress who voted to add $140 billion to that bill, they should be ashamed of themselves. That is a disgrace. It's a disgrace. This Congress is a disgrace, Democrat and Republican. 

Imagine that. A man who typically seems incapable of finding the floor when he wakes up in the morning clearly understands the current financial crisis better than the overwhelming majority of Obama-loving sycophants in the press.

Although this occurred on a political comedy talk show, the joke is really on us for if the media were actually doing their jobs, we might be talking about the possibility of a Republican landslide at the polls next month rather than Obama taking over the White House with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

As such, before we applaud Baldwin for doing what so few in the press are willing to, we should still be asking ourselves why the truth being uttered on national television should be at all so surprising.

For the record, what Baldwin was referring to was 1999's Financial Services Modernization Act -- better known under the names of its authors Gramm-Leach-Bliley -- which, amongst other things:

  • Repeal[ed] the restrictions on banks affiliating with securities firms contained in sections 20 and 32 of the Glass-Steagall Act.
  • Create[d] a new "financial holding company" under section 4 of the Bank Holding Company Act. Such holding company can engage in a statutorily provided list of financial activities, including insurance and securities underwriting and agency activities, merchant banking and insurance company portfolio investment activities. Activities that are "complementary" to financial activities also are authorized. The nonfinancial activities of firms predominantly engaged in financial activities (at least 85% financial) are grandfathered for at least 10 years, with a possibility for a five year extension.

For those unfamiliar, the Glass-Steagall Act was the 1933 legislation separating the functions of banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies designed to prevent another crash like what occurred in 1929. Congress has been whittling away at these restrictions since 1980, and finally removed the last vestiges with Gramm-Leach-Bliley in 1999.

Readers are advised that this bill passed by a vote of 362-57 in the House, and 90-8 in the Senate. As such, it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Maybe more important, as it was signed into law on November 12, 1999, despite all the blame disgraceful Democrats and media members have been assigning President Bush during this financial crisis, he had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the legislation that allowed financial institutions to engage in the activities that have led to and caused the current banking and lending meltdown.

Absolutely nothing.

That someone as intellectually challenged as Alec Baldwin knows this, while virtually no major mainstream press members other than those on Fox News either do or are willing to admit it, is truly disgraceful.

HBO Real Time Barney Frank Alec Baldwin Garry Shandling
Noel Sheppard's picture

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