If you think this year has been one of great turmoil and uncertainty, just wait until next year.
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the following is a preview about what might happen in 2009 and beyond in the aftermath of the Great Financial Debacle of 2008. The public will demand someone be held accountable and it will be ugly even by Washington standards. The media guillotine will have a sharp edge and be very busy.
My scenario assumes an Obama Administration. My apologies to Republicans but I think they will like the ending.
So take a trip in my handy time machine as we fast forward to the spring of 2009…
Spring is lovely in Washington in 2009. The cherry blossoms are in bloom and hope springs eternal, especially since Barack Obama is President and the evil Romans, OOPS, I mean Republicans and Wall Street moneychangers are “driven from the temple of the people” and the people’s souls are healed. (Planetary healing is the agenda for year two of the Great Obama Awakening and in year three he will strike a rock and alternative energy will flow giving us energy independence).
However there are dark clouds on the horizon. Clouds that will consume Washington and the fledgling Obama Administration
Investigations by the FBI and a Federal Grand Jury have revealed such a level of government corruption and congressional malfeasance in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Scandal that President Obama is being pressured to appoint a Special Counsel to get to the bottom of it. The editorial pages are screaming for an independent investigation.
“Congress cannot be trusted to investigate itself” intones the Los Angeles Times. “Time for accountability” states the Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal says, “Since 1977, Congressional Democrats used the nation’s financial system to push risky social policy and now we are paying the price.”
The New York-Washington media, with their ratings lower than a snake’s belly and their stocks basically worthless, begins its post-election navel gazing and decides that they need to go after the other side. And they will rationalize this by saying that, since we put Obama in office with no real vetting or the asking troubling questions about his past, the least we can do is to balance the ledger and go after Obama and the Democrats in Congress.
A worried Obama sees a perfect opportunity to do three things. First deflect any blame for the mess from his administration. Second drive a stake in the heart of the Clintons and put the focus on them and not his own dubious relationships with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And three, separate himself from the powerful committee chairmen in Congress who are squeezing him to sign onto their legislative agenda and not his. He also needs to assign blame so he does not get caught in the undertow of the tsunami of indictments and subpoenas.
Obama will then throw Bill and Hillary Clinton Chris Dodd and Barney Frank under a whole fleet of buses.
In announcing the appointment of a special counsel, President Obama said, “During the campaign I said there will be time to find blame later. That day has come. The 90s ushered in an era of easy money and fortunes built on paper not real assets. Bankers were pressured to lend money to people who could not qualify for traditional loans and greed on Wall Street was rampant. Now we must make sure it does not happen again and punish those who were responsible”.
Soon after his announcement, indictments are handed down and they include Jim Johnson, Fannie Mae CEO from 1991-1998, Franklin Raines, who succeeded Johnson in 1998 and served until 2004 as well as former Fannie Mae Vice Chairman and Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. All three are “perp walked” from their plush Washington offices and into federal custody, Gorelick in tears.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has no intention of calling any Congressional hearings related to the behavior of Barney Frank and others. “This was all caused by the Republicans”.
The “Oversight King” Henry Waxman can’t bring himself to investigate the debacle telling reporters, “I am having a hard time finding enough Republicans to punish”.
The mainstream media goes berserk and starts pushing nasty stories about the poster children for the Fannie Mae Freddie Mac mess, Barney Frank and his Senate counterpart Chris Dodd. In the first real assessment of the Clinton years the press says that the whole Clinton Boom was built on a house of cards.
Waxman is forced to recuse himself from any investigation and is treated for depression in Malibu, bunking with Lindsay Lohan.
Soon after, Dodd announces he will not seek re-election in 2010 so he can “spend more time with my family”. His career ends in disgrace.
Frank remains defiant, but even the voters in his safe Massachusetts district have had enough and even the liberal The Boston Globe calls for his resignation. With polls showing his re-election in doubt and a primary challenger making noise, Frank too announces he will not seek re-election, so he can “spend more time with my family”.
In fact by the end of 2009 a record number of veteran Congressmen and Senators decide not to seek re-election so they can “spend more time with their families”.
As the investigation deepens and the media piranha circle their prey, Vice President Biden has a lot of explaining to do for his actions over the years especially with his cozy relationship with MBNA, a Delaware bank now owned by the Bank of America.
Raines, Gorelick and Johnson go on trial in the summer of 2009. They all use the “Nuremberg Defense” and say they were “only following orders”. All are convicted of “Enron type accounting”. But during their trial a veritable who’s who of the Washington elite, Democrat and Republican is paraded as witnesses before the court, each one selling out someone else to save their own miserable skins. The rats leaving the sinking ship.
Washington is cannibalizing itself. Careers are ruined. The public is happy.
In the 2010 midterms, President Obama campaigns hard for Democrats, but Republicans take back both the House and the Senate. Harry Reid is sent back home to Searchlight, Nevada and other prominent Democrats including California’s Barbara Boxer go down to defeat.
President Obama reaches out to Republicans in his 2011 State of the Union Speech but they sit on their hands throughout the speech. After all that Obama blamed them for in 2008 and 2009, they are in no mood to work with him and set about their own agenda, and making his life miserable.
In despair, he reaches out to George W. Bush to ask how he handled the pressure. He gets voicemail at the ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Vice President Biden resigns for health reasons and to “spend more time with my family”.
Facing a still angry electorate and a lingering recession, Obama finds he is alone. Democrats distance themselves from this unpopular President and fight for their own survival. They act like they never heard of Obama.
Obama’s 2012 campaign is doomed from the start and he is buried in a 49 state landslide. Even Illinois goes against him and he only wins reliably blue Rhode Island.
On January 20, 2013, Sarah Palin is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States—the first woman and a Republican. Gloria Steinem sinks into deep depression and is found wandering the streets of New York mumbling over and over, “How could this have happened?”.
Two days later the New York Times declares bankruptcy. Three days later Katie Couric leaves CBS News so she can “spend more time with her family”.
Think I’m just kidding? Only time will tell.
See the attached link to view “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for Dummies”.