Wednesday, October 07, 2009


"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I'm sure you've all heard this famous definition of insanity, which is quoted frequently, and is alternately attributed to Ben Franklin, or maybe Albert Einstein, or possibly some football coach somewhere. Whoever it was who said it first, the phrase remains popular because it has a lot of face validity and common sense behind it; and it happens to be a powerful and fairly compelling statement about the intractibility and the pervasiveness of psychological denial and a refusal to face reality as the underlying foundation of insanely dysfunctional behavior.

Well here is a perfect example of insanely dysfunctional behavior, and how the Democrats and their clueless leader wish to repeat the mistakes of the past; but this time make them even worse:
As we try to shake off the financial crisis, here’s a bright idea. Take a law that has led to the writing of an enormous amount of bad mortgages and expand it. Then take enforcement away from bank examiners and give it to housing activists. Sound like a poisonous cocktail? Well, it is what the Obama administration and Democrats are currently stirring up on Capitol Hill.

The White House and Congress want to expand a 30-year-old law–the Community Reinvestment Act–that helped to fuel the mortgage meltdown. What the CRA does, in effect, is compel banks to seek the permission of community activists to get regulatory approval for bank expansions and mergers. Often this means striking a deal with activist groups such as ACORN or unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and agreeing to allocate credit to poor and minority areas that are underserved.

Expanding the Community Reinvestment act is indeed a "poisonous cocktail" as the author notes in the Forbes article. It is also the kind of classic political insanity we have come to expect from the postmodern political left, who are not so much the "champions of the poor" as they are the champions of self-delusion.

Scott at Power Line suggests that perhaps Obama has had "a teachable moment" in the Olympics debacle; and that there are "limits to narcissism". Well, I beg to differ. Obama is not in therapy (where there might be a reasonably positive prognosis). Furthermore, he sees himself as our teacher; not as someone who needs teaching.

We already see how this (and many other) "teachable moments" will play out--nothing will be learned, and there will be only an escalation of classic insanity.

UPDATE: In a related post, the Anchoress wonders if Obama knows who he really is--and who we really are?

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