Don’t blame the Republicans

billclintonDuring the republican primaries, Donald Trump made three assertions that are conventional wisdom, but false.
First he accused President George W. Bush of lying to get the country into the Iraq War.
“They lied,” Trump said during the CBS News GOP presidential debate. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
Secondly he faulted Bush for not keeping America safe.
How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down? I lost hundreds of friends, The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe,” he said, to boos from the audience.
Thirdly he explained why he has identified more with Democrats in the past and his example was that Republicans caused the financial crisis of 2008.
It is valuable to look at a new book by former Marxist revolutionary – turned conservative – David Horowitz (Volume 7 of “The Black Book of the American Left“) to see a different take on these 3 assertions.
For instance, the blame for 9/11.  Here is a full quote from Horowitz:
the crowning irony of the present Democratic attack is that it is the Clinton administration, not George Bush, who knew of the plot to use airlines as bombs to blow up American buildings, that they knew it in 1995; that they did nothing about it; and that they kept this information from the Bush Security team.
Horowitz explains:
In 1995, Ramzi Yousef was captured in the Philippines with plans to use commercial airliners to blow up CIA headquarters among other targets…After the discovery [of this]…Al Gore was appointed to head a task force to tighten airport security.  Its key recommendations, which would have prevented 9/11 were rejected by the [Clinton] White House on grounds that they might be construed as “racial profiling”.
So Bill Clinton has to take a share of the blame on that one.
Horowitz also addressed the assertion on Bush lying about WMDs.
He says that one official report by the British and another by the U.S. Senate confirmed that Bush’s statement was correct about Saddam seeking fissionable uranium in Niger for his nuclear weapons program.  he also cites Carter Andress, who claimed he transported hundred of tons of uranium from Iraq for shipment out of the country.   Carter himself cites the New York Times, who,
caught us all by surprise. Random caches of old chemical weapons found post-invasion were old news, but not “roughly 5,000” warheads and bombs, many filled with still active, nerve agent.
On top of this Democrats sat on the intelligence committees and could get any intelligence on Iraq within 24 hours of a request.
So Bush was not a liar.
Finally as far as the Republicans causing the financial crisis, Horowitz points out that the Government under Clinton passed the “Community Reinvestment Act”, which required banks to give loans to “high risk” borrowers.  The idea was to help minorities afford homes, as opposed to rental apartments.
Madeline Talbott, a Chicago ACORN leader, openly boasted of using her organization’s clout to force the city’s banks into loans…She also hired a young Barack Obama to train her staff.
  But that was not all.  ACORN organizers were told by the banks that they could only reduce their credit standards by a little, since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal Mortgage giants, refused to buy up risky loans.  So ACORN’s Democratic friends in Congress forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give up their credit standards.
This meant that ordinary banks would assume that any risky loan was backed up by the Federal government.
So, again, at least some of the blame rests squarely on the shoulder of … the Democrats.
This is not the whole story.  Stephen Bannon, who will be working in the Trump administration, and was also a banker said this:

The 2008 crisis, I think the financial crisis — which, by the way, I don’t think we’ve come through — is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks. My old firm, Goldman Sachs — traditionally the best banks are leveraged 8:1. When we had the financial crisis in 2008, the investment banks were leveraged 35:1.

But the point is that even a presidential candidate swallowed a version of history that many Americans believe, and which is in the least, incomplete.

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