This time, ‘The Nation’ has a point

Having received a release about "a broad coalition of journalists" that had chosen to "speak out against ABC News in response to Wednesday night’s ‘gotcha’ debate," I thought, Good. Stephanopoulos et al. were out of line with their obsessive pounding on Obama.

Then, I clicked on the link, and saw that this was something on The Nation‘s Web site, and that few of the undersigned writers were what you’d call MSM types. Yes, there was somebody from The Baltimore Sun, and Washington Monthly is reasonably close to the center, but mostly it was people from The  Nation, and Mother Jones and the like — not the sorts of titles that bring "detached observer" to mind.

Which was a shame, I thought — a real missed opportunity for mainstream professionals to decry something that was out of line. Sure, this was The Nation, but for the most part there was nothing left-fringe about the message. An excerpt:

For 53 minutes, we heard no question about public policy from either
moderator. ABC seemed less interested in provoking serious discussion
than in trying to generate cheap shot sound-bites for later rebroadcast.
The questions asked by Mr. Stephanopoulos and Mr. Gibson were a
disgrace, and the subsequent attempts to justify them by claiming that
they reflect citizens’ interest are an insult to the intelligence of
those citizens and ABC’s viewers. Many thousands of those viewers have
already written to ABC to express their outrage.

OK, so maybe it was a little overwrought. And the next paragraph was obviously arguing on ideological grounds, suggesting there was something out of line about saying capital gains tax cuts could stimulate the economy.

But there was a sensible, mainstream point here. The debate I heard sounded like something that Stephanopoulos and the Clinton campaign could have cooked up and rehearsed in advance, as an ambush on Obama. Perhaps it fell short of a "disgrace," but it was most unseemly, because it was so one-sided.

Obama’s remarks about "bitter" Middle Americans were a legitimate point of discussion. But when that was followed by Jeremiah Wright and the Weather Underground, I started thinking that I didn’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blew.

So yeah, in this case, The Nation has a point.

36 thoughts on “This time, ‘The Nation’ has a point

  1. McCLum

    There is no question that the Clinton campaign had its hands in developing the questions, or Stephanopoulos developed them as a Clinton ally to thrash Obama. The questioning discredits ABC and the questioners.
    The upside of this is that Obama will learn from this experience.
    I am ashamed of our media for stooping to the level of tabloid journalism. Respect for our country, our citizens and for a potentially president requires more respect and care from the media.

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  2. Lee Muller

    The Nation is a socialist publication, whose editors and writers want to brush aside any examination of Obama’s lifelong connection to communists, terrorists, and socialists.
    Hillary’s team doesn’t want her questioned about her work for the Communist Party USA, radical lawyers, the Black Panthers, pro-Castro groups, etc.
    Mrs. Obama, Hillary and Bill have all collected gobs of payola money by sitting on boards, selling ghost-written books for ridiculous advances, and being paid huge fees to speak to tiny groups of bored students.
    They don’t have to worry about the mainstream media asking any serious, meaningful questions.

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  3. Phillip

    Brad, some weeks ago I wrote that an Obama-McCain race could be one of the most elevating, illuminating, issues-oriented races for the Presidency in our history, given the integrity of both men, with still clear ideological differences.
    I was wrong. I now believe that if Obama should still win the nomination, this ensuing fall campaign will be one of the ugliest in American history, guaranteed.
    This will not be McCain’s fault, necessarily. Time after time he will disavow various conspiratorial-minded attacks on Obama that try to link Obama to Islamic extremists, Communists, the Symbionese Liberation Army, etc. He will try to take the high road himself.
    But it won’t matter. What we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s easy for the rational among us to chuckle at some of you-know-who’s more unhinged posts here, but the truth is he is just reposting things that are making the rounds of the rightwing blogosphere and the extent to which the right-wingers have influence in the MSM, as we saw with Stephy’s questions practically dictated to him by Sean Hate-nity of Faux News. The machine is just getting cranked up.
    I promise you, Brad: ugliest and nastiest Presidential campaign in memory. All in one direction.
    Will the nation recoil against that? It will be interesting to see.
    Incidentally, Brad, you make it sound like “The Nation” is some scurrilous rag that’s contributed no more to American political/cultural discourse than the Daily Kos. “The Nation,” as you probably know, dates back to 1865. Yes, it is unabashedly left-wing and never tries to hide that fact, but within that context has always contained good, intelligent writing not only on politics but on many aspects of the arts, music, general cultural issues, etc. It has been a very respectable periodical for nearly a century and a half; one need not share its political bias to acknowledge that.
    As someone who is a big supporter of public education and health care reform, you should drop the “For Once” part of your headline.

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  4. Richard L. Wolfe

    I agree with Brad on this one. Let me say that louder so I’m sure Brad hears me. I AGREE WITH BRAD ON THIS ONE!

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  5. OldEaglet

    Phillip,
    If that one direction of a very motivated AMERICAN presidential campaign delivered a dose of sorely needed USA pride and patriotism, this may be just the
    ***Wake Up***
    call we need in this country.
    According to a dear old Army buddy’s research [he will be 85 this month, so be forgiving], 6000 mosques were built in the US in 2007 — and if “Osama Beboppa” got the chance he would “pry the Muslim door wide open with everything he can finagle.”
    I’m not willing to take that chance. And there may even be some broken bones.

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  6. Lee Muller

    Jay,
    If Hillary’s work with the Communist Party USA, radical lawyers, the Black Panthers, and pro-Castro groups doesn’t bother you, the the ‘etc’ won’t either.
    But let’s see:
    * Harold Ickes, communist, son of Stalinists
    * Engineering smear campaigns against Bill’s “bimbos”
    * Firing the White House Travel Office
    * Stealing FBI files on 500 political enemies
    * Building WhoDB database to track critics
    * Law partner Web Hubbell convicted of false billing records, which he shared with Hillary and Vince Foster.
    * Murder of Vince Foster as he went to pick up airline ticket home.
    * Theft of Vince Foster’s briefcase
    * Whitewater bank fraud
    * $20,000,000 in illegal contributions from Red China
    * Many of her top staff convicted for illegal campaign activities
    * etc

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  7. Michael

    I could go on for a while about this if I had the time. But first of all how is the question about Obama’s remarks in San Francisco – which implicates his true feelings on the economy, guns control, religion, immigration and racism (all wrapped into one) – how under any interpretation is that question not about the issues? Everything that was asked in that debate was in bounds. If his campaign is spending time attacking the questioners – feigning indignation about the likes of Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis rather than facing head on the legitimate concerns of the voters that underlie these questions – how is he going to face up against the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s of the world if elected?
    McCain had a hatchet job of a New York Times story leveled at him a month or so ago, and he stood up and took every reporter’s question until there was none left. Obama, on the other hand, gets prickly when exposed to any scrutiny by the press.

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  8. fbr

    “What if Hillary Clinton released her income tax records showing relatively unremarkable (by senate standards, where almost everyone is fairly wealthy) income and said that Bill files separately and he’s a private person so he wouldn’t be releasing his?
    I do not think she’d get a very easy ride from the press since Bill now makes all the money and it’s against his sources of income that any potential conflicts of interest or sources of embarrassment would likely arise.
    So why does John McCain get to pull the same stunt with his wife? I was thinking of this when I saw McCain’s tax return release today since I know McCain is actually an extremely wealthy man. His wife is reportedly worth more than $100 million because she is the heir to her father’s beer distributorship, which played a key role in McCain’s political rise. And if you note down on his disclosure page it states that “In the interest of protecting the privacy of her children, Mrs. McCain will not be releasing her personal tax returns.” ”

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  9. Phillip

    Michael, I don’t see that the San Francisco comments are nearly as startingly revealing of supposedly-hidden positions as you do. Gun control? Obama is pretty much for it. The economy? He thinks it stinks. Immigration? He’s for comprehensive reform, but condemns blanket “anti-immigrant sentiment.” You’re being disingenuous to suggest that the questions about “Bittergate” were intended to elicit further understanding of Obama’s positions on real issues.
    And when you speak about “the legitimate concerns of the voters” are you sure you’re not making generalizations every bit as over-sweeping as Obama may have been guilty of in his careless SF remarks? You might be interested to see this.
    In spite of my pessimism earlier on this thread, perhaps this might be the year when the politics of division is rejected by the American people. I don’t know if Obama will catch Clinton in PA, but it looks like this whole episode may actually rebound to his benefit, if the polls are right.
    Face it, Michael: you and the right-wingnut attack machine would criticize Obama no matter how he responded to this dustup. If he tried to stay completely above the fray, with no sign of indignation, you’d say: “He’s too passionless. If he doesn’t fight back against Hillary or these MSM fools, how is he going to stand up to Ahmedinijad.” But if he tries to fight back a bit, you say, “Well if he gets testy over this, how is he going to stand up to Ahmedinijad.”
    No, none of this is about real issues that are hurting everyday Americans. This is about fear, plain and simple. It’s been cultivated for eight years by our administration as the guiding emotion by which they have “led” our nation. And though you seem pretty reasonable and thoughtful, you can see other examples above of people who are clearly very, very frightened.

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  10. Mike Cakora

    Ooooh! I preferred the “For once” over the “This time.”
    FWIW, two reasonably respectable reporters over at Politico argue that Obama’s secret weapon is the media: Many journalists are not merely observers but participants in the Obama phenomenon.
    They did not comment on The Nation’s open letter, but did find the Shale’s WaPo and Mitchell’s E&P pieces to be overwrought. I agree with Phillip to the extent that one should balance doses of The Nation with equal time reading The American Spectator.
    I’m content to let the journalists engage in their infatuations, but do have to credit the ABC guys with trying to shine some light on the Obama / Ayers connection. I’d read about it a year or so ago, but could not find out a lot about it. Why was I interested? I bear grudges and dislike bullies, and Ayers is a terrorist (he built and set off bombs to kill innocents in order to achieve political objectives) who escaped justice thanks to ineptitude on the part of prosecutors. He now subsists with a cushy emolument as a university professor and chairman of a non-profit organization — what a country we live in. Or to quote Ayers: “Guilty as sin, free as a bird, America is a great country.”
    That Ayers and Obama sat on the board of the same organization, the Woods Fund of Chicago, is interesting. That Ayers hosted at least one strategy or fundraising or whatever meeting for Obama is even more interesting. Was there more?
    Ayers is an unrepentant anarchist and America-hater. (If you don’t believe me, ask him.) What was his connection with Obama? The question is fair. After all, we know that McCain spent more than a couple of years associating with known Communists and seem to have a full accounting of how he spent his time with them. Let’s get the same level of detail on Obama’s associations with other America-haters.

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  11. Randy E

    he built and set off bombs to kill innocents in order to achieve political objectives – Mike Cak
    Is your blog full of such inaccuracies Mike? They gave advance warning of the bombs to avoid deaths. The only three who died were members themselves as they were assembling a bomb. I don’t condone the bombings but I do condemn reckless misstatements that are intended to impugn someone’s character.
    Regarding the mischaracterization in the article your cite regarding the media, the vast majority of the criticism, as reported tonight, was NOT in defense of Obama but directed towards the lack of substantive issues like $4/gallon gasoline, housing crisis, McCain-W-Cheney-Liberman bombing Iraq etc.
    And yes, the questions were skewed – the first series of questions: Bitter, Ayers, flag pin, Wright VS Bosnia. 4 hot button issues (one spoon fed by a Faux hatchet man) to 1.
    To Obama’s credit, he chose NOT to join the melee when he had a chance to kidney punch Clinton on the Bosnia lie.

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  12. Randy E

    bombing Iran that is (or Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran)
    Oh, Lee Muller. I’m still waiting for you to cite your source for your comment “Obama admitted to being a socialist last week”.

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  13. Mike Cakora

    Randy –
    It’s reasonable to conclude that if no one was injured, the Weather Underground would take credit, and if someone got hurt, they would not. It looks like they got a lot more serious after their December 1969 war council. Look at the nails.
    You write: “The only three who died were members themselves as they were assembling a bomb.”
    According to this synopsis of the 3/6/1970 event, the bomb they were building “was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon detonation.”
    Nails. Hmmm. One of the three killed was Ayers’ then-girlfriend; she apparently did not follow instructions well. Sure looks like they intended for that bomb to maim and kill, no?
    On that same date. 34 sticks of dynamite were discovered in the 13th Police District of the Detroit, Michigan police bombing (sic). During February and early March, 1970, members of the [Weather Underground], led by Bill Ayers, were reported to be in Detroit, during that period, for the purpose of bombing a police facility.
    Hmmm. Police facility. Dial back a couple of weeks to the 2/16/1970 bombing of the Golden Gate Park branch of the San Francisco Police Department, which killed one officer and injured a number of other policemen. No organization claimed credit for either bombing. Couldn’t have been Ayers, or could it?
    And weren’t all these folks at the 12/27 – 12/ 31/1969 War Council in Flint where they finalized their plans to submerge into an underground status to commit strategic acts of sabotage against the government? Yup, they were. Maybe they decided killing wasn’t so bad after all. A lot can happen in 90 days.

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  14. veal cutlet

    Somebody needed to turn the heat up on Obama, finally.
    Face it, Phillip. You and your left-wingnut whitewash crew don’t have enough paint to mask Obama’s flaws, so you’ve started attacking the very media that built your house-of-cards candidate.

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  15. Phillip

    Those of you actually interested in facts may want to check out the Woods Fund website to see some of the other horrible organizations represented on its Board: BP, UBS Investment Bank, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, to name three. I guess we should boycott and protest those companies, then? Especially given the Woods Fund’s threatening mission statement:
    “a grantmaking foundation whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them….Woods supports nonprofits in their important roles of engaging people in civic life, addressing the causes of poverty and other challenges facing the region, promoting more effective public policies, reducing racism and other barriers to equal opportunity, and building a sense of community and common ground.”
    Wooo…just sends shivers up your spine, doesn’t it?
    Look, Mike: For better or for worse (and I tend to agree with you that it’s for worse) William Ayers is a free man, re-ensconced in normal society, and as such, free to participate in generally liberal circles in the Chicago area. It would have been highly unlikely for his and Obama’s paths NOT to have crossed at some point. There’s no evidence there’s more than that.
    But that’s not really what this is about, is it? Is this dissection really going to help the person whose lost their job or their house, or whose son is serving in Iraq, or who cannot afford health care for themselves or their families?
    And Veal Cutlet: Get breaded, man. No true lover of the democratic process has any problem with Obama and his positions being scrutinized. There’s tons to work with there, among issues that actually AFFECT everyday working Americans.
    David Brooks just cited a couple from the last debate—the pledge to remove troops no matter what from Iraq. Surely a concerned conservative can mount a strong argument against this.
    Or the extent to which government should or should not play a role in fixing health care problems in this nation. Or how best to fix the economy. Turn up the heat on Obama by all means.
    Or could it be that rightwingnuts realize that the country is not with them on most of the fundamental issues of the current day, so best not to deal with those issues directly?

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  16. Mike Cakora

    For a hint of what the Republicans will roll out when Obama wins, read this. Among the points related to Ayers are these:

    – The connection to William Ayers was no accident of geography. Michelle Obama picked him to sit on a panel with Barack in 1997 on juvenile crime, two years after meeting with them for support in his race for the state senate.
    – They participated in a panel together called “Intellectuals in Times of Crisis” in 2002, well after Ayers’ comments about being unrepentant for his terrorism got published on 9/11. Bernadine Dohrn participated in a panel at the same event.
    – Ayers and Dorhn joined the Obamas in celebrating the departure of Rashid Khalidi to a new post at Columbia University, after Ayers and Obama helped get Woods Foundation funds to Khalidi’s AAAN, to the tune of $75,000. Khalidi was a fanatical supporter of Yasser Arafat and a purported operative of the PLO. Khalidi hosted a fundraiser for Obama in 2000 as well.

    But, if Obama dons the American flag pin, all will be forgotten, no?

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  17. bud

    I find it fascinating how the right, as characterized by Mike’s comments above, have absolutely nothing to talk about but the character of people who had a casual relationship with Barack Obama. I suppose since their folks have been in charge of everything recently they have to resort to these tactics. Here’s the bottom line in all of this: If you want 100 years of war, high gas prices, a sinking economy – punctuated by inflation, an abomination of a health care system and an ever increasing income gap by all means vote GOP.
    If, on the other hand, you want prosperity, a balanced budget, respect from the rest of the world, peace and a sound, effective energy policy vote for the Democratic candidate for POTUS All these distractions about Ayers, lapel pins, the Rev. Wright, bitter Americans comments are nothing but a media driven strategy of distraction.
    Frankly, I’m sick of it. John McCain has far more character baggage in his little pinky than Barack Obama (Keating 5, adulterly, extremely rich wife who steals from her own charity, a growing number of “senior” moments) so character really shouldn’t be a factor. What should be a factor are the issues. And on that, the GOP and John McCain are wrong for America.

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  18. Randy E

    Obama is more impressive than I thought. According to Lee Muller’s post above (Posted by: Lee Muller | Apr 19, 2008 10:05:22 PM), Obama was a prolific writer back in 1965 when he was 5 years old.
    BTW Lee, the author you confused with our Obama was writing of AFRICAN socialism. Perhaps Mike Cak will post this on his blog.

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  19. Randy E

    Mike Cak,
    You are reckless in your “conclusions”.
    First, Ayers was not involved in any bombings that resulted in deaths, for good reason. His bombings involved warnings to minimize risk. That is a big difference than an attempt to kill innocent people as you speciously attempted to explain.
    Second, Ayers is now a professor at a distinguished university and associates with a great number of people in Chicago. To wildly draw “conclusions” about Obama’s minimal interaction with him with minuscule evidence is not bolstering a serious issue, it’s a pathetic attempt to smear.
    I do appreciate you spurious efforts. It is why so many of us are supporting Obama – to do away with this type of crap you are pulling.

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  20. Randy E

    By the way, Cak, the Sept 11 article with the Ayers quote was written BEFORE Sept 11. How else could it have been published in the paper? This is another attempt to ratchet up the attack. I am not defending Ayers, but am taking issue with the pathetic manipulation of “facts” to smear.

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  21. Mike Cakora

    Randy –
    You write: “First, Ayers was not involved in any bombings that resulted in deaths,…” That’s your assertion, there was at least one bombing that produced deaths. I admit that I have no proof, but do note that Ayers’ girlfriend was killed when the bomb intended for the NCO Club blew up prematurely; that bomb had nails, meaning the intent was to damage soft tissue, not infrastructure. Moreover, I suggest that no one in his right mind would ever admit to killing a cop since such folks usually have a shorter life expectancy.
    I will stop my assertions for the time being and note simply that Ayers, currently a professor at a distinguished university, and Weatherman were responsible for 30 bombings aimed at destroying the defense and security infrastructures of the U.S; no, I repeat, no abortion clinics were bombed by this crew. Is that okay?
    I am intrigued by the possible implications of your statement: “I do appreciate you spurious efforts. It is why so many of us are supporting Obama – to do away with this type of crap you are pulling.” Did a kimono open? How will electing the junior senator from Illinois stop such crap? Please tell me, I’m all ears…

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  22. Mike Cakora

    Bud –
    You are correct in stating that McCain has some, er, interesting acquaintances and I agree that folks should take a hard, skeptical look at all of them. The news that he won’t release his wife’s income tax returns is troubling too because we don’t know if she receives income from folks who might be trying to influence her husband.
    The difference is that as a newcomer to the limelight, Obama has some connections that are not well known. What are they? What do they tell us about the man? I’m prepared to accept that his dealings with Ayers were of a pragmatic, political nature. But I don’t know enough about the relationship to say that now. And after Wright and Ayers, are there more folks in his sphere of influence that we should know about?
    There is of course no way I will vote for Obama. While he talks a good game, there’s no indication that he can bring about the healing change he seems to trumpet for the simple reason that he’s never done so in the past. His record is that of a far-left ideologue, not the pragmatic sort who cuts deals with a lot of different folks to get legislation passed.

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  23. Lee Muller

    If any Republican candidate served on a committee with Eric Rudolph, announced their Senate campaign at the home of Tim McVeigh, and their mentor was some preacher at a White Power Church, the press would be outraged.
    That’s exactly the sort of hateful, racist associations which predominate the life of Barak Obama.

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  24. bud

    His (Obama’s) record is that of a far-left ideologue, …
    -Mike
    And the problem is? After 7+ years of a far-right ideologue in charge (or at least pretending to be in charge) I think it’s time to balance the scales.

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  25. Brad Warthen

    Philip, did you notice that I changed the headline to “This time,” instead of “For once.” In other words, point taken. Even broken clocks are right more often than once, so that was a rhetorical exaggeration on my part.
    As for your assertion that “a concerned conservative” should be able to mount an argument against Obama’s rash announcement that he would take the troops out precipitously (a case of pandering as clear as McCain’s on the gas tax, and I truly thought Obama knew better than this)…
    Believing we have to continue our commitment to Iraq is neither a conservative nor a liberal point of view. I will grant, though, that it’s more conservative than favoring the original invasion in 2003. As I’ve said over and over, invading Iraq was not a conservative thing to do. If you want to see a true conservative position, read George Will on the subject.

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  26. Lee Muller

    Wake up, Brad. You were duped by Obama’s empty rhetoric like some schoolgirl.
    The man belongs to a church full of “former” Black Muslims, which distributes Hamas hate literature. His friends are terrorist bombers from the 1960s and Al Qaeda sympathizers. Some of them just returned from meeting with Hamas.
    His dad was a communist. His mother hung out with communists like Frank Marshall.
    Everything Obama says echoes the hate of his mentors.

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  27. bud

    Chill Lee. You’re beginning to sound like one of the hate-filled extremists you purport to dislike so much. Obama is not going to turn this country into some Stalinist state that rounds up Christians and throws them to the lions. Frankly given the carnage the current president has rendered on the American people we desperately need a change.

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  28. bud

    Believing we have to continue our commitment to Iraq is neither a conservative nor a liberal point of view.
    -Brad
    Nice word manipulation here Brad. The current policy in Iraq is not a commitment at all. Rather, it’s an occupation. Why don’t you just call it what it is. A commitment is something two parties agree to in advance. A marriage is a good example. The Iraqis never agreed in advance to have us in their country therefore the term commitment doesn’t apply.

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  29. Lee Muller

    bud, I notice again that neither you, nor any other supporters of Obama, dare touch the revelations which are seeping out about his socialist, terrorist, and Islamist background.
    Why would any decent person still support this bum? Do they only care about the goodies he has promised to expropriate from the Productive Class?

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  30. bud

    Do they only care about the goodies he has promised to expropriate from the Productive Class?
    -Lee
    By productive class do you mean the folks who get up in the morning and go to work in a factory or an office? Those folks typically earn from 30-100K per year and work really hard to make this country function. These are the folks that Bush and company have kept down so that a few UNproductive folks who steal millions per year can lounge about while sitting on their lazy asses living off of a stock portfolio. With wages stagnant over the past couple of decades, thanks in large part to the disasterous deficit spending from the Reagan years, the truly productive class is suffering.
    I would suggest a change in the tax structure to increase the withholdings wage limit on Social Security so that the lazy bums earning in the millions can fund the one program that has actually worked for Americans. We also need national health care and a huge reduction in military spending.
    Given that the American people now say the nation is on the wrong track by the highest percentage in polling history it’s time to return our nation to the true productive class and stop the welfare for the corporate elite. Only then can America move forward again.

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  31. Lee Muller

    Just as expected, bud wants “lazy millionaires” to pay 15.3% of their annual incomes to fund the welfare program misnamed Social Security.
    Since the IRS, Census Bureau, and researchers tell us that the typical millionaire is a self-made middle-class millionaire who works 60 hours a week, drives a modest automobile, and lives in the same house for over 20 years, they obviously will not be helped by any of the tax increases threatened by Obama and Hillary.
    The Democrat Congress already voted to restore the Clinton tax increases on those making $30,000 to $130,000 a year – to take effect Jan 9, 2009, after the election.
    The stock market is already reacting to the prospect of a Democrat president. Let’s see how long it takes for a recession after the tax increases kick in, the revenues to the Treasury plummet, and deficits to to $500 BILLION a year.

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  32. Jay

    “The stock market is already reacting to the prospect of a Democrat president”
    That is classic. Now America’s woes are being blamed on future, hypothetical Democrats. Please make it stop.

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  33. Lee Muller

    The smarter guys on Wall Street always hedge by discounting the market. Democrats already passed and armed a ticking time bomb of tax increases to go off in January 2009, after the election.
    This current mortgage meltdown is due to looseing of payments under Clinton. Congress just did more of it, tossing out $20 BILLION new deficit money to finance up to a $180,000 loan for a school teacher making $26,000. That’s a recipe for more future defaults, that buys votes today.

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