Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Did Charlie Crist Cause the Recession?

One of the most difficult things to get through the head of a Rick Scott fanatic is this Charlie Crist did not cause a worldwide recession.

That Crist did so is a fundamental talking point of the Scott campaign, although they don't put it that way, as even that would be too obviously bunk for most of the Scott flock. Instead, the Scott campaign repeatedly stresses that "828,000 jobs were lost under Crist." They don't say Crist caused it; they just leave the phrase hanging in the right way to foster the conclusion.

So I've asked members of the Scott flock repeatedly: "What did Crist do to cause a worldwide recession?" The answers, as you'll anticipate, are both tragic and funny at the same time, and speak volumes for how low-information Scott voters can be.

Answer 1: "Crist didn't cause the recession he did nothing to stop it!"

True, he did nothing to stop it. Just like Rick Scott did nothing to stop a freight train that was barrelling down on him the other day. No state governor can do anything to "stop" a worldwide recession. Every state lost jobs in this last recession. Even the steady Dakotas, whose unemployment rates need to be seen with a microscope, lost jobs: North Dakota went from 2.9% to 4.2%; South Dakota from 2.6% to 5.3%. I mention the Dakotas specifically because one member of Scott's flock actually suggested that the Dakotas didn't lose any jobs. (If you think that's bad, I also had one tell me that the recession only affected Florida.)

Again, no state governor could or did do a thing about this economic juggernaut. So saying "Crist did nothing to stop it" is ridiculous.

Answer 2: "Crist contributed to the recession! Look at this article!"

One Scott flocker has started posting this anonymous, unsourced article from a place called "woodwardlaw" that fingers Crist for not stopping mortgage fraud in attorney 2004. Of course, logically, this also means Jeb Bush and Bill McCollum are to blame for the recession too. And it also doesn't explain how Crist was responsible for job loss in the other 49 states.

But it doesn't matter, because even then the article doesn't actually live up to the headline blaming Crist. It says Crist was warned by a leading mortgage broker who wrote a report about mortgage fraud -- at Crist's request. Then it doesn't mention Crist by name again, except to note that they think he pretended to be "surprised" by reports of mortgage fraud.

But in the allegedly supporting video evidence, the party blamed for inaction is the Office of Financial Regulation and its officials. Crist appears in the video, sitting next to Alex Sink as she testifies, but he says nothing at all.  He appears concerned, nods his head understandingly, but does not appear at all "surprised".

The office of Attorney General is named a few more times, and while the article claims the office did "nothing" it also claims that it assigned a biased investigator. No documentation is offered for these claims. And no connection is made to the later recession, which wasn't even about mortgage fraud of the sort described by the video (in which people's houses were stolen by devious means).

Let's be honest here. As even the conservative magazine Forbes tells us, no politician caused the recession. It was caused by private banks gettting greedy. It was a "perfect storm" of factors in which government had only a following role. Neither Clinton nor Bush nor Obama nor Crist had a thing to do with that. But Rick Scott's campaign, and those who blindly follow it, are not interested in being honest -- are they?


  1. Are you KIDDING? Scott says that Dem Charlie Crist CAUSED THE RECESSION?

    ...must just be another one of those wedding dress stupids.

    1. Yes, though as I noted, not directly. Instead Scott counts on the ignorance of his supporters to reach the wrong conclusion by filling in blanks. And with Scott supporters there are often a lot of blanks to fill in!

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