According to representative Tom McClintock (R-CA), there is no financial crime on Wall Street because nobody forced you to buy a bad mortgage. Nobody was holding a gun to your head.
ThinkProgress — At a town hall meeting in El Dorado Hills, California on Tuesday, a constituent asked McClintock for his “stance on Wall Street criminal practices.” The congressman responded, “Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”
It seems every day Republicans are able to find new ways to amaze and perplex. Every day they offer us new reasons to shake our heads in collective nausea and disgust.
Tom McClintock is the latest participant in the ritualized practice of Republican victim blaming. Republicans are unable or unwilling to reflect on their own failures, or the failures of their campaign donors. But they do know the blame must lie somewhere, and what more convenient a place to lay that blame then hapless and helpless people who simply bought a home with a loan sold to them by a bank that should have known better.
But McClintock makes it worse when he says bad decisions are “the price we pay for the freedom to make all of the good decisions in our lives.” He of course is not talking about bad decisions by banks and Wall Street, but instead the decisions of the victims who were sold these mortgages.
Republicans like McClintock blame people who bought houses with risky mortgages instead of blaming the financial institutions who sold the mortgages. These culpable banks are supposed to do the work to figure out the level of risk and then decide if they are going to offer a loan. McClintock is misguided, and unfortunately this is not a rare occurrence in today’s Republican Party.