Santelli’s off-the-cuff remarks have indeed energized at least fiscal conservatives and libertarians, who are desperate for good news these days. (Count us among them. We are ready to join the tea party!). We note also, with some glee, that Robert Gibbs is almost as bad a press secretary as Scott McClellan was. Mwahaha.
A friend of this site, John Yackley, founder of the asset management firm Be Free Investments, shares the following on Santelli, Gibbs, and tea parties (thanks, John!):
When asked last week what he thought of Obama’s mortgage bailout plan, CNBC’s now famous Rick Santelli gave a seemingly unscripted criticism of it. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA ). He attacked no one in the administration personally. He just appealed to Americans’ sense of fairness and to a belief that hasn’t been given enough voice in Washington during this whole crisis: that in a free country, if you screw up, you live with the consequences. In this case, if you bought too much house, you and the banker who abetted you in your bad decision, deal with it.
The White House’s response to Mr. Santelli, on the other hand, was completely scripted and full of personal attacks. In a press conference where he mentioned Rick by name six times, White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said, “I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” OK, I don’t know if Rick had read every word of the plan in the 20 hours between its release and someone asking him what he thought of it, but that doesn’t mean he’s a complete ignoramus on the matter, Mr. Gibbs. He knew the basic outline: the federal government is going to use $275 billion of our money to reduce some people’s mortgage payments, many of whom lied on their mortgage applications.
As a man of the left, Mr. Gibbs then couldn’t help but follow up with a couple of obligatory class warfare-ish jabs at Santelli. First, he went with, “I’m not entirely sure where or in what house Mr. Santelli lives in, but….” And then, “I think we left a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader that is was good for Main Street.” Yeah, you’re right. We all know Rick the Trader’s true motives in this. He’s a greedy guy who’s only worried about his taxes going up or his money being worth less because you’re printing so much of it. It’s impossible for him to also have a genuine concern for the direction in which the country is headed.
I hope the administration’s attacks on Rick Santelli back-fire. He has struck a cord with freedom and responsibility-loving people. Websites backing, promoting and trying to organize Rick’s idea of throwing a Chicago Tea Party are popping up all over the place. Here are two of them. The first is a site just launched by a friend of mine…www.chicagoteaparty.com and www.reteaparty.com.
John is the founder and president of Be Free Investments, an asset management firm in Chicago