The Return Of The Silent Majority

by dday

This video of Rick Santelli ranting at the Chicago Board of Trade about how hard-working Murcans have to pay the price for those "losers" facing foreclosure has been making the rounds. It was obvious that this would be the conservative response to Obama's housing plan. Since the bubble popped, the intimation has been that the government put a gun to the head of the banks to lend to poor people (just say the word, why don't you) who then made bad decisions with their money, and now the responsible people have to bail them out.

The government is promoting bad behavior... I'll tell you what, I have an idea. The new Administration's big on computers and technology. How about this, President and new Administration, why don't you put up a Web site to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the loser's mortgages, or would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people who actually carry the water instead of drink the water...

He gets a standing ovation from the traders at that point, and then he asks them if they want to pay for their neighbor's mortgages, and they boo. Then he goes off about how Cuba used to have mansions and when they went "from the individual to the collective, they started driving '54 Chevys." It's right-wing backlash stuff at its absolute best.

Lost from this complaint is the plain fact of predatory lending, that lenders got cash rebates to put people in crappy, high-interest mortgages, that they hid terms of the agreement and denied disclosure, and that all of those hardworking folks are seeing their property values plummet as a result of millions of foreclosed homes glutting the market. To the tune of $6 trillion dollars in home value.

But I digress. The more interesting part of the video is the part where he calls his buds on the trading floor part of "the silent majority."

These guys are pretty straightforward, and my guess is, a pretty good statistical cross-section of America, the silent majority.

This is all starting to sound very familiar. Paging Rick Perlstein...

It's also obvious that traders on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade are clearly the new face of the average lunch-pail working stiff, isn't it?

The revolution has begun. These workaday stock traders are going to take back this country for the laissez-faire capitalists who are entitled to it.

...more from Ryan Chittum.