Posted December 27, 2010 at 8:00 am, in Uncategorized
By Richard (RJ) Eskow
Senior Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future
Peter J. Wallison has a bright future … as a surrealist author.. He and the other Republicans on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission tried to undermine that group’s work by attempting to ban phrases like “Wall Street” from its final report. Now he’s trying to rebut news reports about their behavior. His response is a brilliant example of what might be called “uninentional literature,” a hallucinogenic mashup of Lewis Carroll and George Orwell that belongs on everyone’s shelf.
News reports said that Wallison and his fellow Republicans on the Commission also wanted to ban the words “shadow banking,” “interconnection,” and “deregulation” from a report on the Great Recession and its causes. That’s like banning the phrase “plastic surgery” from a story about the Kardashians.
Not true, insists Wallison. “Only in the fever-swamps of the left could anyone believe that,” he writes. For example, Wallison says he and his colleagues merely objected to the Commission’s use of “Wall Street” as “a general term for the financial system.” Wallison says it’s unacceptable, politically motivated, and imprecise to use the phrase “Wall Street” as if it referred to the controlling financial interests of the United States.
Wall Street: n. The controlling financial interests of the United States.
- American Heritage Dictionary
What do dictionaries matter when you’re rewriting reality? Wallison says he and his fellow Republicans were only willing to use the phrase “Wall Street” to mean “the major commercial and investment banks that were underwriters for the private label securities that the commission majority’s report discusses.”
That’s like defining “Republicans” as “the people who tried to block health care for 9/11 responders.” While it’s true, it’s only one, very narrow aspect of a much larger reality. (more…)