Case in point...Matt Taibbi's column on the foreclosure fraud settlement. First of all lets stipulate that no one has been more critical of Obama on the financial crisis than Taibbi. But I'll at least give him props for admitting he was wrong about the foreclosure settlement.
So there was big news yesterday on the foreclosure settlement front. We still have to wait and see what the final deal looks like, but there are reports out that the long-awaited settlement is a far, far better deal for the public than expected.
The immediate question that comes to mind is "its better than WHO expected, Matt?"
A couple of issues come into play here. First of all, as I pointed out back in November, the poutrage people were expressing about this deal was based on rumors they were hearing about what was in it. The fact of the matter is that a deal STILL hasn't been announced. But back then there was every reason to believe that anonymous leaks about what was included were coming from folks with an agenda. I'd suggest that those running with the leaks were simply getting played.
Secondly, Taibbi made the same mistake many others on the left did in thinking this one settlement was the be-all end-all of this administration's efforts to hold the banks accountable. That has NEVER been the case. As NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others have been saying all along, this is a settlement dealing with one aspect of mortgage fraud...robo-signing during foreclosure.
If folks like Taibbi took just a moment to think about what is going on here - and what folks like him are actually saying - they might recognize why it was important to start with this one issue.
But my point was that, while a gross crime and one of the more obvious (and easily provable) parts of the criminal scheme common during the mortgage bubble years, robosigning is really an ancillary part of an even more enormous fraud that went on, and is still going on, in securitization/origination.
Aren't most of us aware by now that in a major probe such as this one its pretty standard practice to start with "the more obvious (and easily provable) parts of the criminal scheme" and then work your way up to the more complex?
But no, these poutragers want their perp walks...and then want them now! Damn the complicated legal process!
And so what is their conclusion when they see the case progressing in ways they had originally said they wanted it to? They frame it as a win for their heroes.
If these reports are true, it looks like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California AG Kamala Harris have scored an enormous victory...
The deficiency these poutragers demonstrate over and over is a total inability to see the long game this administration is so adept at playing.
After awhile, it does get a bit tiring pointing this out all the time. But we need to keep watch on how these frames develop - if only to ensure that we don't fall into the trap ourselves.