A GOP banker goes Dem
Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:04:12 AM PDT
I was at a Starbucks in a very well-to-do Southern California town and started talking to a local resident who said he is a lifelong Republican. Never voted for a Democrat in his life, even chose a Republican when he knew the Democrat was the better candidate.
"I'm voting for Obama," he said. "I've had it."
What killed it for him was McCain's housing bailout bill. He said he had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the Republican Party over the past couple of years, but that $300 billion proposal was the straw that broke the camel's back.
"It may be the worst idea I've ever heard from a politician," he said. "It actually encourages people to stop paying their mortgages."
What should we do in this situation? I asked.
"Nationalize the banks and any other major industry in trouble," he said. "Sort out what ones of these enterprises is good and which ones are bad, transfer assets to the good enterprises and let the bad ones fail. Start community banking where a group of well-to-do people pool their money and start a bank and only run a local branch or two. They'd only take deposits and make small loans to local people or businesses."
Wow, I said. That's sounds like socialism.
"I know," he said. "I can't believe it myself. In the space of three weeks or so I've become a socialist. But my party has so completely screwed up and McCain is so out of control, it's time to turn the government over to some adults and have them run things for a while until things settle down and then the Republicans might -- MIGHT -- get my vote back."
I asked him what he thought of Obama.
"Well, I have to say, he's the one who comes across as calm, reassuring and organized," he said. "I feel like we'd be in good hands with a guy like that. McCain and this knucklehead Palin? Who knows? I can't take that risk. None of us can."
I think there's a lot of Republicans thinking this lately. Not saying it out loud or even telling their friends. I think the Republican Party right now is about where the Dems were in 1977 -- completely lost...