Today’s New York Times op-ed page features a David Brooks-as-usual column about Washington business as usual:
[T]he most devastating scandal in recent history involved dozens of the most respected members of the Washington establishment. Their behavior was not out of the ordinary by any means.
For that reason, the Fannie Mae scandal is the most important political scandal since Watergate. It helped sink the American economy. It has cost taxpayers about $153 billion, so far. It indicts patterns of behavior that are considered normal and respectable in Washington.
But two figures stand out in Brooks’ estimation:
Only two of the characters in this tale come off as egregiously immoral. [Fannie Mae CEO James] Johnson made $100 million while supposedly helping the poor. Representative Barney Frank, whose partner at the time worked for Fannie, was arrogantly dismissive when anybody raised doubts about the stability of the whole arrangement.
No response (to our knowledge) from Mr. Hot Fannie. Don’t expect that to last long.