“Drill, baby, drill” is to slogans as Bull’s Blood is to wine and “subprime” is to finance. A risky proposition. Duh. It says so right there in the name. Who would care—or dare—to drink the blood of a bull? The same people who want to drill, baby, and who bet that “subprime” will suddenly translate to “above par” as soon as they pour their money down that drain of wishful thinking.
What is going on with these people? Don’t they know that “subprime” means “not good,” as in, “bad”? Or consider the similarly risky mortgages called “liar’s loans,” as if “subprime” might be a shade too subtle. Hell bent though it is on screaming toxicity, that name seems to have had no deterrent value to investors. To the contrary, it attracts them like a promise: the worse for you it sounds, the merrier will be its consumption.
I'm not entirely sure what to call this particular quality of delusion. Hypocrisy springs to mind. After all, the “Drill, baby drill!” folks like to preach personal responsibility without necessarily taking it. If you can’t find a job, it’s your own problem. You need to take personal responsibility, not government handouts. If you’ve got black skin and the sinking feeling that it’s hampered your progress through both corporate America and airport security, why, that means you’re not taking personal responsibility. It has nothing to do with discrimination. You lost your weekend home in the Hamptons betting on a “subprime” mortgage? WAIT A MINUTE! THAT’S NOT FAIR! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, is a one-man illustration of what happens when you adhere to high principles only when they don’t apply to you. From Andrew Leonard’s article at Salon.com, the headline read, “Bobby Jindal's oil spill crisis of faith,” and, below that, “The principled stimulus foe changes his mind about the evils of accepting government assistance.” The article detailed Jindal’s “principles,” which, as you might guess, involve personal responsibility when it comes to unionized auto workers in Detroit and homeowners in Nevada struggling with underwater mortgages. Contrast those deeply held principles to Jindal’s howls for federal help with his own state’s water problem.