Time picks Bernanke as Person of Year. Senator Merkley disagrees.

Time Magazine has selected Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as Person of the Year. In their words, “The story of the year was a weak economy that could have been much, much weaker. How the mild-mannered man who runs the Federal Reserve prevented an economic catastrophe.”. Time Magazine clearly raises the question — did Bernanke’s direct action prevent a greater economic meltdown?

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued a press release where he disagreed with Time magazine saying Bernanke “failed to recognize or remedy the factors that paved the road to this dark and difficult recession. Following our economic collapse, it is also apparent that he has not changed his overall approach to prioritizing Wall Street over American families.”

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  • Reper

    I did not see this coming.

  • Josh Reynolds

    I didn’t realize people still read Time.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Well color me amazed. Time actually did a punt that wasn’t half bad. Look, we all know there was probably a huge contingent at Time to have The One on the cover yet again, but obviously clearer thinking prevailed. Bernanke isn’t a bad pick, he clearly had major influence on the number one event of the year, the economy.

    I frankly expected to do something ridiculous like have a concept, health care, be person of the year. Another choice could have been having America the Superpower be person of the year. “The American Superpower – Is it finally over?”.

    As for Jeff Merkley, it seems a little odd for Senators to be issuing press releases on banal person of the year picks. Perhaps Mr. Merkley is unaware of it, but person of the year is neither award nor endorsement. It simply means the person affected the events of the day more than any other. The tradition was established with noted Hitler admirer Charles Lindberg. Hitler himself making that cover a few years later. While the Time magazine of today surely would agree with some of his more socialist policies it was not an endorsement of Hitler at the time.

    • v person

      Oh my Gawd….I agree with Rupert. Except for the Hitler as socialist part.

      • anon

        NAZI = National Socialist Workers Party.

        https://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_the_word_Nazi_stand_for

        Hitler and the Nazi’s were all a bunch of socialists, in case you didn’t know. Doesn’t that make you think a whole lot differently about the concept of socialism?

        • v person

          That must be why the first people Hitler arrested and sent to camps were the communists and socialists who opposed him. Read your history…and I mean the real thing. By actual historians. Not Jonah Goldberg.

          Hitler was a right-wing fascist….period. Capitalism thrived under him, in large part by taking advantage of the slave labor he provided. Unions were verbotten. Racism and right-wing politics are joined at the hip, and you can’t just re-write the historical record.

          • Anonymous

            No kidding and amen! Prescott Bush, for one, could have testified to the well-being of capitalism in Nazi Germany.

            To equate Nazism with socialism (whether you’re a believer or not) is disingenuous at best.

  • leinad

    Rupert, Merkley is on the Banking Committee and had an actual vote to move forward Bernanke’s reconfirmation. Thanks for leaving that part out Janitor. He wasn’t only addressing Time’s decision, he was also talking about his committee vote and in the end he was the only D to vote no. Here is how the final vote broke out:

    FINAL BANKING COMMITTEE VOTE ON BERNANKE

    Yes – 16

    No – 7

    Majority
    Christopher Dodd, Chairman, Connecticut Yes
    Tim Johnson, South Dakota Yes
    Jack Reed, Rhode Island Yes
    Chuck Schumer, New York Yes
    Evan Bayh, Indiana Yes
    Robert Menendez, New Jersey Yes
    Daniel Akaka, Hawaii Yes
    Sherrod Brown, Ohio Yes
    Jon Tester, Montana Yes
    Mark Warner, Virginia – Yes
    Jeff Merkley, Oregon – No
    Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Yes
    Michael Bennet, Colorado Yes

    Minority
    Richard Shelby, Ranking Member, Alabama No
    Bob Bennett, Utah Yes
    Jim Bunning, Kentucky No
    Mike Crapo, Idaho No
    Bob Corker, Tennessee Yes
    Jim DeMint, South Carolina – No
    David Vitter, Louisiana – No
    Mike Johanns, Nebraska Yes
    Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas – No
    Judd Gregg, New Hampshire – Yes

  • XXX

    COMMENT_DELETED

    • After all is said and done

      Press on 007 for English

  • Bad Boy Brown

    Amazing that an economic illiterate like Merkley voted no for a man that has more knowledge of the last US Depression than Merkley will ever know about in his pathetic life. Did UNION SHILL Merkley even graduate college?

    • Nate

      Stanford!

    • Jed Redneck

      Harvard.

      • Anonymous

        No. B.A. from Stanford and M.P.P. from Princeton.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Hitler was a right-wing fascist….period.

    Nice try but facism was the middle path between capitalism and communism. THerefore it was to the left of capitalism and to claim it was a right wing movement is really a little silly.

    >Hitler arrested and sent to camps were the communists and socialists who opposed him.

    Baloney, Hitler arrested or had killed anyone who opposed him – see “night of the long knives”.

    >Unions were verbotten.

    As they tend to be under any totalitarian state.

    >Racism and right-wing politics are joined at the hip.

    Former klansman Robert Byrd is right wing? Interesting, and all this time I thought he was a Democrat. Hey, how about all that hulabaloo over the confederate flag over the capital in South Carolina? That one sure got real quiet when it was pointed out Democrat Fritz Hollings had put it up when he was governor. I guess as Senator, when everyone was all cranky about it, the Dems finally figured out it wasn’t such a great idea to go on about it when one of their members sitting in the Senate had put it up in the first place.

    Oh yeah, and then there is Al Sharpton, noted race riot starter. Hmmm…. sure seems like he is a pretty left leaning Democrat.

    Oh well, nice try.

    >you can’t just re-write the historical record.

    Who would want to? The record is pretty clear. Who was in charge of defeating the Civil Rights act? Why none other than Al Gore’s dad in the senate. Yet again, another Democrat. Oh, and yeah, Republicans in greater proportion voted for that act than Democrats.

    • Anonymous

      All good points, Rupert. Perhaps it’s best that we all agree racism is not born of political institutions/ideologies but is in fact a problem shared by human beings from all races, creeds, religions, etc. As for fascism, to say that it can only come from so-called right wing sources would be naive (and dangerous) indeed.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >it’s best that we all agree racism is not born of political institutions/ideologies

        Sure, I would agree with that. Racism is largely a private issue, not a government sponsored one. Sometimes governments sponsor it, as was the case with the Nazi party and some current regimes in Africa ( I am using racism in a very general sense, Jews, Catholics, Hutu’s and Tutsi’s are not really races ).

        >. As for fascism, to say that it can only come from so-called right wing sources would be naive (and dangerous) indeed.

        Very dangerous indeed, it shows a complete misunderstanding of the impetus of fascism both economically (largely a command and control economy with privately held companies being administered by the state) and philosophically (collectivism, with the individual subsumed to the state, hardly a right wing idea).

        Then again Dean is the guy who once finally admitted that yes, Democrats do use race in politics, however when Democrats use race it is always to emancipate, when Republicans use it it is always to enslave.

        • v person

          “however when Democrats use race it is always to emancipate, when Republicans use it it is always to enslave.”

          I love it when you put words in my mouth that you can argue with. First, it isn’t about Democrats and Republicans as political parties. Southern Democrats were racist, or at best ignored race issues so they could hang onto their seats. Republican Lincoln may or may not have been racist, but he did lead a war against southern secession and ended up freeing the slaves. It is about oppressors versus the oppressed, and there should not be much question that over the long march of history, those on the oppressor side have been the “conservatives,” as in they fought to conserve their superior position in part by preventing progress through the granting of rights to those under them, often people of other races or religions. And they used race as a club to rally others to their cause.

          That the Republican party ended up blowing its chance to align with African Americans (Goldwater and Reagan both opposed the Civil Rights Act) and instead adopted a “southern strategy” that placed it on the wrong side of racial history in the United States is an unfortunate fact of life. They ceded the high ground, and will need a lot more than Michael Steele to win it back. I wish them Gods speed.

    • v person

      “Baloney, Hitler arrested or had killed anyone who opposed him – see “night of the long knives”.

      See chronological history. In February 1933 the Reichstag building was set on fire. Marinus van der Lubbe, a communist leader, was arrested and charged with arson. Anarchists, socialists and communists (i.e. the left) were subsequently rounded up and sent to Dachau. This event was quickly followed by the Reichstag Decree that rescinded habeas corpus and civil liberties. Hitler next went after the Social Democrats, basically the liberals of that time and place.

      Funny way to treat your fellow leftists.

      The Night of the Long Knives, which occurred in 1934 was an inside Mafia hit done after all the leftists were dispensed with to eliminate any remaining potential rivals. Hitler did not go after Rohm because he didn’t like his politics. They had the same politics. He went after him because he was a potential rival for leadership.

      Are you familiar with the Nazi “Charter of Labor?” It gave business owners complete control over their workers. Hitler abolished trade unions, the right to strike, and collective bargaining. Again, funny way to be a leftist.

      Hitler’s rhetoric against capitalism was limited to “Jewish capitalism.” A whole lot of industrialists got very rich under Hitler. He harnessed capitalism to his own ends. And he never rounded up capitalists as a group, which he did to leftists.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >See chronological history.

        Why? No one is arguing Hitler hated communists. That doesn’t make him right wing though. My hatred of lobster hardly means I don’t like oysters.

        >Funny way to treat your fellow leftists.

        Oh good lord, are you seriously arguing that if someone attacks a left wing group that makes them right wing?

        Fascism was fighting for preeminence. Every left wing intellectual in the US thought Fascism was great. Of course its possible for a leader of a rival left wing group to have members of other groups dispensed with.

        >Are you familiar with the Nazi “Charter of Labor?” It gave business owners complete control over their workers. Hitler abolished trade unions, the right to strike, and collective bargaining. Again, funny way to be a leftist.

        Not at all. It is exactly the way Fascism works.

        You really are under some serious misapprehensions. Absence of trade unions etc. does not mean a state is right wing. It simply means it is totalitarian. I sure hope you aren’t under the impression there are a lot of great workers rights in North Korea, or under the Khmer Rouge? Or would you argue the absence of workers rights under those regimes means they are right wing?

        >Hitler’s rhetoric against capitalism was limited to “Jewish capitalism.”

        Well, that and the fact that he named his party Socialist.

        There is also the fact that Hitler was a huge collectivist. He saw a persons body not as there own, but as a tool for the state. Maintaining health was not something that was a good idea, it was so one could work harder and be more productive for the fatherland. Again, hardly a right wing idea.

        >He harnessed capitalism to his own ends.

        Um, exactly, that is the economic aspect of fascism, privately held companies but a command and control economy. Hardly right wing. Not a lot of right wingers cheering Obama running GM.

        Face it, genocide is inextricably joined at the hip with leftist government, period.

        • v person

          “Oh good lord, are you seriously arguing that if someone attacks a left wing group that makes them right wing?”

          Well its a pretty darn good sign Rupert. Moderates, who actually are in between left and right, don’t tend to attack anyone.

          “My hatred of lobster hardly means I don’t like oysters.”

          I’m sure there is a meaning in there somewhere. Lobster….oysters….lobster hatred….oysters ok? Nah. I still don’t get it.

          “Every left wing intellectual in the US thought Fascism was great.”

          Really? If you say so I guess. Only the actual documented history is that it was the left wing intellectuals from America and Europe who went off and fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Now why did they do that if they thought Fascism was great? I’m sure there is an explanation in your Goldberg. Maybe it means they don’t hate Tapas but are ok with spanish rice? Of course, since the socialists were fighting on the side of the *Republicans* this could be quite confusing to those who think the National Socialist party was actually socialist.

          “Or would you argue the absence of workers rights under those regimes means they are right wing?”

          OK. On that one you win a debate point. In the end its all about control. Touche.

          “Well, that and the fact that he named his party Socialist.”

          Doh! I knew you would go there sooner or later. Its called “marketing” Rupert. See above on the Spanish *Republicans*. And then in Canada there are the *Progressive Conservatives*. What’s with that? A party of schizophrenics? We also once had the *German Democratic Republic*, which as it turns out lacked both democracy and republicans. And never mind about *People’s Republic* of this or that, where the *people* are chopped liver. My mind is simply plotzing. Howz about you bubeleh?

          “Again, hardly a right wing idea. ”

          Well here we get back into what is right wing and what isn’t. The right wing I know and don’t like much is uber patriotic, fears the other, and wants to control the reproductive rights of women, the sex partners of gays, and the dignified death wishes of everyone. It also fought a bloody war to preserve slavery, which is about as controlling of a human body as you can get. You confuse libertarianism, which is mostly anti-state, with right-wingedness, which clearly is not. It is selectively anti-state and selectively very pro state.

          “Um, exactly, that is the economic aspect of fascism, privately held companies but a command and control economy.”

          Again, you mix up libertarianism with right-wingedness. Hitler did not nationalize German industries. He confiscated Jewish owned businesses and handed them over to Germans. He paid those Germans a lot of money to produce war material with slave labor. To equate that with Obama taking public stock in GM after they defaulted on loans they came to the government for (and Bush granted) is too ridiculous to even bother with. Its called collateral Rupert. What would you have done in his place? Said oh don’t bother to pay it back? Bad business skills on your part.

          And have you even noticed that all the banks Obama “took over” are very busy paying back their loans with interest? Is Obama saying no…you are now all mine? Not.

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