The Harrowing Politics of Mortgage Relief

| Wed Oct. 19, 2011 11:24 AM EDT

Last night I briefly noted that among the Republican candidates at Tuesday's debate, "Nobody even pretended to have anything to say about housing." If you want to know what I was talking about, Dave Weigel rounds up the responses under the headline, "The GOP Candidates on Foreclosures: A Study in Mush." That's about right. And that's true for both fringe candidates and front runners alike. Tim Murphy has more on Mitt "Let It Hit Bottom" Romney here.

In fairness, President Obama hasn't exactly been a profile in courage on this issue either. But the Republican responses are a grim reminder of just how bad the politics of housing are. Voters may say they hate bailing out the banks — and they do! — but they hate bailing out the profligate next-door neighbors even more. No politician in America seriously wants to risk voter wrath by doing that.

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