As banks across the country begin the process of implementing foreclosure moratoriums, it is important for the left to step back for a second and claim the victory - something we are usually pretty bad at.
In fact, it's due to our hard work, due to the rallies, sit-ins, bank-lobby takeovers, protests, pickets and media actions, that the biggest banks in the nation have called for a foreclosure moratorium.
Of course they will claim it has nothing to do with the above-mentioned actions. Of course they will claim it had more to do with faulty bank practices, procedures and mismanagement.
Fine. Let them slice it and dice it any way they want. But the fact of the matter is: GMAC is delaying foreclosures in 23 states; Bank of America is suspending all foreclosure evictions in all 50 states; and JPMorgan Chase, and some other big banks, are expanding reviews of foreclosure paperwork.
The fact of the matter is: hundreds of thousands of people will be able to stay in their homes.
Yes, it is a partial victory. Yes, it is a victory on largely on their terms. Yes, it comes two years too late. However, it is still a victory. Anything that keeps people in their homes and stabilizes the housing market in my opinion is a victory. Anything that slows down or stops the crisis even temporarily is a victory.
Additionally, while news pundits and think tanks ponder the hypothetical economic repercussions of a foreclosure moratorium - some say it will hurt an already precarious economic "recovery," while others claim that we need to liquidate properties as quickly as possible until the market hits some magical supply-demand equilibrium - it is important for us on the left to not get side-tracked with such economic debates.
If the past few years have taught us anything it is that the "smart" people don't have a damn clue. They don't know what the hell is going on, what will happen next, or how we should respond.
So let them debate. Let them pontificate. Let them talk about the economy as if it were Economics 101. I don't care what they do as long as we keep rallying, sitting in, taking over lobbies, protesting and picketing.
Because, in the end - whether the big banks acknowledge it or not - we've won something. We've won a partial reprieve. We've won some time to regroup, strategize and plan. And we should claim it.
Photo: People's World