Let's pass over quickly the fact that the White House has no philosophy and never has. A hash of tradition, panic, and sporadic grit does not make up a coherent set of beliefs. That aside, to blame the current mortgage-based economic crisis chiefly on Bush and the Administration is to have the point of view of an ant.
In an unusually long article there is no mention whatsoever of ex-President Clinton beefing up the CRA. When Fannie Mae and its crooked-as-a-dog's hind leg ex-CEO Franklin Raines is discussed it's only to say how pleased he was with his meetings with Bush. Nary a word about how Raines has been cozy with Dodd, Frank, and the Democratic Party for decades. Not a line about Greenspan, at the Fed through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, jerking around interest rates and the money supply for years.
Instead, we get the usual transparent bull about "Hands-Off Regulators." That's a joke. A very bad one. Keynesian Ben Bernanke hands off? Fascist Henry Paulson hands off? The thousands of regulations that have been distorting the housing, and every other, market for generations represent laissez-faire? Nonsense. On flea circus stilts.
The only significant regulatory loosening during the past 10 years was a modification of the Depression-Era Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. The major difference before and after was a repeal of the provision forbidding investment banks and commercial banks to play in the same sandbox. Apart from having nothing to do with causing the crisis, it actually helped, making it legal for Bank of America to buy tottering Merrill Lynch and Countrywide.
If we're to lay any blame at Bush's doorstep for this, remembering his (and Greenspan's) dozen attempts to get Congress to act to rein in Fannie and Freddie, it is only justified in that he did so little to actually push for free markets.
Obviously, to this type of mentality, until the U.S. is a virtual copy of the Soviet Union circa 1921, we will still have unregulated markets. Maybe not even then. Lenin had his NEP, after all.
Bad enough to have the memory and research skills of a gnat. But to have the soul of one, too, is beyond the pale, even for reporters at the New York Times.