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Pelosi Question

Is she (and Harry Reid) so stupid and partisan that she imagines that after that press conference last night, that she opened up by blaming George Bush and the Republicans for the mess, that she was going to get bi-partisan support for the bailout today?

That was a rhetorical question, of course.

[Update about 3:25 PM EDT]

Note that I didn't post this with the knowledge that the bill would fail, or that it would fail for exactly that reason. It was just a thought that I had last night while listening to her presser that I didn't get around to blogging until this afternoon. But only an idiot would have thought that this wouldn't have a negative effect on the proceedings. That's our Nancy, third in line for the presidency.

[Update late afternoon]

Roger Kimball explains how we got here, and who caused it. Don't expect to hear it from CBSNBCABCCNN. Or NYT.

[Evening update]

David Bernstein has further thoughts:

Speaker Pelosi's speech before the House today was remarkable, but not in a good way. She was trying to round up votes for a bailout package that shes claims to believe is essential for the stability of the American economy. She can't, and doesn't want to, pass the bill without a substantial number of Republican votes. So what does she do? You would think she would say, "let's pass this emergency measure now, in the best interests of the country, and talk about who is to blame later." Instead, Pelosi began her speech with a highly partisan tirade against "Bush" and "Republican" economic policies, which were allegedly to blame for this situation. She focused on an attack on the growth of federal deficits, which clearly are at best tangential to the current crisis. That, to me, is the sort of irresponsible thing you do when (a) you're not claiming there is a vast emergency; and (b) you are in the minority, and not claiming to exercise leadership. [Commenters point out that Republican Housemember were acting equally irresponsibly to the extent they rose to Pelosi's bait and voted against the bailout out of pique at Pelosi. True. But the Speaker of the House is a leader, not just a random member of the House, and her actions inevitably and justifiably get more scrutiny than those of her colleagues.]

That's right. Of course, the problem is that she doesn't see herself as the leader of the House, or a leader of the country. She sees herself as a leader of the Democrat Party, first and foremost, and it shows in her every action.

I sure wish that the historically low approval rating of Congress would translate into a new job title for her in a few weeks.

 
 

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45 Comments

Raoul Ortega wrote:

They're both counting on the American public blaming the GOP for this. And there's no evidence that they're wrong.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Given that the American public doesn't seem to favor the bailout, why is it a problem for the GOP if they get blamed for killing it?

Leland wrote:

If someone told me that in 2006 that Democrats would be pushing for a Wall Street bailout while Republicans were fighting against increased debt; I would have thought they were crazy.

Mike Gerson wrote:

Why is the GOP so sensitive to whatever the hell was in Pelosi's speech? Thin skinned, guys now come on.

As Ponnoru says, The Dems should now look to a bill that is to the left of the current bill and see whether they can pass it.

Meanwhile, in yet another gamble and stunt, McCain claimed credit for getting the votes needed to pass the bill before the bill was passed. So the blame now falls on McCain who failed to deliver the votes. Oops, time for a new stunt.

Anyway, I can only hope the doomsayers were wrong and that this isn't really the beginning of the end. Else we are all going to hurt pretty bad irrespective of our politics. Thanks George, you are on the way out of your office looking like Santa Claus Inverse.

Rand Simberg wrote:

Why is the GOP so sensitive to whatever the hell was in Pelosi's speech? Thin skinned, guys now come on.

Gee, because maybe they object to the Speaker of the House lying about them for political advantage in the middle of a campaign live on television in the middle of a supposed bi-partisan effort? If this was a big FU to her, she deserves it.

Leland wrote:

Some of us even recognize that McCain is hardly better in this situation than Obama. We worry that Pelosi might get her way in socializing the housing industry. However, there's a better chance that a Republican President might actually live up to the plan and return that industry to the free market. There is no chance that Billy Ayer's buddy will ever do that.

Bob wrote:

I don't understand why Republicans who wanted to vote yes before Pelosi spoke couldn't have explained that they were going to vote on the merits of the text of the bill alone, voted yes, and then proceed to debunk Pelosi's claims. My Republican congressman, who voted yes but who is certainly no fan of Pelosi, seems to be doing just that -- I just spoke to someone in his office.

philw1776 wrote:

So Speaker Pelosi who had enough Ds to pass this unilaterally could not get a supermajority of her own party to join the third or so of the Rs who voted yes. Watch the MSM blame the Rs for her abyssmal failure to craft a majority.

Obama,Save Us! :)

Mike Gerson wrote:

So GOP Housies decided to back the bill and then voted against it simply because of the content of Pelosi's speech.

Why? Did the content of the bill change while Pelosi was speaking?

Or, is it just that today's GOP can't really analyze the facts of anything with clarity? They just have a few ideological principles ricocheting in their brain? That would explain the complete work of lunacy that Eric Cantor offered as his bailout alternative!

It would be funny if I we didn't have to worry about a global financial meltdown being much more likely due to common GOP stunts.


Larry J wrote:

Why is the GOP so sensitive to whatever the hell was in Pelosi's speech? Thin skinned, guys now come on.

So Speaker Pelosi who had enough Ds to pass this unilaterally could not get a supermajority of her own party to join the third or so of the Rs who voted yes. Watch the MSM blame the Rs for her abyssmal failure to craft a majority.

About 1/3rd of the Republicans did vote for it. At the same time, the Democrats are in control of the House where there are no filibuster rules. They could've passed this without a single Republican vote (like they did in 1993 with Clinton's big tax increase) and there wasn't a thing the Republicans could've done to stop it. Apparently, a lot of Democrats voted against it, too, and yet we keep hearing how the Republicans are the ones who killed the bill. Yeah, right.

If Pelosi's stupidity caused some Republicans to vote against the bill, she has no one to blame but her own ignorant self. At the same time, her so-called leadership couldn't even get members of her own party to vote for the bill in sufficient numbers.

Carl Pham wrote:

WTF, Rand? Why does Pelosi need partisan support? She's got a majority! She doesn't need one single damn Republican vote to pass any bill she likes.

In any event, blaming the Republicans for the failure of the bill is the grossest, most contemptible hypocrisy. Take a look at the AP story. Forty percent of the Democrats in the House voted against the bill.

I really do not understand how it is Bush's and the minority Republican Party's problem to pass a bill which Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority want passed. Why doesn't Obama parachute in, for example, demonstrate a little of that vaunted leadership within his own party? Why doesn't Nancy Pelosi demonstrate a little leadership? What is it with the Party of the Whining Children that, even when they hold all the levers of power, it's still the fault of those damn Republicans that they can't get anything done?

Rand Simberg wrote:

I really do not understand how it is Bush's and the minority Republican Party's problem to pass a bill which Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority want passed.

Carl, the problem is that this isn't the bill that they wanted passed. Now they'll put all the noxious elements that the Republican leadership wanted out back in, and pass it on a party-line vote. I can understand the Republicans' anger, but they weren't going to get a better bill than this. Now the whole country is likely to get a much worse one.

Larry J wrote:

Carl, the problem is that this isn't the bill that they wanted passed. Now they'll put all the noxious elements that the Republican leadership wanted out back in, and pass it on a party-line vote. I can understand the Republicans' anger, but they weren't going to get a better bill than this. Now the whole country is likely to get a much worse one.

That depends on the reasons why so many Democrats voted against the bill. It's possible some voted against it because they believe it didn't go far enough to the left. It's also possible (and IMO more likely) that a lot of them heard from the folks back home and decided to vote against it in order to get reelected next month. There seems to be a lot of hostility to the bail out among ordinary Americans. I've heard some representatives say the email is running 99-1 against it.

Carl Pham wrote:

It would be funny if I we didn't have to worry about a global financial meltdown being much more likely due to common GOP stunts.

GOP stunts, Mike? So it's not the fault of the Democratic majority in Congress that the bill failed to pass? Or the fault of the forty percent of Democratic Representatives that voted against the bill?

You know, what's the point of Obama winning the Presidency, huh? The Democratic Party can't govern when it holds both houses of Congress. Congress didn't do dick about the price of gasoline, couldn't agree on what to do about oil exploration, couldn't agree despite endless hearings and votes on what the heck to do about Iraq, totally betraying the voters who put them into office in 2006 (luckily), and now can't manage to pass any bill on the financial mess. (If you think a bill to the left of what got rejected is going to pass, you've lost your mind. Trust me, the Democrats who joined the Republicans in opposing the bill didn't do so because they thought it gave too little power to government.)

So what's going to change with Obama in the White House, huh? We'll have more complete futility and inaction, and you'll be reduced to blaming it on George Bush somehow -- his mind-control beams will still reach out and prevent Democratic Representative and Senators from doing their clear duty, I guess, long after he's retired, and probably even cause Obama's pen to slip and veto some bill or other that he meant to sign.

What a bunch of sorry losers the modern Democratic Party has become. Bitch and bitch about being kept from power, beg to be given it -- but can't do squat when they actually have it.

Mike Gerson wrote:


I really do not understand how it is Bush's and the minority Republican Party's problem to pass a bill which Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority want passed.

Err..,Since Carl seems to have turned this on its head,..I'll try: maybe because George Bush is a Republican, Paulson and Bernanke work for him, and the latter two crafted the basic framework of the bill which Bush, still a Republican, wants passed.

I mean really, why should the Dems do anything to help at all? If the economy crashed right now, who do you think will benefit politically? The GOP? John McCain?

What is amazing to me is the degree of patriotism evident in the Dems attempt to help out the administration. And the lack of patriotism evident in the ideological nutshow in the House GOP.

Thoughts, Carl?

Carl Pham wrote:

Carl, the problem is that this isn't the bill that they wanted passed

I don't think so, Rand. I don't think the Democratic Reps said no way damn it, we need to have that ACORN money back in or I'm not voting for it. Earmarks and amendments are great stuff for campaign contributions, but they are not what gets the folks back home pissed enough to flood your phone lines.

I think Larry J pegged it. Plenty of folks at home do not like the whole idea of bailing out Wachovia, and are very likely ringing up their Reps and saying so. The ritual inveighing the Democratic Party has done against those rich corporations is coming back to bite them on the ass. I don't think it's any coincidence that Pelosi knew very well she'd need some votes from Reps (Republicans) who could vote for helping out corporate American without having their crazed community organizin' power to the people screw the rich Democratic constituents tossing them out of office for high treason. Republicans are allowed to be in favor of business, even big business.

Leland wrote:

There seems to be a lot of hostility to the bail out among ordinary Americans. I've heard some representatives say the email is running 99-1 against it.

That's what I'm hearing too. My representative didn't support it and never has.

Carl Pham wrote:

I mean really, why should the Dems do anything to help at all?

Because they're running Congress? Because the job of Congress is to make sure the United States prospers? Because being an American should matter more than being a Democrat? Because the people who are going to get savaged if the credit system comes apart are exactly all those living paycheck to paycheck, barely keeping ahead of the mortgage, credit card maxed out little folks that (naively) voted those Democrats into power? Because the Democratic Party would like to stand for some degree of integrity in governance, would like to do the right thing whether or not it will make a good political advertisement for the Obama Campaign?

If the economy crashed right now, who do you think will benefit politically?

You are too morally corrupt for me to have that conversation. That anyone would seriously contemplate deliberately allowing the economy to crash for the mere dirty purpose of political benefit is nauseating. Gangland hitmen stink less.

Leland wrote:

Rand,

Thanks for linking to the Roger Kimball article. People need to read it.

DaveP. wrote:

"That anyone would seriously contemplate deliberately allowing the economy to crash for the mere dirty purpose of political benefit is nauseating"

Kind of like deliberately cultivating failure in Iraq with pullout-plan after defunding vote after deliberate intelligence leak?

Why, it's almost like there's a deliberate pattern of placing Democratic Party agenda in front of the good of the country...

Chris Gerrib wrote:

My employment prohibts me from commenting on CRA, but I can point out this article http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=did_liberals_cause_the_subprime_crisis debunking the Kimball piece. Specifically from the article:

1) Mortgage companies are not subject to CRA, yet made 50% of all sub-prime loans.
2) Non-CRA-regulated affliates of banks (such as Golden West Financial Corp, bought by the latest victim Wachovia) originated another 25% to 30%.
3) In 2004, small and mid-sized banks were given broad exemptions from CRA regulations by the Bush administration, although CRA lending had slowed greatly since 2001.
4) Mortgage companies were writing sub-prime loans at twice the rate (twice as many loans) then regulated banks.

Mike Gerson wrote:

The simplest observation on the behavior of House Republicans is that they attached greater import to the content of Pelosi's speech than the high likelihood of impending national financial doom.

If the doomsayers are wrong, the GOP might still escape an awful fate. Blaming Pelosi's speech just isn't going to be an argument that works. It would be simply another sorry chapter in the juvenilization of the GOP, adding to McCain's stunts and Palin's clarity of thought. Sorry, it just won't work.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

This could get extremely nasty.

We might get a good test of whether capitalism has any way of handling this without the government and without an economic meltdown. My bet --and I consider myself a capitalist-- is against it; the current fall is just people hedging their bets a little bit, nothing more, and still it's a new record beating the reaction to 9/11.

The current inability of the sum total of the US government to handle a crisis in a responsible manner is very worrying and sets the stage for implications far beyond economics (US allies are already on the record voicing such concerns).

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Might I add that the house is burning while some are arguing over who bought the drapes?

MG wrote:

I wonder whether the 9th Amendment is due for a renewed round of respect?

Nah.. too many phony baloney jobs depend on the status quo.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Mike, the "observation" is spin. There's no way the Republicans suddenly developed thin skin overnight. Sure, some House Democrats are spinning the current impass as some sort of partisan effort by thinskinned Republicans. But ask yourself this, Where are the votes? The Democrats have a majority of the House and the support of President Bush, they shouldn't need the Republicans. What has happened, I wager, is that the Democrats have significant defections in their ranks and they need the Republican vote in order to pass this bill.

Your beliefs indicate to me an astounding degree of gullibility. Republicans aren't thinskinned nor are they sabotaging an important bailout package because Pelosi said mean things about them yesterday. Those are cheap rhetorical ploys. You've might have noticed the Republicans saying things about their opponents that reasonable people can see are obviously wrong. As it turns out, Democrats do that as well. Now you know.

Mike Gerson wrote:

Of course I know that is spin, and it's spin coming from Republican sources. I'm playing along with Rand's rationale.

Where are the House Republicans when George Bush needs them? Where are they when careful students of the situation warn of a cataclysm if nothing is done? -- They offer nutty schemes like Eric Cantor's!

It's not like the bill was viewed as a socialist give-away on the left and yet Pelosi could at least coax out a majority. The next bill offered should be much more to the left of this one and maybe that passes.

Anonymous wrote:

Those of you who want to re-write the history of this problem to fit the current facts need to read this very carefully:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/opinion/29krugman.html?em

Mike Puckett wrote:

Rand, I thought 'it' was banned?

Rand Simberg wrote:

Rand, I thought 'it' was banned?\

Mike, there are lots of "its." Why do you imagine that there is only one?

At least this one is not personally abusive to me (even if it is abusive to our collective intelligence by invoking Paul Krugman).

By the way, just for the record, anonymous comments that consists mostly (or even partly) of personal abuse of me will be deleted with extreme prejudice.

Just in case any trolls are wondering why their fantasized pearls of wisdom were deleted.

Carl Pham wrote:

Those of you who want to re-write the history of this problem...[followed by link to Minitru Spokesperson Krugman statement]

What amazes me about the Obamabots is the degree of pychological projection here. Orwell really understood these folks, did he not?

Daveon wrote:

I'm just enjoying the view at the moment. The popcorn is tasting just fine.

Not enjoying watching the bank system melting down though.

From a purely tactical view I suspect Rand was right. It's a sneaky, dirty and underhanded stroke that Pelosi played and to hear the GOP complaining is making me chuckle, even if it means the bill that *is* going to be passed is worse than the one that got kicked out.

Mike Puckett wrote:

"Mike, there are lots of "its." Why do you imagine that there is only one?"

When one leaves, another immeadiately takes its place. That is too much of a coincidence.

Occam's razor.

Jim Harris wrote:

It's a sneaky, dirty and underhanded stroke that Pelosi played

Actually, it was an overhanded whack with a Wiffle bat. Pelosi knew that if she rubbed even three words of rebuke together, House Republicans would throw themselves to the floor and wail out wild tantrums. Which is of course exactly what happened. Her only mistake was that they might well have done it anyway even if she had said nothing.

After all, a Republican President asked for this bill, and the Republican minority leader said, "While we were able to move the bill drastically to the right, it wasnít good enough for our members." With Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, Boehner, and John "King Solomon" McCain all begging House Republicans, what was Pelosi supposed to tell them? That she would endorse McCain-Palin if they vote for this bill?

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Jim, it's a strong indication to me that Pelosi has higher priorities than the solvency of the US banking system. And yes, she didn't make the right move. If you're in a burning building do you a) pick fights over who started the fire, or b) get out of the burning building?

I'm not surprised that you can't see why choice b) is the right choice here.

Jim Harris wrote:

Jim, it's a strong indication to me that Pelosi has higher priorities than the solvency of the US banking system.

The woman is not perfect and it's true that fiscal sainthood is not her only priority. But when the House Republicans blame her for this, it's a colossal case of pot, kettle, black. They want her to haul the fire hoses, they want to blame her for flooding the basement, and then half of them want credit for putting out the fire while the other half claim that the fire never existed. And their other argument is that she made them fiddle while the house burned because she bruised their egos.

And look how much better they are at dishing it out than taking it. Yes, she said that the credit meltdown was Bush's fault. Did she call for impeachment?

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Either way take a look at this.

Then read this.

And those links aren't in any way partisan, it's just plain information, an argument, and a counterargument.

Yes the map looks like an ill deranged zebra with a fresh paint job, very fitting ^_^

Habitat Hermit wrote:

I'll throw in the source of the map since it has another one as well and more info (the first link links there but we're all lazy right?).

Habitat Hermit wrote:

And in case people are scratching their heads this one should prove helpful.

(Is it just me or does the US government operate from a general principle of "stuffed turkey"? Maybe I shouldn't make a joke like that).

Leland wrote:

HH,

Thanks for the map. I counted about 15 Democrat Congressmen in California alone that voted against Pelosi. If she's the great leader, then one would think Pelosi could at least get her own state delegation to agree with her.

Personally, I think Pelosi wants this whole thing to fail, because she is looking at the political advantage. And that's fine with me. Look at the map. US "fly-over" country doesn't like the bailout, because it primarily doesn't affect them. They haven't been living in the housing bubble of New York, New England, and the West Coast. However, Pelosi does live in such an area.

Jim Harris wrote:

US "fly-over" country doesn't like the bailout, because it primarily doesn't affect them.

That is a huge non sequitur. Neither the bailout nor its failure affect anyone with a continuing mortgage. The problem now is that the credit market, which means credit cards and routine business loans, is jammed and on the verge of collapse. So it sure does affect fly-over country, because businesses there rely on credit as much as anyone does.

No, fly-over country is against the bailout purely out of ignorance and ideology. But there will be a bailout and fly-over voters probably will punish their Congressmen for doing the right thing.

Daveon wrote:

The problem now is that the credit market, which means credit cards and routine business loans, is jammed and on the verge of collapse.

The money market system started to fail last week...

That simply shouldn't happen. Ever. It can't.

If it does then frankly we're screwed.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

That simply shouldn't happen. Ever. It can't.

A lot of negatives that have already been shown false.

Leland wrote:

Neither the bailout nor its failure affect anyone with a continuing mortgage.

You say that because you haven't actually read the bill:

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are

(1) to immediately provide authority and facilities that the Secretary of the Treasury can use to restore liquidity and stability to the financial system of the United States; and

(2) to ensure that such authority and such facilities are used in a manner that

(A) protects home values, college funds, retirement accounts, and life savings;
(B) preserves homeownership and promotes jobs and economic growth;
(C) maximizes overall returns to the taxpayers of the United States; and
(D) provides public accountability for the exercise of such authority.

Carl Pham wrote:

They want her to haul the fire hoses, they want to blame her for flooding the basement

Jim, that's the price of leadership. You want to be the majority, ruling party, the bucks stops with you. You're in charge. That means you get the power and the perks -- and it means you legitimately get all the blame when stuff doesn't go right.

Or do the Democrats want to revise their opinion about whether George Bush is responsible for what happened in Iraq, because, gosh, a whole lot of other people contributed to it being messy, and if everyone everywhere had just cooperated, it would have worked out much better? You can't hold George Bush responsible for everything that happened while he was President, and then change the rulebook when you're in charge, as the Democrats have been in Congress for two years.

I realize Democrats have been out of power so long they have lost the habit of leadership, but at some point, they'll have to realize that when you have the reins, you get all the blame when the carriage careens off the road, whether or not someone else spooked the horses or threw stones under the wheels. Sucks, but that's life. If you don't like this deal, you don't have to run for Speaker -- or President.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 29, 2008 10:58 AM.

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