Monday, September 29, 2008

This is shameful


Well, the House, after waiting for days while its so-called leaders and folks from the Bush administration crafted a $700 billion bailout plan, voted this afternoon to reject the proposal. I have no problem with people voting their conscience and either endorsing or opposing the plan. Few people, and definitely not I, really know too much about the nuts and bolts of the plan. But the part that angers me is the partisan, us-against-them undercurrent that accompanied the vote. At a time when our elected officials should have been putting aside their differences to sincerely do what is necessary to stabilize the economy, they degenerated into petty, party-against-party bickering. Apparently, before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, above left, who is the saddest excuse for a House leader in my memory, laid the blame for the financial crisis at the feet of President Bush. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I have plenty of problems with the way the president has led this country over the past eight years, but to saddle him with most of the blame for the meltdown of the finance sector is asinine. Then, after the bill went down to defeat, Rep. John Boehner, above right, one of the saddest excuses for a Republican leader in my memory, blamed Pelosi for his inability to round up enough Republican votes for the measure. "We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House," said Boehner. That's horse feathers. Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Massachusetts, replied, correctly, that "if that stopped people from voting (for the bill), then shame on them. If people's feelings were hurt because of a speech and that led them to vote differently than what they thought the national interest (requires), then they really don't belong here." Then Frank, who is no stranger to stupidity and controversy, said something very dumb: "The Republicans don't trust the administration. It's a Republican revolt against George Bush and John McCain." C'mon, Barney, that's just ridiculous. Now the so-called leaders in Washington have to get back to work to craft a new bailout plan, hopefully before the stock markets hit zero (The Dow was down nearly 800 points as I started writing this). But they really don't want to do that. An Associated Press story noted that Congress has been trying to adjourn so members can go back home and campaign for re-election (which explains why not enough of them were willing to stick out their necks for a bailout that is unpopular with the masses). When people talk about throwing out all the "bums" and starting anew, I generally consider that a knee-jerk reaction, but when you look at what's going on Washington these days, who can argue with a completely fresh start?

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18 Comments:

Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Does any of this really surprise you? The only thing any of these people are interested in is control. They don't care if it's control over a sinking ship. There are very few of them who will actually come together and work with somebody from the opposite party to craft any kind of legislation.
We've become a nation split in half by partisan politics.
And I see neither presidential candidate curing that problem.
Though I would prefer not to allow one party to run the whole show. We saw what happens with that previously. And it's rarely, if ever, good.
There needs to be some given and take.
Unfortunately, nobody in either party seems interested in any give - they just want to take from us.
The Dems want this to hang around because it likely gives their candidate a better chance to win in November. To hell with the country, they've got an election to win.
The Republicans don't want to lose face and look weak.

September 29, 2008 at 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a classic case of people being driven by fear to the point of not being able to decide what to do. But of course by NOT deciding, and offering no viable alternatives, they HAVE made a choice. All of them -- Dems & Reps -- fear what will happen to them if the plan doesn't work. But they want to be first in line to take credit if it does. But they fear losing what they have more than anything. Most of them are insulated enough to not take a monetary hit when the steaming financial guts of the nation are exposed. So they want to defer action as long as possible. And that's exactly what got us here in the first place. Why deal with anything when we can pass it along to the next generation?

September 29, 2008 at 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe did you consider that some of the people might not want the bailout plan? Maybe as some economics have suggested the plan was stupid, failed to address the problems and that there was no real answer but to allow the market to rectify itself and suffer through a downward cycle to fix the excesses of the previous upward cycle? No it is easier to blame the politicians that voted no and say that they couldn't reach the answer when only one answer, which many believed to be wrong, was offered. The truth is that they are attempting to do something when they probably should let it go. But that would doom them politically because you would complain that they should do something..anything.
We have the government that we demand, indecisive and pandering. It is what we ask of them. Would anyone consider voting for McCain (or Obama) if they said.
The Party is over, you used your houses as ATMs foolishly. There is no free lunch. You must limit your credit cards. You must pay your way with the money you earn, not live for today and forget tomorrow.
See the point

September 30, 2008 at 12:43 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Actually, I would be delighted to vote for a candidate who talked to me as if I were a thinking adult, one who can understand that sometimes we have to bite the bullet to correct mistakes of the past and return our country to a good footing. Instead, all of the candidates tell us what we want to hear, not what we NEED to hear. I think John McCain would actually be leading this presidential race, and be well on his way to victory if he had kept his "Straight Talk Express" on the tracks instead of derailing it for an approach that even Karl Rove found to be over the line, and if he had chosen someone like Tom Ridge as his vice presidential running mate. But, no, Ridge doesn't meet the ideological test of the extreme right, so McCain fed them what they wanted with the Palin choice. What he missed, I think, is that while some single-issue (anti-abortion) voters might have stayed home if he had picked Ridge (they would never vote for Obama), most of them would have stayed on board (considering the alternative), and he might have picked up significant support from the center and solidified his backing among undecided voters. Plus, you almost certainly win Pennsylvania. Look at it this way: You're considering McCain for president, but you're a bit concerned about his age. But, you say, Tom Ridge, ultra-solid Tom Ridge, the former congressman, governor and Homeland Security chief, is sitting in the wings, ready to assume control of the country. You feel better. With Palin, maybe not so much. It's really not too late for McCain. If Palin continues to ramble and look like a deer in the headlights in Thursday's debate, she could bow out, citing the current needs of her family. No one would blame her for that. In fact, maybe she enhances her future prospects. And McCain could do what he should have done in the first place.

September 30, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter told us what we didn't want to hear in 1979 and it cost him the presidency (forget about the Iran hostage thing). I agree that Congress was right to push back against Bush this time. Throwing a harebrained, quickly hatched scheme into action is the last thing we should do. It annoys me, however, that both parties are so busy fingerpointing that they will get nowhere. It also annoys me that Bush -- who in one of his first official acts as president tried to change bankruptcy laws to favor preadatory lenders -- now wants to bail out these highly trained financial schmucks who knew what they were doing just as surely as the middle class schmucks who ran up their credit cards.

No president or Congress will ever be able to convince Americans to voluntarily change the way they live because we have developed a sense of entitlement over the last 50 years. I shudder to think what would force us to stop profligate spending. $15 a gallon gas? Massive food shortages? Raising the price of video game systems and LCD TVs to $10,000? Why sacrifice when we can simply pass along the burden to our kids?

September 30, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

By the way, I'm no fan of this bailout plan. But playing politics with it as Pelosi did is reprehensible.
Not that the Republicans haven't done the same thing in the past.
But they need to rise above this kind of stuff.

September 30, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no way McCain would dump Palin at this point. The base would go berserk, it would look like another stunt and it would bring into question the level of vetting that went into her choice. It would be reminiscent of Thomas Eagleton leaving the McGovern ticket in '72, and we all know how that turned out...

--Brad Hundt

September 30, 2008 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

It might be true that the things you say would happen would, indeed, happen if McCain were to change horses in the middle of the stream. It would have to be couched very clearly as her putting her family first, etc. But I'm not sure a comparison with 1972 is valid. I think McGovern would have lost even if Jesus Christ was his running mate.

September 30, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Christ would have really pulled in the Christian Conservative base.

September 30, 2008 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ wasn't as conservative as Conservatives would have you believe. In fact, he was pretty damned radical.

September 30, 2008 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Because John McCain isn't playing politics in this situation? There is no deal done yet and he has resumed his campaign. Why? He said he was suspending his campaign until there was a resolution. Clearly he wasn't trying to get either himself or Sarah Palin out of a debate was he?

September 30, 2008 at 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that McGovern was probably bound to lose in '72, but the Eagleton fiasco certainly added to his woes.

If she went the "spend more time with my family" route, there would be days of stories about the McCain campaign being in disarray, etc. And who would he pick as a replacement? The likes of Romney, Pawlenty, etc., would probably beg off, not wanting to be part of what, at that point, would look like a losing effort. Lieberman or Ridge would enrage the base. I think his only option is to stick with Palin 'til the bitter end.

--Brad Hundt

September 30, 2008 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picking Palin is the only reason McCain stays relevant in this campaign. The Republican party has been about as fresh as month old bread and as exciting as a yawn. Now, they finally have someone who people are paying attention to and there is a groundswell to have her step aside.

Is she in over her head? Sure is, but so is Obama and McCain. Obama's inexperience is no different than Palin's. What type of expressed solutions has he made about solving the economic mess?

And McCain is so out of touch on the economic front that it's just as frightening. No one is asking these two to step aside.

The real reason people want Palin out is that she is a woman. And we don't like them uppity women having a chance to some day be president. The Democrats would rather have a black man than a woman be president as Hillary learned.

The sexism that permeates this campaign is leaving a rank smell.

October 1, 2008 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Not quite, anonymous...

The reason people want palin to step aside is because she is WOEFULLY unqualified.

Obama hasn't proposed a solution to the economic crisis... yes... but that is in character for him. He has positioned himself as someone who doesn't make rash decisions. McCain may be out of touch with economic realities... but he hasn't produced a solution either. Methinks that anything that costs 700 billion dollars should have more than a week or two of deliberation behind it.

Palin is simply not that smart... booksmart I mean. Hell, she is a governor of a state... so she isn't stupid. But she isn't "fact" smart like obama, mccain, and biden. Most americans at least want someone who knows a lot of stuff about the world. Palin does not.

-ellipses

October 1, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

To Dale and Anonymous: Christ was not a political leader, and had no interest in "pulling in the base." Quite to the contrary, He rejected the "base," told them they were "white washed tombs" and "hypocrites." Yes, His message was radical, but the message had absolutely nothing to do with political power.

October 1, 2008 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

That's right... but not everything the right accuses the left of doing is out of political ambition... for example, gay marriage. I don't have a horse in that race; I push it because I think it's the "right" thing to do... But when society itself is politicized, it becomes political... Look at stuff being bantied about this election season... how much of it is, at it's core, about policy and governance?

-ellipses

October 1, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

I was making a joke when somebody else mentioned Christ. Sorry it went over your head.

As for Obama positioning himself as someone who doesn't make rash decisions, I would disagree. He has positioned himself as someone who will always make the decision that is best for his future in politics.
This guy has been running for president for the past 10 years. America was just let in on the secret in the past 20 months.

October 2, 2008 at 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All politicians remind me of the old Phyllis Diller joke: "I've been married so many times I keep my bridesmaids on salary." Politicians never stop running ... either for office or scared.

October 9, 2008 at 9:00 AM  

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