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?