Monday, September 29, 2008
The Wicked Witch Speaks And The Dow Drops
The House of Representatives were working on the Wall Street bailout package today and nearing a vote. Just prior to the vote Nancy Pelosi, the esteemed Speaker of the House stood up on the floor and spent over four minutes attacking the Bush administration and extolling the virtues of the Clinton administration.
This was a circumstance in which the bill was 12 votes short of passage. After a week of highly partisan screeching by her and her fellow Dems in Congress, Pelosi delivers this speech and then promptly holds a press conference with Steny Hoyer, Barney Franks, and Rahm Emanuel expressing shock over why they can’t get the GOP to participate.
This was a week in which there have been continuous attacks on John McCain, first because he wasn’t in Washington helping craft a bailout package, and then because he came to Washington to craft a bailout package. If you want to see an incredible article on the day to day changes on the Democratic leadership stances, go here. There are simply too many to list here, it is highly recommended you scan this article.
The theme of this press conference was to express the Democrats desire to have a bipartisan solution to the bill. Completely ignoring the irony of this statement, they forged ahead attacking the GOP for not acting in a bipartisan way. Following the statements, the group took questions from reporters. When a reporter asked about the notion that Pelosi’s speech may have turned away some Republicans, Barney Frank mocked the GOP reps for “having their feelings hurt” and again ridiculed them for a lack of bipartisan spirit. Not to sound homophobic but the image of Barney Frank lecturing someone on a being a man was not an image I needed to be stuck with.
The best part of this press conference was just how many times the word “bipartisan” was used by every one of the speakers. It was amusing to watch Steny Hoyer intone that 60% of Democrats voted for the bill while 67% of Republicans voted against it, clearly making it the fault of the GOP. The bottom line is that the Democratic leadership couldn’t even sell this bill to much more than a simple majority of it’s own party.
As of the writing of this, I have become utterly uncertain what’s even in the bill anymore. I know part of the reason for the resistance to the bill is the recognition of the representatives of simple distaste of voters of bailing out banking lenders and borrowers from a mess of their own making. There is a growing sense that maybe it’s time for these people to be adults and live with their bad decisions. Many representatives, especially those in vulnerable districts, are afraid to vote for this and stick the taxpayers with the $700 BILLION tab.
What I saw in the faces of the Democratic speakers at the press conference was gripping fear. There is plenty of blame to go around for this mess, Democrats, Republicans, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Wall Street, and borrowers. The reality right now though is that the Democrats control Congress and the last week has been a study in absolute incompetence on the part of it’s leadership. Bush has proposed the plan, Congress controlled by the Democrats, could not deliver, largely because they could not resist the liberal necessity to attach goodies to the bill. Further, as I said earlier, they have attempted to run roughshod over the Republican members. Finally, they have presented a public image that can be described as being nothing more than a circus. Announcing they have a plan, only to have the Republican members come out and say they did not agree with their plan. Continuously, as mentioned earlier, delivering partisan attacks. Finally, holding a show vote when they knew they did not have the votes needed for passage. It is clear that today’s vote was for nothing more than to be used as a political attack.
Now to the Dow dropping. At the time of writing this, I am watching Sheppard Smith on Fox News. In the corner of the screen, they have a shot of the board at the NY stock exchange and it is easy to see that he market is quite volatile right now. The Dow is in the middle of it’s largest one day point drop ever. While the press conference is ongoing, the numbers are dropping, afterwards, the numbers are back up. To quote Smith “… we’ve recovered 250 points off the lows of this day and it would appear to me that the down slope happened as the leadership spoke and the upturn happened when the leadership shut up.” It’s hard to put it any better than this. My only hope is that, if this is true, I hope they shut up and stay that way because I would like to retire someday.
The only thing that may be rivaling the drop of the Dow is the drop of Barack Obama’s credibility. He is looking foolish because he took full credit for the plan (see my blog from yesterday for one of my “I told you so” moments). He is also going to take some of the Congressional heat because of the Democratic partisan attacks on John McCain last week. McCain is already on record as pinning this all on him. This is the statement from the McCain campaign. story here
“From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.
Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.
Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.
This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.” —McCain-Palin senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin
It just may turn out that McCain’s bad week last week may be passed on to Obama this week.