Bailout fails, Republicans blame a speech

Ridiculous logic sometimes emerges at ridiculous moments.

Such was the case today in Washington, D.C. after a massive, controversial piece of legislation that would given the Bush administration up to $700 billion for a bailout of the nation’s beleaguered finance industry failed by a narrow margin in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The result on Wall Street was historic, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average absorbing a 777-point drop that comes in as the greatest daily drop in points in a single day in the history of trading in New York.

Coupled with that collapse was an immediate search for blame among U.S. officials, who immediately sought to interpret what the bill’s failure meant and who was really at fault.

But the most curious blame handed out on this historic Monday came from House Republicans, who chose to fault the defections of some of their party officials from the contingent supporting the bill on a speech given by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., prior to the vote.

In her speech, Speaker Pelosi blamed the nation’s current fiscal crisis on the Bush administration and years of “right-wing” leadership that resulted in little regulation, as greedy investors and bankers lent out billions in bad, high-risk mortgages that precipitated the current crisis.

Because of that, say House Republicans, some GOP legislators that would have voted in the affirmative and perhaps ensured the passage of the bill defected and ended up voting no, contributing to failure of the bill by the narrow, 228 to 205 margin.

But let’s really consider what this means.

For Speaker Pelosi’s speech to have caused the defections of perhaps dozens of Republican representatives from voting for this bill, it would mean that these legislators allowed themselves to be convinced by their own childish anger to vote against legislation for which they were ready to vote.

People who allow their emotions to get in the way of how they ought to legislate for the good of the country and the good of their constituents have no right to be working in Congress.

Given how ridiculous such reasoning is, it is way more likely that the Republican Party simply could not garner the necessary support for legislation that was originally sponsored by the sitting, Republican U.S. President.

Maybe they are fed up with President Bush, and despise his policies as much as everyone else does.

But even if most Republicans simply did not support the bill to begin with and only a handful of Republican legislators defected due to simple political speech, it remains very telling about the way that handful of legislators work and what the American people are really dealing with in terms of some current U.S. legislators.

Tying into this is speculation that many of the officials who were on the fence about the bill and eventually voted against it were legislators facing tough challenges in the November election.

They probably feared that a vote affirming the delivery of $700 billion taxpayer dollars to the very Wall Street tycoons who have taken the U.S. down this road could potentially sway their local elections in the wrong direction, regardless of the presence of significant oversight and stipulations protecting taxpayers in the revised bill.

Considering the general disdain for the bailout, they are probably right.

But wouldn’t it be great if the names of some of the Republican legislators who voted no simply because of ill will stemming from Speaker Pelosi’s political speech become public?

Taking such action on a very important piece of legislation is also deserving of electoral retribution from the voters, as legislators should vote based on careful thought and deliberation, and not on personal or partisan anger directed at their opponents across the aisle.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Bailout fails, Republicans blame a speech

  1. Nicholas Stewart

    With regard to the national political stage while also considering our state and municipal arenas, I fault anyone who’s held elected office over the last 20 years.

    This crisis has been developing for years. YEARS.

    Conservative deregulationists and liberal social reformists both contributed to this disaster.

    Clearly, lack of oversight has caused this train to leave its rails. At the same time, risky legislation encouraging dangerous lending practices (in an unregulated environment) is a recipe for disaster.

    Why didn’t anyone listen to the rishest man in the world? Warren Buffet has avoided just about every financial downturn in the last 20+ years (that I am aware of and that’s just me looking back to 1985 – he’s been doing this for over 50 years)

    Something has to be done.

    The “bailout” plan (what terrible PR they’ve allowed) ought to protect the US gov’t, US taxpayers, restore confidence in our financial system, prevent future messes of this magnitude and sector focus, AND establish a method for identifying/punishing wrong-doers (whether business or individual).

    Then, I would like the entire US Congress to resign. It is clear that career politicians are one of the main drivers behind these types of situations.

    Read the news articles about lobbyists having unfettered access to our, I REPEAT ‘OUR,’ ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES is infuriating. I reach only an aide who records my concern for a briefing while Mr. Lobbyist has lunch.

    I love business, capitalism, free markets, etc. But, I don’t believe that business comes first.

    I do.

    I vote.

    Tobacco and Fannie Mae don’t.

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