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Bailout Plan Dies – Republicans Spin

September 29, 2008

Although I do not know if this was the best bill we could have for the economy, I do know, however, this is an indictment on the kind of leadership we can expect if John McCain remains the leader of the Republican party, and heaven forbid the free world – – a large bag of air. It was earlier TODAY that Mr. McCain and YESTERDAY that his campaign chief sought credit for this proposals current version.

John McCain:

"I put my campaign on hold for a couple
days last week to fight for a rescue plan that put you and your
economic security first. I fought for a plan that protected taxpayers,
homeowners, consumers and small business owners.

I went to
Washington last week to make sure that the taxpayers of Ohio and across
this great country were not left footing the bill for mistakes made on
Wall Street and in Washington.

Some people
have criticized my decision, but I will never, ever be a president who
sits on the sidelines when this country faces a crisis. Some of you may
have noticed, but it's not my style to simply "phone it in."

Yesterday, Steve Schmidt on Meet the Press:

"What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties
to the table, including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed
to pass this"

But now that it has tanked, now that the GOP has pulled their support, for what I consider "political expediency", no one wants any of the credit.

John Boehner, House Republican Leader:

"I do believe that we could
have gotten there today, had it not been for this partisan speech that
the Speaker gave on the floor of the House. I mean, we were — we put
everything we had into getting the votes to get there today, but the
Speaker had to give a partisan voice that poisoned our conference,
caused a number of members who we thought we could get to go south."

Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor followed Boehner's example (and actually used a copy of Speaker Pelosi's remarks as a prop):

"Right here is
the reason I believe why this vote failed," Cantor said, "and this is
Speaker Pelosi's speech that frankly struck the tone of partisanship
that frankly was inappropriate in this discussion."

and John McCain has now joined his campaign's (not his own) voice to the pile on.

Economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin:

"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

"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.

What we have hear ladies and gentlemen is a total and complete abdication of responsibility – an apathetic absence of leadership hoisted on us by the Republican House and Presidential Candidate. The notion that Speaker Pelosi's speech (text below) caused a huge amount of the members of the Republican House to defect from whatever deal (that they aren't owning up to) and sub-marine this bill is preposterous!

Full Pelosi Speech:

"Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of
the Bush Administration's failed economic policies–policies built on
budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no
regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create
jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created

That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary
Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in
the Capitol.

As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that
has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to
the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans
on Main Street.

It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.
Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a
crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United

It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their
homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.

It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every
Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly,
with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the
damage already done to the financial security of millions of American

Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican
colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush

I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman
Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have
never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.

I also want to recognize Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep
knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy
experience, to resolve key disagreements.

Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help
reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to
his original proposal.

Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must
protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall

The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our
regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky
financial deals. They did not jeopardize the economic security of the
nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and
stabilization bill.

So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions:

This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to
ensure that the recovery program is managed with full transparency and
strict accountability.

The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.

The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public's
participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries
and golden parachute retirement bonuses.

Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of
golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No
longer will the U.S. taxpayer bailout the recklessness of Wall Street.

The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

And should this program not pay for itself, the financial
institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear
responsibility for making up the difference.

These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American
taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough
accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.

This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this
crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold
investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis
developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be
managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.

With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult
job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a
growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure
retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small
business credit.

Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must
act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to
fashion this legislation.

This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation's
economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus
package–a robust, job creating bill–that will help Americans
struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track, and renew
the American Dream.

Today, we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our
experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership
that has left us left capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and
a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America
in a New Direction to a better future."

I defy you to find the passage that was so overwhelmingly partisan that it sent the GOP in a tail-spin of NAY votes.  That is what we call political theater.

That 's bad, and Rep. Boehner and Rep. Cantor, along with any other of their constituency that hold to that lie should be put on display in the Capital Rotunda under the moniker, "Here stand two boobs!"

The bailout plan may be awful, it may be a terrible miscue, but this decision to kill the bill by the GOP is bordering on negligence. But the most scurrilous attack comes, of course, from John McCain.  It amazes me how someone can talk out of two-sides of the same mouth, but make no mistake, John McCain is a master of it.   Minutes before the vote begins, he's the reason it got to the floor.  Not two-hours after he took the leadership credit, it's Barack Obama's failure of leadership and partisan behavior.  There is no culpability with McCain.  Just pass the buck mentality.

People, they think we are fools. John McCain should lose the election today for this purely feeble attempt to lead his party.  Nothing more and nothing less.

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