Patterico's Pontifications


Media, Dems blame House GOP for being ignored on Wall St. bailout

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:45 am

[Posted by Karl]

Big Media like MSNBC, CBS News and the Associated Press to name a few, are duly lining up behind the Democratic Narrative that John McCain and House Republicans were responsible for the failure to reach an agreement on Wall Street bailout legislation yesterday. As MSNBC reports:

Earlier Friday, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank declared that an agreement depends on House Republicans “dropping this revolt” against the Bush-requested plan.

The Massachusetts Democrat said leading Democrats on Capitol Hill were shocked by the level of divisiveness that surfaced at Thursday’s extraordinary White House meeting, leaving six days of intensive efforts to agree on a bailout plan in tatters only hours after key congressional players of both parties had declared they were in accord on the outlines of a $700 billion bill.


“We need to get the president to get the Republican House in order,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor. “Without Republican cooperation, we cannot pass this bill.”


The White House summit meeting had been called for the purpose of sealing the deal that Bush has argued is indispensable to stabilizing frenzied markets and reassuring the nervous American public. But it quickly revealed that Bush’s proposal had been suddenly sidetracked by fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to embrace a plan that appeared close to acceptance by the Senate and most House Democrats.

In reality, Barney Frank was no more shocked than Capt. Renault was to discover that there was gambling going on in Rick’s Café Américain — because there was nothing sudden about the GOP opposition to the current bailout proposal.

House Democrats are demanding significant support from their GOP colleagues for bipartisan CYA. However, the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 conservative lawmakers, had been raising its concerns for days, and was reportedly working on an alternative. Next, the Politico reported:

The vice president traveled to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to silence a chorus of GOP complaints about Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion plan. But House Republicans who walked into a closed-door meeting with Cheney steaming over the plan walked out just as angry, and they described what happened in between as both “a bloodbath” and “an unmitigated disaster.”


Another lawmaker present — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — said that Cheney, White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and economic policy adviser Keith Hennessey “were in worse shape when they left than when they came in.”

And if Barney Frank missed it in the Politico, it was also reported in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other media outlets. Media outlets including The Hill continued to report on House Republican opposition to the current proposal before the White House meeting.

Like WLS, I was no fan of the way the GOP Congress managed to mislead itself into the minority in 2006. Nevertheless, if Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Schumer, et al. wanted bipartisan CYA from House Republicans, they might have considered addressing the House GOP’s very public concerns about the bailout, rather than expecting that Pres. Bush or McCain have some magic wand that would cause Republicans to vote for a widely unpopular Wall Street bailout that runs against their general conservative or libertarian principles.

Granted, GOP members might have to compromise in the end to pass a law in the interest of preventing the current turmoil from spreading further into the rest of the economy. Indeed, they might even compromise out of political self-interest. But Democratic leadership ignored the House Republicans at their peril — and possibly ours.


43 Responses to “Media, Dems blame House GOP for being ignored on Wall St. bailout”

  1. Nevertheless, if Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Schumer, et al. wanted bipartisan CYA from House Republicans, they might have considered addressing the House GOP’s very public concerns about the bailout, rather than expecting that Pres. Bush or McCain have some magic wand that would cause Republicans to vote for a widely unpopular Wall Street bailout that runs against their general conservative or libertarian principles.


    There are currently 235 Democratic Representatives and 199 Republican Representatives. Approximately 100 Republicans oppose this bailout. Pelosi doesn’t need them to pass this bill. The Democrats’ problem is they don’t have the guts to make the tough votes.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  2. DRJ,

    The math is obvious, though there are Dems who don’t like the bailout also.

    I’m just sayin’ that if Pelosi wants bipartisan cover, she might have tried being bipartisan.

    Karl (133ddc)

  3. The Democrats’ problem is they don’t have the guts to make the tough votes.

    That’s been the tagline to my faxes today, “the Dems want it, they’ve got the votes, let ’em ride that rail all the way to the end”.

    X_LA_Native (962077)

  4. As you say, they don’t need the Repubs in the house to pass the bill, just to CYA.

    So much for Sen. Reid’s concern about not politicizing things. I think I’ll need to consider moving to Nevada before the next time he’s up just so I can vote against him.

    As I’ve posted on the “No One Covered Themselves In Glory” thread, I think McCain should fire some rockets tonight that will do the opposition and the MSM some damage.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  5. The Dems need exactly 0 Republican votes to pass this out of the House.

    JD (41e64f)

  6. I’m very surprised the Democrats haven’t tacked on an extension of the offshore drilling moratoriam and oil shale excavation prohibition onto the bill, or have they?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  7. Bravo for the House Republicans. Now is the time to stand up for American taxpayers. If the GOP wants to retake the White House and gain majorities in both houses of Congress, Dems have provided the issue.

    The GOP must refuse to knuckle under to White House pressure, and likewise refuse to provide cover for the Democrat Plan to Bankrupt the Nation. If John McCain has the guts to poke Obama in the eye and expose him for a fraud tonight, we stand a good chance of coming through this mess with our house in shape to recover from the disaster Democrats have brought down on the economy.

    God Bless the House Republicans. Now, go get ‘um!

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  8. The only reason this bill has not passed yet is because the pork has not yet been apportioned to everyone’s satisfaction. Just work hard and pay your taxes and everything will come out ok.

    nk (796b84)

  9. Karl,

    Maybe I misunderstood your point but I don’t think we disagree. I think Obama (as the Democrats’ designated leader yesterday), Pelosi and Reid mishandled these negotiations. In my opinion, they should have had Obama saying this for the nightly news soundbites:

    I will lead the Democrats in Congress to do whatever it takes to handle America’s economic problems, and that’s why I’ve come here today to talk about these problems and try to work out any differences. However, because time is of the essence, I hope our political opponents will in good faith pledge to work out our differences and promptly approve this vital bailout.

    Instead, according to the reports I’ve read, Obama began by asking Secretary Paulson to evaluate and discredit the GOP objections. That made the Republicans feel like this was not a good faith negotiation but instead that they were being ganged up on by the Democrats and the Bush Administration.

    You have shown in this post that some Republicans didn’t like the bailout from the beginning. I don’t know what contacts the Democratic and Republican leaders have had this week — probably there were many — but it looks like the Democratic leadership decided to go to yesterday’s meeting with a stick instead of a carrot. Specifically, the Democratic leadership read the polls and decided they would not approve the bailout without GOP cover, but they also decided they would use yesterday’s meeting to force the Republicans’ to approve the bailout by pitting them against the united front of the Democrats and the Bush Administration.

    My guess is the Democrats thought the Republicans would cave in the face of defying their President united with a majority of Congress in a high-profile venue. Perhaps the Democrats also thought the Republicans wanted to reach a deal so McCain could claim the problem was solved and return to the scheduled debate and campaigning. No matter what their motivation, however, the Democrats bet everything on a risky negotiating tactic that gave them no fall-back position and they lost.

    IMO the Democrats’ all-or-nothing negotiating tactic was foolish. Even an average negotiator knows you don’t put all your eggs in one basket but, in this case, it tells us even more about the Democrats. It tells us the Democrats see the bailout solely as a political problem, not an economic problem, and they made the mistake of thinking the Republicans view it the same way.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  10. I’m very surprised the Democrats haven’t tacked on an extension of the offshore drilling moratoriam and oil shale excavation prohibition onto the bill, or have they?

    Harry tried slipping that into the latest stimulus package and it FAILED.

    X_LA_Native (962077)

  11. X_LA_Native – I was aware of Hairy’s failed attempt to sneak the oil shale limitation into the stimulus package, which is why I thought he might keep trying to sneak it into other bills.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  12. I thought Paulson called McCain back to Washington to deal with these people (that’s what Bob Schieffer said). Did McCain fail in his mission? He was suspending his campaign to go to Washington and yet there is no bill as he “un-suspends” it. Why not. Why can’t John succeed in doing what he promised?

    timb (a83d56)

  13. DRJ,

    I don’t know that we have any disagreement at all. I have a slight disagreement with the way WLS characterized the House Republicans who — for their myriad faults — do have to face the voters and are generally not fans of big gov’t solutions, and thus should not be expected to cave without getting something.

    My larger disagreement is with those who have been talking about a bipartisan deal all week, when they knew they didn’t have one in the House.

    As it turns out, Boehner told Pelosi’s staff and the media this on any number of occasions.

    To be scrupulously fair, I think the Dems were not being entirely unreasonable in expecting Bush to round up some GOP support, just as Gingrich made sure there was GOP support for Clinton proposals on free trade, welfare reform, etc. One could find many examples in history of the dynamic. However, it should have been apparent to the Dems (and Bush) that their proposal wasn’t selling to the House GOP. Thus, for Frank, the MSM, etc. to paint the House GOP as somehow blindsiding everyone in the meeting is ridiculous and seemingly partisan.

    The Dems may well have the votes to pass a bill by themselves. I’m merely adding that if they don’t want to take that responsibility themselves, they can’t ignore the people whose support they want, let alone blaming them.

    Karl (133ddc)

  14. timb,

    Can’t you Democraps ever think of the country first, not yourselves and increasing your personal power?

    PCD (1df2b5)

  15. Why can’t John succeed in doing what he promised?

    I don’t think he promised a deal, but determined that if the Dems were going to let Obama run the meeting and ask the House GOP what they thought, that the House GOP should be heard. They were being ignored, but getting that support is de facto key to getting a deal, which McCain has now facilitated by pointing out the elephant in the room that was being ignored.

    OTOH, Dems handed their lead in the meeting to Obama — who prides himself on getting people together in a room and hashing out an agreement, which didn’t happen.

    Karl (133ddc)

  16. Sorry, daley. Initially I thought he’d included it in a continuing resolution appropriations bill.

    which is why I thought he might keep trying to sneak it into other bills.

    He might yet. If that’s the case, I’m going to demand my two stand and let the Dems take the heat and the responsibility.

    X_LA_Native (962077)

  17. timb – Are you announcing a McCain failure? Should I alert the media?

    Has he formally “un-suspended” his campaign as well? Do you know something everybody else doesn’t? Should I alert the media about that too?

    Are you always such a dick? Nevermind, that was a rhetorical question.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  18. Karl – It does sound like Obama totally fucked up the meeting. He’s just not used to this bipartisan stuff.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  19. Karl,

    If 100 GOP representatives oppose the bailout, I assume that leaves as many as 99 who support or are open to it. If just 70 GOP representatives sign on, that would make the vote on the bailout about the same as the June 2008 FISA vote, although the parties are reversed. As you implied in your post, it’s not the vote totals that bother Obama, Pelosi and Reid. It’s the accountability.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  20. Voila:

    But Blount [sic] said Friday that House Republicans may have stayed out of any negotiations if McCain hadn’t become involved.

    “We have been down that take it or leave it road and … until John McCain came back to Washington this week, Republicans were very much on the leave it side of it,” Blount said. “He got the discussion going in the direction we wanted to see it go all week.”

    And the dirty secret I’m pointing out is that it has to move at least in some token manner in that direction to get the bipartisan CYA needed for the deal. The Dems and Bush were going to run smack into that reality eventually, but it’s nice that Maverick took a day off to move everyone from denial to anger on the way to bargaining.

    Karl (133ddc)

  21. DRJ,

    The last figure I read was 50 GOP Housers supporting. Between the polling on the bailout and the markets heading upward, I doubt that number has increased much.

    Another point to consider is that McCain may well take ashort-term hit, based on the media spin of the meeting — but that being skeptical of an unpopular proposal probably helps in the medium-term.

    Karl (133ddc)

  22. Hey, I think you’re right upthread and above (in 21) about the Dems not being too unreasonable and, frankly, I wouldn’t blame any political party for seeking CYA on this sort of craziness. As conservatives were wont to fire back when Iraq went downhill: “You voted for the AUMF, too.” Big gambles require consensus.

    I just couldn’t resist taking a shot a Daley for his Shieffer story yesterday (as always, he fires back!).

    In any event, I’m not too keen on this bailout anyway.

    timb (a83d56)

  23. There is no credit crisis. Credit is still available. The only two things that have changed in the last month: 1) Credit is more expensive, and 2) You won’t get credit unless the lender believes they’ll get paid back. In other words, credit is no longer considered to be a human right available to all regardless of means. This is as it should be. Don’t let Paulson stampede you into socialism.

    No More Bailouts!

    gp (72be5d)

  24. Voila:

    Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) on Friday suggested Democratic leaders did not solicit enough input from House Republicans on the financial rescue package.


    Asked whether House GOP lawmakers are right to believe they were slighted, Kanjorski replied, “I don’t know that we included them in enough, and that’s always a dangerous thing in politics. Remember, you’re dealing with egomaniacs. We’re all egomaniacs down here.”

    Bipartisan agreement on that last bit, I would guess.

    Karl (133ddc)

  25. The Dems and GOPs are arguing where to put the deck chairs on the Titanic. Our real problem is not being addressed, i.e., that our present crisis is not an aberration: it is the unavoidable, recurring result of our present, badly-flawed system of creating money! R.H.Hemphill (once Credit Mgr. of Fed. Reserve Bank, Atlanta,GA.) said it succinctly: “This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one getsa complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.”
    I am against the “bail out” by means of public funds unless it is accomplished with permanent money created debt-free. More debt-created money just digs our hole that much deeper.

    Jan (1239b8)

  26. “Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit.”

    Jan – No. This is incorrect. Those Paulians are feeding you weird ideas again.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  27. Hello all Dems,

    Every one is in deep do do tonight. Rove is a genius, and I would like to play chess with him sometime. This is how things are going to play out.

    1 The setup..
    Palin not being able to think of how Mccain changed washington one time.

    2. Bush announces that we are in time of crisis. We need to do something now.

    3. Paulson say he wants unfettered power to spend 700 bln of taxpayers money.

    4. The dems don’t want to look bad by not being bipartisan in a time for crisis but doesn’t want to let one person have so much power again after all that has happened in the pass with the patriot act, war ect… The dems think that they have something to go on and start bashing mccain on his economic lack of prowess.

    5 Mccain suspends his campaign to go to Washington to do nothing. Spotlight is on him everyone bashing him. Fox news hannity says I’m even believing that mccain is not worth of presidency.. Hannity says the tax payers should not be on the hook what are they doing… Same thing from Mr O’reilly.

    6. The people in the US are in an uproar calling their reps and congress folks demanding a no vote on this media sells it.

    7. Bush meets with Mccain and Obamma. and some house repubs I think Paul Ryan of MIN(very smart man) He say I think we can do this without putting the taxpayers at risk. Obamma I like to hear more about this.. media is kicked out.

    Mccain says nothing…. More drubbing by the media.

    8. campaign/Debate must go on. Tonight Mccain is going to bash the dems with saying that He went to Washington and went against the establishment or status quo to change how things were done for you people.. I’m fighting for the american people.. We stalled this thing to make sure legislation wasn’t passed to put the tax payer on the hook for rushed legislation by the dems and bush..

    I think this is genius by them but we have time to change the strategy…. There should be people that look into the collusion of bush Paulson and the repubs… This thing is way out of hand when they start messing with not only the us economy but the world economy…

    I feel like Nostradamus’s today… I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think I am!!!! James Beaufore… P.S. Send a copy to Mr Rove.. I really would like to play a game of chess with him….

    Best Regards: James Beaufore

    james beaufore (cc84d4)

  28. daleyrocks: Did you miss the origin of the quote? I did not say it, Ron Paul did not say it, A former Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, Georgia said it.
    Let’s hear your version of the way money is created. Did you miss Econ 101 and 102?

    Jan (58820f)

  29. Jan – If you believe what he says then the Paulians have gotten to both of you. I don’t want to go back on a gold standard or some other mechanism as his quote implies we should, do you?

    Paulians are not usually worth debating. They are bugfuck nuts.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  30. Why don’t we have a national debate on whether the Federal Reserve, established 1913, has met this nation’s needs, or rather has caused wealth to be concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, impoverishing more and more people?
    I think the 100th anniversary of the Fed would be a grand time to abolishit and replace it with a wealth-money system instead of a debt-money system.
    I recommend for readable discussions on what is really happening right now.

    Jan (58820f)

  31. Sure, Jan – and let’s default on our country’s debts to other nations while we’re at it. F-ck ’em all, right? Do you even understand the critical role that Hamilton played in the creation of the Reserve, and how it bailed our country out of a crushing national debt structure?

    Man, what a ‘tard.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  32. Jan – All those bankers are Joooos as well, right?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  33. Daleyrocks: Ridicule is no subsitute for facts. You did not answer the question: How do you understand the method by which money is created in this country? Most people really do not know, you would not be alone if you do not.
    Ridiculing the possibility of “some other system” without hearing it is not a scientific mindset.
    (I am a former science teacher, please pardon the bias.)

    Jan (8d67a3)

  34. Jan – You must have passed over my comment about the utility of debating Paulians. I try to avoid it because they are usually bugfuck nuts. Why don’t you post the video of Money is Debt, that’s one that’s good for some big laughs.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  35. There’s another tactic: Straw men. I have not advocated defaulting on debt, nor blaming the Jews, and I do not know where that video is that has been mentioned; tell me and I’ll check it out.
    DMAC: Alexander Hamilton is responsible for having Congress pass the bank charter, not the “Reserve”, which is the Federal Reserve established in 1913, long after A.H.’s death.(He also wanted the President to have absolute veto over the Legislature and to hold office for life, like a king; those ideas weren’t good, either.)
    Pres. Andrew Jackson successfully ended such bank charters; it was the last time our government was out of debt. As for getting out of “crushing debt” governments do it by what could be called “slow default:” inflating the currency so that what is paid back is worth much less than what was originally borrowed. Solon of Greece is credited with that scheme, sometime B.C., I think.
    I am still waiting for any of you to explain how you think our currency comes into existence while still denying what is taught in any course and/or textbook in macroeconomics.

    Jan (8e9f3c)

  36. GOLD STANDARD NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    JD (f7900a)

  37. If Peelousy and Reid and Obama wanted anything close to a deal they wouldn’t have put in a provision giving ACORN, that commie racketeering organization 20 percent of the 750 BILLION dollars!
    That would be enough to veto this travesty of a deal and I salute McCain for opposing it. However, given what Reid said yesterday, that McCain said nothing at the meeting and what was said was not understandable, the dems need to get their lies in order.

    eaglewingz08 (98291e)

  38. Bush again proves that he is the Zombie LBJ.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  39. The Democrats are always quick to throw away our tax money in an attempt to get votes. I say NO the the bail out unless there are quanities that the present CEOs and top management DO NOT receive any compensation, are forced to leave without any compensation of any kind or even procecuted if warranted, the new CEOs and top management are paid far less than the present ones, the American People own the companies, and all profits from the operation and/or sale of the companies go to paying down the National Deficit.

    JohnnyBee (0c611d)


    Krazy Kagu (8c2752)

  41. Please leave incontinence problems out of this. Thx. bye.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  42. Jan,

    Thanks for the info on Ludwig von Mises. The matter of how money is created in this country, (and in modern economies in general) is a super topic. After graduating with an MBA I’m not exactly proud to say that I certainly don’t know. The quote from R.H.Hemphill is brilliant.

    Unfortunately the bailout is absolutely necessary. A disgraceful solution that will not solve long term problems. No bailout will undoubtedly bring an unprecedented global economic contraction, which will eventually pass. However, much more harmful will be demand for regulation in every nook and cranny imaginable – and we will never see the end of that.

    Al var

    al var (306006)

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