Patterico's Pontifications


What the Bailout Negotiations Teach Us about McCain and Obama as Leaders

Filed under: 2008 Election,Economics,Government,Media Bias — DRJ @ 1:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Although I often disagree with his conclusions, Marc Ambinder has an interesting perspective and I like to read his blog. However, one of today’s entries left me perplexed:

“The fact is that Boehner doesn’t have 100 votes from his conference — 100 votes that Nancy Pelosi really wants. And that’s not McCain’s fault.

But Boehner and the White House — and McCain — if they want to get something passed — do have the responsibility to persuade these Republicans to support the bailout.

After all, if not to get these recalcitrant Republicans on board, why did McCain go to Washington in the first place?”

This is a perfect illustration of the profound misunderstanding Democrats and their surrogates have about what Congress is supposed to do. I support the bailout but that doesn’t mean I want it to be approved by Congress without input, analysis, discussion and, yes, even disagreement.

Liberals love to talk about diversity and that ought to include diversity of opinion. Perhaps if Democrats were more open to dissension in their ranks, or at least had more experience with it, they wouldn’t feel so powerless in situations where debate and dissension are appropriate.

Compare Obama’s and the Democrats’ desire for immediate bipartisan agreement on the bailout to Ambinder’s description of John McCain’s efforts to identify differences of opinion and try to bring them together:

Though Sen. Chris Dodd implied that Sen. McCain sandbagged the rest of the negotiators by bringing up alternative proposals, McCain himself did not bring up those proposals, according to four independent sources briefed by four different principals inside the meeting, including two Republicans and two Democrats.

“McCain has not attacked the Paulson deal,” said a third Republican who was briefed by McCain direclty [sic]. “Unlike the [Democrats] in the [White House] meeting, he didn’t raise his voice or cause a ruckus. He is urging all sides to come together.”

Who would you rather have negotiating with foreign leaders?


14 Responses to “What the Bailout Negotiations Teach Us about McCain and Obama as Leaders”

  1. If you voted Republican in last election THEY TOOK YOU TO THE CLEANERS!!

    Trillion dollar bailout coming baby at your expense!!

    How is your job?

    What is your home worth today?

    1.2 Million homes in foreclosure last month

    Unemployment 6.1 percent

    Banks Failing (Indymac, WaMu,Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and many more to come!)

    Alan Greenspan says it is worst economy in 100 years!!

    Gas too expensive to fill your tank!

    Are you better off now then 8 years ago?

    Bush and Republicans have run this country into the ground, forget about Church issues….at this rate the Churches will all go bankrupt!

    If you want 4 more years of this just vote Republican! I hope you do
    so they can take you to the cleaners AGAIN!!!!!

    Dan Hobkins (e77756)

  2. Hey dumbass: which party do you think won the last election? Anyone who blames the Repubilcans for today’s high gas prices should be permanently disenfranchised. Ex-felons can become good people, but retards can’t become intelligent.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  3. It was insightful that ZerObama’s reaction to this financial crisis was to continue campaigning as if nothing was amiss. Second, ZerObama is such a minor leadership player, not even his party leaders expected him to come to Washington in order to contribute to the solution.

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  4. The first person, Republican or Democrat, that raised his voice should have been summarily dismissed from the meeting and escorted out to the rose garden to cool off. (Obama included)

    The President’s Press Secretary could then explain to the impatient biddies that disruptive tactics were an inappropriate response to the national economic crisis.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  5. Senator Doolittle: “If I can be helpful, I’ll go to Washington”.

    Senator McCain: “This is more important than getting elected. I put my campaign on hold.”

    Now it could be argued that McCain was doing this for the press. I saw some CNN International and they were PRAISING Sen Doolittle for his wait and see approach. I almost choked on my morning Dim Sum at the Pudong Airport Ramada over that.

    But who was putting the country’s interest ahead of his own ambition?

    This was the question I pondered while not watching the most excellent documentary “The back of Zhou’s head”.

    I concluded that Sen. Doolittle was probably bought and paid for by the people set to benefit, and he could see no problems with the (primarily) Democrat plan.

    Dr. K (b16110)

  6. If Putin or the PRC or Iran is across the table, I want the “take no prisoners” attitude the Dems brought yesterday.

    JSM just assume too much good will on the part of the other sides.

    Ed (385e88)

  7. Yeah but you forget a couple of important points.

    1) It wasn’t Obama who did the “take no prisoners” approach.

    2) People like you have pilloried Bush for the “take no prisoners” attitude.

    3) The only reason Reid/Pelosi and co.took that approach is that they want cover. And that ain’t leadership.

    Dr. K (b16110)

  8. Well, let’s see. Obama knows he hasn’t much to contribute, and keeps his mouth (relatively) shut.
    McCain decides his presence is absolutely necessary, declares loudly he’s putting country first (although acting in a way that makes plain he’s not stopped looking after his own interests), then contributes almost nothing to the discussions–nothing that couldn’t have been contained in a three paragraph press release issued from anywhwere–then hurries off before anything is actually resolved, declaring the matter is in safe hands and he’s not needed anymore. McCain didn’t put forth any fresh ideas, didn’t try to persuade anyone else to go along with any plan–Paulson’s or anyone else–just sat through a meeting and nodded “me too” to the House GOP. That’s neither patriotism nor leadership. It’s simply grandstanding.

    kishnevi (b28aae)

  9. After he was summoned by the Senate Majority Leader.

    Why didn’t the Democrt Majority Leader summon his party’s Presidental candidate who just happens to be a sitting US Senator and who is paid for that job?

    Oh, right. He was paid by the bankers who got us into this mess.

    Dr. K (b16110)

  10. kishnevi,

    It does appear McCain rushed off but how do you know what he contributed behind the scenes? In my experience, that’s where the real work is done.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  11. Dan Hobkins was trying to say he was a conservative previously. Nice to see he abandoned that bit of mendoucheity, and came in all of his moonbat glory.

    JD (f7900a)


    Hilarous except i have wine all over my keyboars. Yes the Dems were sure gung ho about iraq- well into the second week of the war.

    But who can argue that Take No Prisoners doesn’t describe Democrats perfectly in the sense of: “take no prisoners, give them bail and get them lawyers”.

    But they certainly are brave when fighting Republicans knowing they have a blindly supportive media spinning and covering for them.

    Terry Gain (aab754)

  13. The bill has complex add ons that do nothing to help in solving the problem and also they leave in place the very laws that got us in to this mess to start with.

    Repeal CRA and all the other housing mandate stuff forcing banks and others to loan to people who can’t support the loans.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  14. amen, daytrader.

    The new chant, “CRA, Go Away!”

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

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