During the O.J. trial — the first one, you remember that one? — a pivotal moment occurred when Chris Darden asked O.J. to put on the gloves used by the murderer. There were numerous reasons why it was a boneheaded move for Darden to do this. Notably, Simpson put on the murderer’s gloves over a pair of latex gloves, and it’s hard to put on a pair of gloves when you already have a pair on.
But mainly, it was a stupid move for Darden to make, because he set up a dramatic moment that was completely within the control of his opposing party. All Simpson had to do was look like he was unable to put on the gloves, and any chance of a conviction would be gone.
For some reason, I was reminded of this when the bailout failed yesterday.
John McCain set up a dramatic moment where he would come in and save the day by convincing Republican lawmakers to support the bailout. But he made this move in a Congress completely controlled by Democrats.
And the Democrats clearly didn’t like it. Harry Reid demanded to know where McCain stood on the bill — but after McCain surprised Reid with his overly dramatic campaign “suspension,” Reid told McCain he wasn’t needed. He told the press that McCain wasn’t being helpful or even articulate in the meetings.
People are now arguing about where the blame lies. Democrats point out that Democrats supported the bill, while Republicans opposed it. Also, we’re told, Republicans promised a certain number of votes, and didn’t deliver. Meanwhile, Republicans point out that Democrats controlled the chamber. If they really wanted a bill passed, a bill would have passed.
Who’s right? I don’t know. But I remember hearing before the fact that Democrats didn’t want to pass the bill without a majority of Republicans in favor. Did they change their minds?
And isn’t it odd that this all ends up making John McCain’s gesture look empty and incompetent?
Remember Chris Darden’s pathetic entreaty to Judge Lance Ito as O.J. clowned with those gloves:
Can we ask him to straighten his fingers and extend them into the glove as one normally might put a glove on?
You can ask, Darden. But I don’t know why he would comply.
McCain asked Nancy Pelosi to put on the gloves. He made a dramatic gesture, but made it at a time when control of its outcome lay in the hands of the other party.
And whaddya know: the dramatic gesture failed. The gloves didn’t fit.
P.S. Most people seem to assume some version of this bailout will pass. If it does, watch closely to see whose votes change. If I’m right, it will be mostly Democrat votes. I could be wrong. We’ll see.