No One Covered Themselves In Glory Today Except For The Administration, Which Has The Obligation To Act And Has Plan On The Table (Updated)
[Posted by WLS]
Update — I was purposely provacative in the language I used in this post for the purpose of stimulating some responses on both sides of the issue (all sides??) that would defend the various positions of the parties at the table. I find the discourse in the comments very enlightening to me personally, and I hope others do as well.
Just a very quick take on the events of today.
First, the House GOP caucus was nearly a disgrace today. To say they are standing on “principle” in rejecting the level of government intervention called for in the Administration’s plan is simply laughable. There are plenty of principled GOP market specialists and economists who don’t like what is being proposed, but understand the risk of doing nothing. The market soared early today on expectations that the plan would be passed – so we know the market likes the plan. And like it or not, trillions of dollars in private wealth are tied up in the market capitalization of thousands of publicly traded companies. I expect the market will give the politicians one more day to get their act together, but if there isn’t a plan passed this weekend, Monday’s losses will be enormous.
The House GOP opposition to the plan is driven by one thing and one thing only — constituent complaints. One GOP congressman told a press person yesterday that the calls to his office were running 150-1 against the plan.
So, Rep. Bumkin, from Pitchfork Springs, is going to let his yahoo constituents drive his vote, when neither he nor they have even a hint of understanding about what is going to happen if this deal falls apart. Well, at least he’ll sleep better at night knowing he’ll probably get re-elected. That’s what it’s all about, right?
But, that said, I’ll add this on behalf of the House GOP — they earned the right to stand on the sidelines and demagogue the process underway. They governed like a bunch of buffoons when they had the gavels, and managed to convince the country that it would be better if Pelosi, Dingel, Rangel, Frank, and Conyers ran things. That’s quite an accomplishment.
As for the Democrats — hey Nancy and Steny: you run things now. Being in the majority means having to make hard decisions, while the minority throws spitballs from the peanut gallery. You want a majority of GOP votes for the package?? Too fooking bad. You don’t mind ramming through party-line votes when its chocolate cake for the masses that you want. Well, now the country needs to take its castor oil, and you’ve got the spoon. So, pinch the country’s nose, force it to open wide, and pour the fish oil in.
Welcome to being the majority when hard decisions have to be made. Complaining that the minority isn’t doing any of the heavy lifting is useless. They’re the minority — by definition they don’t have to do anything.
Waiting for the GOP to join you on the firing line is an abdication of your responsibility to govern. The Paulson Plan is on the table. Either pass it or put something in its place, and dare the Admin. to veto that.
But pointing fingers in front of the camera while Rome burns only validates all the predictions about you being a lightweight. I can’t imagine Sam Rayburn or Tip O’Neill — or even Newt Gingrich — doing the same thing.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: WLS, you seem to be under the impression that the Democrats will act in a responsible fashion. That seems like a very poor bet to me.