Both liberal Progressives and conservative Blue Dog democrats voted for a Bush Wall Street rescue bill that did next to nothing to protect or help mainstreet, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported that 25 of 47 Blue Dogs voted for the bill and 46 of 75 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus voted yes.
The same article reported that 14 of 22 members of the Hispanic caucus opposed the bill and 20 of the 38 black caucus members opposing it, saying, "the legislation didn't include sufficient help for people facing foreclosure or those struggling to pay for food and health care."
It's disappointing to see such hypocrisy among the purportedly fiscally conservative Blue dogs, since the bill didn't pay for itself, which Blue Dogs claim they demand of legislation. Why piss around with litle ten, or hundred million or billion dollar balanced budgets when you piss off on $700 billion? What a farce. And these are the ones who were blamed for blocking Pelosi from stopping funding for the war. Partners, I'd say.
Then we have the progressive caucus. What happened? The US is facing an enormous economic crisis and Bush hands us a totally garbage "solution" that strictly serves Wall Street. A handful of progressive members of congress spoke up. Looks to me like most of them just threw away their progresive credentials when it counted, going with the Pelsi Hoyer Emanuel steamroller.
A lot of people-- a real lot-- are saying throw them all the f*ck out. Well, there were 95 Dems who opposed the bill (see how your rep voted here.)
I know that the house switchboards have been overloaded and the calls have been betwen ten and 100 to one opposing the bill. What did the 140 who voted for the bill think they were doing, opposing so diametrically what their constituents wanted? Who do they think they are. I haven't met any geniuses in congress yet-- glib smooth talkers, socially bright people with 115-130 IQs- no brainiacs, no economic geniuses. So who the hell do they think they are going against such strong constituent opposition?
I'll tell you who they are. Sellouts. This was a big test, maybe bigger than the war. It was a test because there's so much money involved and, from what Matt Stoller reports, very little, if any control over where it will go.
"Despite their sh*t-eating grins, Democrats nearly got rolled today, but a mixture of luck and bad faith from Republicans saved them. How do you know that the Wall Street types were trying to steal from us, other than the fact that they said that the refusal to hand over money was akin to a terrorist act? Treasury officials had a secret conference call with Wall Street executives. Unfortunately for them, some bloggers were on the call. The 'Treasury boys' on the call made it clear that "the tranching is a mere formality, and the Treasury boys as much as said so. They could take the $700 billion max as soon as the bill has passed." That was always obvious.
And they admitted that "the exec comp provisions sound like a joke, They DO NOT affect existing contracts, they affect only contracts entered into during the two years of the authority of this program and then affect only golden parachutes." Both of these provisions were 'concessions' sought by Democrats. Of course, no one could have predicted this bill's 'concessions' to Democrats were farcical. No one at all. "
What we saw yesterday was a replay of the disastrous failure of leadership the Democrats enacted when they bought the emergency WMD threat George Bush, Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice, Dick Cheney and associates sold back in 2003, when the Dems voted to give Bush powers to go to war with Iraq.
Thank goodness for the Jewish Holidays, which both parties used as an excuse to go back home and raise money and campaign for two days. IF they REALLY thought the situation was so urgent, they'd have gone ahead with working on making something happen. That's what the Israelis would do if there were a true emergency on a Jewish holiday.
Today, the Wall Street Journal observed that one reason the stock market tanked so deeply yesterday was because "there had been so many dire pronouncements about what voting down the plan might do, quoting Harvard Economist Kenneth Roboff. 'The administration, leaders of the congress, the secretary of the Treasury and head of the Fed all stated emphatically that there is going to be a disaster if the bailout plan is not passed,' he said. What we're seeing now is panic.'"
That's what teachers call the halo effect-- you get what you expect. In this case, Bush, Paulson and colleagues CAUSED the record selloff yesterday with their "dire pronouncements." And the Pelosi-Hoyer crew helped them.
Today, the market has already come back about 270 points. Yesterday's panic has abated. There will probably be more panics ahead- the fearmeisters have planted seeds that have yet to erupt. Wall street interprets the rise as a recovery based on rising bailout hopes. I don't see it that way. I think that people are seeing that the sky has NOT fallen today. Life goes on.
But yesterday, about $1.2 trillion in stock value evaporated. Let's blame that on Bush and Paulson for proposing a very bad, over-reaching, excessively Wall Street serving proposal. And let's blame the Dem leadership for not totally rejecting it and coming up with real solutions, rather than taking the lazy, cowardly way of just reacting to Bush's proposal.
For now, we have a few days to let the crisis breath. That's a good thing, what the Sunlight Foundation called for on Sunday-- a chance for people to study the proposal and come up with ideas.
When it comes down to it, and I've said this numerous times in the past week, the main challenge is liquidity and keeping credit flowing, and should not bailing out Wall Street. The Dem leadership in congress ignored and sold out its constituents on Monday, trying to give this pig legislation the bums' rush. They failed. They have an opportunity to correct their major error. For some it will be too late. Any Republican who opposed the bill on Monday will be a fool not to make this a major issue in the coming weeks of their campaign. It will cost some Democrats AND some Republicans their seats. They deserve it. Americans deserve better than the short shrift these patsies for Bush's latest rush job gave them.
Frankly, the dems did more on Monday to help the Republicans than anything the Republicans could have done for themselves. Nancy Pelosi, Stenny Hoyer, Jerrold Nadler, by panicking and pushing exactly what Bush wanted, what made him so happy to see them approving on Sunday, probably cost the DNC at least half a dozen seats they might have held or won. They failed to learn anything from their massive 2003 error. For me, two strikes should put them out.
I'm also hoping the sane, unpanicked members of congress will take a look at the newly merged behemoths that have been created with Bush Admin help. These monsters could prove to be very dangerous. The three biggest of these new entities-- Bank of America Corp., J.P. MorganChase & Company and Citigroup Inc. have grown from holding 21.4% of all US deposits to 31.3% of all US deposits. Like Bernie Sanders says, "any company that is too big to fail is too big to exist."
Today, I'm still a Democrat, but I'm feeling more like a screwed sucker who's been duped and used, and I'm getting sick of it.