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note: the following was posted immediately following Speaker Pelosi’s debacle Monday on the House floor; prior to the vote and the recriminations that followed. Her gaffe was that obvious. Barney Frank was right about thin skinned Republicans changing their votes on a vital matter based on a petty speech, but it never should have come to that. LK
It looks like the bailout/rescue bill isn’t going to pass. The markets are being hit hard.
If the bill doesn’t pass, it was Speaker Pelosi’s partisan pitch in the House prior to the vote that blew it.
It’s not clear what happens with the legislation from here, but Republicans and Democrats alike made statesman-like speeches in the House chamber earlier today. Pelosi’s started off that way, and ended up attacking the Bush administration.
This made Republicans who were going to hold their noses and vote yay say the hell with it and nix the package.
If she was going to cover her political ass, so were they.
Since there were some Democrats who wanted the political cover of bi-partisanship, they then voted nay as well.
Even if the core truth of the matter was that the Dems were outmaneuvered, Pelosi gave Republicans who were on the fence reason to reconsider, and gave all of them a scapegoat. As the Speaker of the House, and as a politician, she has to take into account the thin skins of some who sit on the other side of the aisle, and carry herself accordingly. It comes with the job.
As for Senator Obama, he has to spin this immediately as a failure of business as usual in Washington, and his surrogates need to portray him not just as an agent of change, but the agent of change that has never been needed more.
Let’s hope cooler heads prevail in very short order. If they don’t, Mr. and Mrs. Main Street are going to find out what Paulson’s been warning about by getting smacked upside their heads by an economic two by four.