I want to state clearly that this financial crisis is way too big to even begin to fix blame, and may indeed be too big too fix, period. That said, there is a desperate, totally ludicrous meme out there, regurgitated by the Usual Suspects, that somehow this was Nancy Pelosi’s fault. When these people fling that out there, they always neglect to mention a few things:
1. It was a Republican Bill, requested by a Republican President.
2. The Democrats agreed to provide 110 votes, they delivered 140.
3. The Republicans agreed to deliver 100 votes, and told the Speaker that though they couldn’t produce the 100, they thought they could do 70-80.
4. The Republicans delivered around 40.
5. Pelosi delivered a ill-timed, out of place, ok, stupid rant, but it had no effect on the outcome.
Now, I’m aware that this vote was considered by many to be a “legacy” vote, and widely viewed as the most important vote in a career. I’m also aware that many in the House had their phone lines burned up by irate callers, threatening them with defeat in the next election if they voted yes. For that, I place the blame many places, starting with Bush and Paulsen, who, in an unbelievable show of hubris, offered up a plan to raid the Treasury and not be held accountable for it. In addition, they did a horrible job of selling it to the American public, who, by the way, I blame for being, on the whole, pretty damn financially illiterate. I blame the craven talk radio jocks, for whipping their sycophants into a frenzy, and I blame both Parties for hatching plans that were too clever by half.
I could go on all day assigning blame, (heck, I haven’t even begun to address the media) but I will offer up one reason why so many Americans out there don’t realize what we are facing… You know what I got in the mail yesterday? An offer from my credit card company, for a $50,000 unsecured personal loan. Did you catch that? Unsecured. That amount of money would require me to make the equivalent of another mortgage payment to repay them. That offer came as a result of our credit rating, and we would never think of taking them up on it, but many Americans, faced with hardship, or even inconvenience would jump all over it.
I also watched quite a bit of TV yesterday, and i can’t tell you how many DiTech ads i saw. Refinance. Consolidate. Lower your payments. Is it any wonder the average person thinks everything is peachy keen?
This bill may pass later in the week, probably with bankruptcy provisions that will bring the Democratic Black Caucus on board, but the Democrats had better get out in front of this thing right now. Never, ever use the word bailout again. Hire Frank Luntz, find some Orwellian terms to employ to protect vulnerable Congressional seats. Provide cover for Obama.
Or not. I’m locked and loaded.