The collapse of the deal. A bipartisan rebellion in the House killed the $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street yesterday, sending global stock prices plunging...dealing Bush his worst legislative defeat ever.
What a mess! I just want to cover up my head with a pillow until this is over.
House Republicans basically told the financial markets that they'll just have to clean up their own mess without $700 billion of taxpayer money.
Conservative Republicans who hate the bailout idea never wavered in their opposition...nor did liberal Democrats who saw it as a rescue plan for Wall Street millionaires.
Republicans voted against the bill by a two-to-one ratio...thumbing their noses at their own leadership, who had worked for nearly a week creating a bill that would appeal to a majority.
Democrats found strength in numbers...nearly two-thirds of their members voted for the bill. They said if anyone is to blame for a record sell-off on Wall Street, it was the Republicans.
House members in tough re-election bids abandoned the bailout in droves, covering their arses because constituents back home sent a ton of messages saying they'll vote them out of office if they vote for the bailout.
Boy, Main Street is pissed at Wall Street. But, I wish people could see ahead that they're going to be really pissed when their 401K's dwindle away to nothing...when they can't pay their mortgages and can't buy anything on credit...and certainly can't use their credit card to pay their mortgages...when they have to stand in bread lines for cheese and bread to feed their families.
Okay, bread lines may be a bit extreme. But like it or not, we need our government to help get us out of this mess. No matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat, suck it up and realize that this is bad for our country.
Republicans blamed Democrats for the bailout defeat, mainly for a floor speech given by Speaker Pelosi, in which she castigated the Bush administration's "policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system."
Truth be told, very few Republicans were on the floor to hear that speech, and the ones present didn't object or show signs that their little feelings were hurt. It was much later that they thought up the Pelosi excuse...when they saw that the votes they'd promised had fizzled.
McCain was all ready to claim credit for the bill's passage, because he had suspended his campaign to ride to the rescue at the negotiations table and all...then, when two-thirds of House Republicans voted no, he switched his spin and blamed Obama.
Obama's camp sure had fun with a quote by McCain's chief political strategist, Steve Schmidt, who told Sunday's "Meet the Press" -- "What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties to the table, including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed to pass this."
Obama delayed a campaign event in Colorado to speak to Paulson and Pelosi, then told his audience -- "One of the messages I have to Congress is, 'Get this done, Democrats, Republicans, step up to the plate.'"
Pelosi said --"What happened today cannot stand, we must move forward, and I hope that the markets will take that message."
No one knows what's going to happen now...or what shock waves will hit the world markets this morning...
Thursday could be the earliest the bailout can be reconsidered, because House members are taking time off for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year...rushing home to campaign if you ask me.
So, now we'll all just have to wait and see if Paulson and Bernanke were right when they said the credit crisis could worsen and inflict the direst of consequences on the global economy.
Or maybe the bailout's many critics were right when they said that credit markets and home prices will adjust on their own...once the promise of free money is withdrawn.
I chuckle at what Paul Krugman said -- "So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch...we’ve become a banana republic with nukes."