The Bailout Is In Big Trouble

by John Hawkins | September 24, 2008 8:29 am

A few days ago, it seemed like the only thing you were hearing about the bailout was “We’ve got to do it right now, this instant, or it’ll lead to all out higglety-pigglety! We’ll have cats living in sin with dogs, the Amish flying rocket ships, Michael Jackson becoming attracted to women! It’ll be financial Armageddon.”

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to getting this bailout on the books — fiscal conservatives started grumbling and some big name conservatives starting turning on it: Michelle Malkin, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, and Jim Bunning — just to name a few.

Now Republicans in Congress are applying the brakes full force and the Democrats, who normally love nothing better than throwing taxpayer dollars away, are starting to get really nervous[1],

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling Democrats that she will not support President Bush’s $700 billion bailout of the financial sector unless there is significant Republican support for the controversial plan.

The politics of the bailout are tricky and dangerous for both political parties, particularly since it comes weeks before the presidential and congressional elections.

As a result, Pelosi (D-Calif.) has effectively sent the message that if she is going to jump off a cliff to rescue Wall Street, she wants House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and George W. Bush holding her hands when she leaps.

…In the Senate, Republicans have also lined up to oppose their president’s bill, which led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to worry that he may not have enough Republican votes to pass the package.

“We need Republican votes to help us,” he said. “This is a Republican package and we need Republican votes.”

…Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) said after Tuesday’s Democratic Caucus meeting that it will take 130 to 140 Republican votes to get the bill passed. “They’re going to have to take ownership,” Moran said.

“Ownership” was the word of the day Tuesday, as in, “Who’s going to own this bailout package if it fails?” or if it works and voters remain furious at seeing investment bankers on the public dole.

…Some Democrats say Bush should not only push for the bailout, he should apologize for gutting the regulation they say could have prevented the crisis.

“The president does owe the nation an explanation and an apology,” said Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.).

Republicans, for their part, say it’s time for Democrats to acknowledge that they run Congress.

…It’s hard to find even one Republican ready to publicly pledge his or her vote. Democratic leaders are speculating that GOP leaders can count on no more than 40 votes. A Republican aide said if Pelosi needs a Republican majority to bring it to the floor, she won’t be bringing it to the floor.

Clearly what the Democrats are hoping to do here is load this bill up with goodies for liberal special interest groups, get some Republicans on board, pass it, and then take credit for the goodies while they hang the bailout of the “Wall Street fatcats” around the GOP’s neck.

Fiscal conservatives — who are not inclined to vote for this sort of socialistic waste of taxpayer dollars anyway — can see where this is going and they’re not excited about getting a double serving of sh*t sandwich for voting for this bill — from their constituents for wasting their money and from Democrats right before an election.

Meanwhile, the liberal base, which hates businessmen and anything associated with the Bush Administration, are turning on this plan, too. Just as an example, take a look at these numbers from a Daily Kos poll[2] on the bailout,

That’s 90% “no” or “leaning no” and 3% “leaning yes.” Let me tell you something, my friends: the Republicans don’t show that much deference to the base on issues like this, but the liberals in Congress are a different story. They will either have to include staggering amounts of sweeteners in this bill to help get their base on board or they will not move on it.

So, where does that leave us? They’re either going to have to gut this bill and go with something much smaller or they’re going to have to let it lie until next year. Either way, I think the current bill is probably DOA.

  1. really nervous:
  2. Daily Kos poll:

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