If you've spent any time on the internets during the past few days, you've caught wind of the meme: Those Glorious Dems hammered together a deal with Paulson pronto, and those damned Republicans, led by the grandstanding John McCain, fouled up the machinery. A final, final deal may be in the works as we speak -- but the hold-up, progressives tell us, was entirely due to the GOP.
In other words, the Republicans are bad guys because they want to re-think a deal struck between Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and GEORGE FREAKING DUBYA BUSH.
Paulson met with Pelosi in the Roosevelt Room and literally got down on his knees to gain her party's support for his plan.
“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”
Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”
(Emphasis added.) The world has gone topsy turvy.
The Republicans are being slammed for doing what the Democrats should do, and should have been doing for the past two years: Holding Bush in check. Yes, the Republicans are doing so for reasons of their own. Yes, a lot of them demand ultra-Libertarian solutions which will only make the disaster worse. But that fact doesn't change the team rosters: It's Dubya and the Dems versus the Republicans.
And what have Dubya and the Dems decided upon? The title of this post sums up the sitch: Fucking You to Death.
“It would be my hope that this could be resolved today, that we’d have a day for the American people and members of Congress to review the legislation on the Internet,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California.
There appears to be a consensus among the economists - the Hanky Panky is the financial equivalent of unsafe sex, indiscriminately spreading way too many vital fluids with no way to track what was inserted where and with what devices. The only certainty is that the taxpayer is going to be thoroughly screwed, and not in a good way.
Paul Krugman emphasizes that the deal is the bastard child of GWB and the Dems. Forgive me for quoting at such length:
Brad DeLong says that Swedish-style temporary nationalization is the right answer to a financial crisis; he’s right. I haven’t been clear enough about this, it seems, but it’s where my basic diagnosis leads: the problem is insufficient capital, you want to inject capital, but you don’t want it to be a windfall to existing stockholders — hence, take over and recapitalize the failing firms. By the way, that’s what we did with AIG 10 days ago.
So that’s the good solution. The Paulson plan, which is some combination of sheer giveaway and mystic faith that a slap in the market’s face will make everything OK, is a bad solution (and probably no solution at all.)
But nationalization doesn’t seem like a politically realistic answer now. This leaves the rough question of whether to hold out for a good solution, which won’t be possible until Jan. 21st, or accept the ugly compromise that the WH and the Congressional Dems, once again, say they’ve reached.
The good solution, as outlined by Krugman, bears strong resemblance to the measures that Hillary Clinton has been talking about. Of course, the progressives say that Hillary is a "corporatist" and no longer a Democrat.
Let's go back to that NYT story from a couple of days ago. Here's Barney Frank:
Friday morning, on CBS’s “The Early Show,” Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the lead Democratic negotiator, said the bailout had been derailed by internal Republican politics.
“I didn’t know I was going to be the referee for an internal G.O.P. ideological civil war,” Mr. Frank said
What right does Frank have to criticize? He's the guy who said "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not in a crisis." He also said, in September of 2003:
The more people in my judgment exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury -- which I do not see -- I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and can withstand some of the disaster scenarios -- and even if there were a problem, the federal government doesn't bail them out -- but the more pressure that is there, the less, I think, we see in terms of affordable housing.
Let me add a few words about the video at the top of this page (which was brought to my attention by RedDragon): I'm not crazy about the visuals, for reasons which should be obvious. I'm even more bothered by the party identifications. But facts are facts. History has made Barney Frank, Artur Davis, Lacy Clay and Maxine Waters look like suckers. Or something worse than suckers.
Let's face it -- Raines was a scoundrel. Yet the Democrats greenlit his antics, and Obama made him an adviser.
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton -- who appears at the finale of this video -- sounds like a prophet. So does John McCain, who was trying his damnedest to get some regulations in place in 2006.
I'm starting to understand why the current crop of "progressive" Dems did their damnedest to drive the Clintons out of their own party. The Dems had plans to emulate Bush-ian corruption, and those damned Clintons threatened to derail the gravy train.
The Democratic party has become the Bush administration.
Remember how Bush's slimey confederates turned the Katrina clean-up to their advantage? That's what's happening with this bail-out. Just like the Bush administration, the Dems are enabling the chiselers who hope to profit from a crisis. In partnership with the Bush administration, the Dems are striving to combat any regulations that might keep thieves from thieving.
How, pray tell, could the Repubs blow it up with a Dem majority in both houses?
Like I said months ago... Obama was handled and handed to stop Hillary -- If she were the candidate, things would be very different.
The Hands-down Winner of the Presidential Debate Was...Moderator Jim Lehrer
Sept. 27, 2008 (LPAC)--For the first 40 minutes of the 90 minute presidential debate, moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS tried valiantly--but unsuccessfully-- to get Barack Obama and John McCain to actually say something substantive about the global financial crisis and the Paulson bailout package.
Nine (9!) separate times Lehrer asked questions on this subject, including:
"Gentlemen, at this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?"
"Let's go back to my question. How do you all stand on the recovery plan?"
"But if I hear you correctly, neither one of you is suggesting any major changes in what you want to do as president as a result of the financial bailout? Is that what you're saying?"
"One of you is going to be the president of the United States come January. In the middle of a huge financial crisis that is yet to be resolved. And what I'm trying to get at, is how this is going to affect you, not in very specific, small ways, but in major ways and the approach to take as to the presidency."
"Before we go to another lead question. Let me figure out a way to ask the same question in a slightly different way here. Are you willing to acknowledge, both of you, that this financial crisis is going to affect the way you rule the country as president of the U.S... I mean, is it a major move? Is it going to have a major effect.?"
I was just fool enough to post a solution to this mess at the ugly orange place.
I have been saying for years that Democrats and Republicans are just flip sides of the same coin. They are both corrupt and neither represents their constituents or help the middle class or poor. That is why I changed my party affiliation from D to Independent on 2006. This crisis, which is clearly outlined in the article, just put it all into stark relief.
bert in Ohio
posted by Anonymous : 5:03 PM
hey now--- don't go all Gore Vidal on us.. Both Parties are Not the Same!! They're not at all the same.
The Repugs are now to shifting to libertarianville, while the new/improved Dems are run by (some) liberettos (and some good old fashioned neocons for flava), for the most part; the shift is over to Conservative values (minus the Jesus stuff). See. They are totally not the same, Bert. Blue Dog goes Arf!
(and don't give us no JFK Vietnam SIBPATS hoo haw neither...)