September 29, 2008

Wow. What a day on Wall Street! You can be sure there will be a lot of talking heads flapping their gums mercilessly over the news and cable channels tonight, but if you want to know what really happened today, just listen to your ol’ Uncle Shank here.

No one, of course, will come out and admit to this, but the defeat of the so-called Wall Street bailout bill was a planned vote for passage that started to go wrong during the actual voting when the Republican House leaders began losing control of their caucus.

The way this was all going to go down was as follows: Democrats and Republicans agreed that both parties would try to give the other sufficient cover in the passage of a bill both parties knew had little support across their various constituencies. Democrats in vulnerable seats would be allowed to vote no and enough Republicans in safe seats would vote yes to drag the bill across the finish line. Unfortunately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – truly one of the most vile and despicable people to ever hold such a position – undercut those plans my unleashing a ridiculous attack on President Bush and the GOP just before voting began, blaming them for everything ailing the economy. Perhaps as a result of Pelosi’s partisan attack, perhaps due to a decided distaste for what they were being asked to vote upon, most likely a combination of the two, enough Republicans and Democrats got a little skittesh and ran for cover, sending the bill down to defeat. Immediately afterwards, both Republican and Democratic leaders mercilessly attacked and blamed each of for the bill’s demise, Wall Street went into a total funk, and everybody started freaking out. Totally.

In a nutsheell, that’s what happened today.

(Personally, I’m opposed to any bail-out bill, and all the hysteria being blathered about by the talking heads on the cable networks makes me even more so. Hysteria is no excuse to pass legislation – in any form. Perhaps if I had any kind of trust or confidence in Washington to do the right thing, perhaps I’d feel differently, but for me and many others out there this is not just a crisis of confidence in Washington, it’s a crisis of credibility. And no one – not the President, not Congress, not Obama or McCain, and especially not the media and the cable network talking heads – is immune from it. The partisan bickering that has consumed every aspect of American political life since Florida and 2000 has polluted the well so badly that this is what you get when a true crisis hits. The market’s final slide today wasn’t because of the defeat of the bail-out bill, it was because investors listened to the Republican and Democratic leaders go at each other like children in the finger-pointing that erupted afterwards. In such an environment, is there anyone who believes that in the end the best interests of this nation will be served? I sure don’t.)

So where do we go from here, you ask? A couple of things. 1) Whether it happens tomorrow, Wednesday, or Thursday, a Wall Street bail-out bill will pass the House, but in a decidely different form than the way it was crafted for today’s vote. 2) You can mark it down: today was the day the Republicans lost the 2008 election.

Regarding the first point: I don’t think House Speaker Pelosi was smart enough to have planned it this way, but, as Larry Kudlow writes, the way is now clear for Pelosi to bring to the floor of the House a revised bill that most, if not all, Democrats can support – one that contains every far-left socialist wacko want and need that wasn’t palatable for House Republicans. And why shouldn’t she? After all, Republicans wouldn’t support the bi-partisan form of the bill, so why should Democrats waste any more time reaching any further across the aisle? By doing so and getting a bill passed at the House level, pressure like you would not believe will come down on the Senate to do the same. And once the House bill passes, the Senate will be pressured to approve, and the Prez will, of course, sign. The markets will demand no less. You think there was pressure on the House to act today? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

As for the second point: Republicans are major losers today, in three ways: One, while the bill being considered was by no means perfect, it was, I think, the best the GOP was ever going to get given the situation. So not only have they now ceded any leverage they might have had to the Democrats, by whining about Pelosi’s speech they now look like petty obstructionists concerned more about politics than their country. May not be true, but these days perception is reality. Two: John McCain looks like a loser. Not only was “Maverick” unable to show his true leadership credentials by persuading enough of his Republican colleagues to put “country first” and politics second, Democrats can portray his asserting himself into the negotiations between House members last week as the primary cause of the bill’s ultimate defeat. And finally, by the bail-out bill not passing today, Republicans have ensured that the economic crisis will extend out for at least several more days, if not longer. And the longer the economy stays on the front-burner issues-wise, the more the Democrats (and Obama specifically) gain.

If you’re a Wall Street investor, this was a very bad day. If you’re a Republican hoping for a McCain vistory in November, it was even worse.


UPDATE: Wow! Someone at Time Magazine blog is thinking the same thing I am!

Who says no one listens to The Great White Shank?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 14:50 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. […] Regarding the first point: I don’t think House Speaker Pelosi was smart enough to have planned it this way, but, as Larry Kudlow writes, the way is now clear for Pelosi to bring to the floor of the House a revised bill that most, …[Continue Reading] […]

    Pingback by Bailout » Blog Archive » Wall Street Wackiness — September 29, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

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