Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Viva Pelosi!

Harry Truman:

I don't give them hell.
I give them the truth and they think it's hell.

I take no position, pro or con, on the negotiated package to solve the economic crisis which was defeated yesterday in the House. It's too complicated for me. There are smart people on both sides (as well as not-so smart people).

I am just struck by what motivates some Republicans. In this short century, it's only been in these last two years that GOP-ers decry 'partisanship' and plea for 'bipartisanship'. For the first part of the century, they were fine and all-aboard with Tom DeLay's K-Street regime of ignoring, not only Democratic input, but Democratic votes as well.

So they are blaming Democrats' 'partisan politics' for the fact that their own Republicans defeated the so-called rescue package. Now they cry "politics ahead of country" (John McCain's mouthpiece Douglas Holtz-Eakin). And they are blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for "giving a partisan voice that poisoned our conference" (House Republican Leader John Boehner).

What, then, was so untruthful in Pelosi's remarks? Well, there is her prepared speech. It's well worth a read. But here is where she departed from her prepared remarks:
When President Bush took office he inherited President Clinton's surpluses — four years in a row, budget surpluses on a trajectory of $5.6 trillion in surplus. And with his reckless economic policies within two years he had turned that around and now eight years later the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility, combined with an anything-goes economic policy, has taken us to where we are today.

They claim to be be free-market advocates when it’s really an anything-goes mentality: no regulation, no supervision, no discipline. And if you fail you will have a golden parachute and the taxpayer will bail you out. Those days are over. The party is over in that respect.

..... Democrats believe in a free market. We know that it can create jobs, it can create wealth, it can create many good things in our economy. But in this case, in its unbridled form as encouraged, supported by the Republicans — some in the Republican Party, not all — it has created not jobs, not capital, it has created chaos.
GOP Congressman Daryl Issa curiously did not blame Pelosi's speech for the package's defeat when I heard him on C-SPAN last night. But what he did say revealed to me what Republicans mean when they revile "politics". Issa accused Democrats of wanting to bury Reaganism: to lay one more coffin on top of Ronny's, is actually the way he put it.

That's what Republicans are trying to save. They are not trying to put country first, over politics. They are trying to put Reagan ideology over on the country, one more time. It's not the common welfare they wish to salvage: it's Reaganism.

All Pelosi is saying is look at the track record in this century and understand that self-regulation is not a reliable curb against the excessive "creative destruction" that unfettered capitalism promises. Contempt for government regulation is no longer acceptable.


  1. Vigilante: This should be a referendum on Reaganomics, which failed even before Reagan left office. Remember, in his second term, he raised taxes. But the notion of government as the problem, the notion of pure capitalism should be questioned and the ideology put to rest, especially now since its most ardent advocates are now begging at the public trough like blind beggars on the street, tin can in hand.

  2. Pelosi's speech had nothing to do with the GOP member's either not voting or voting nay. They, in the persons of John Boehner and Roy Blunt, just used that as an excuse for their own leadership failures. The fact is there are a LOT of Republicans who are facing re-election and their future looks grim. They are voting from fear not common sense.

    P.S. Vigil will you get rid of this alphabet thing. Blogger swears it has fixed the spam problem. I and I think BB have been running without it for months. How nice it is not to have to do that silly fill in thing. WTF..Try it. If you start to get spam just re- institute it. Thanks:-)

  3. MacDaddy, I think you are spot on.

    Every one admits that Barney Frank squelched Boniors' cry baby instinct. His message was, "You don't vote on the speech, you vote on the Bill."

    I'm not sure what it was in Pelosi's remarks exactly, that made the GOP renegades go so apoplectic. Maybe it was the comparison of the eight Clinton years vs. the eight Bush years? Do you think?

  4. vigilante, I dropped by yesterday and read this entry and found it interesting.... food for thought. Still, I'm not sure about defending the Reagan legacy as any kind of motivation for or against this bill. It just feels like a stretch to me.

    madmike I agree with your comment 100%. For John Boehner and Roy Blunt to use Pelosi's speech as en excuse for their failure of leadership is so stupid it is stunning. db cooper's comment was spot on. Barney Frank made Boehner look like an idiot.

    Still, as I wrote in my blog, Pelosi is no hero. She carefully crafted a vote that was designed to fail. She poisoned the well repeatedly, as she has done often in this session of Congress. I appreciate her mastery of the management of the House. She is a skilled Speaker. But why doesnt she use her skill to make goverment work instead of engaging in constant partisan manipulation?

    Here is where I must pay close attention to your writings. While I embrace bi-partisanship, you ususally hold it in great disdain. I will continue to read with interest. But you and I seem to have a fundamental disagreement.

  5. Wizard, I'm just reporting what I heard Issa say. Personally, my teeth almost fell out of my mouth (even as I was brushing them). It seemed to me that in the well of the House, under overwhelming stress, his doctrinaire Republican veneer fell away and he inadvertently decoded "politics" as "Reagan ideology." It was a very revealing moment of 'truthiness'.

  6. Arianna Huffington agrees with you, MacDaddy. She says today that 27 years after Ronald Reagan,

    "famously declared that 'government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem', in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and seven-plus years into the reign of Bush and Cheney, Reagan's anti-government battle cry should be on trial. But, stunningly, it is not.

    This needs to change. The presidential candidates' view of the role of government should be one of the central questions of the last 36 days of the campaign. And it should definitely be a question they are asked at their next debate."

    Arianna goes on to say,

    "Big government" didn't get us into Iraq. It didn't spy on Americans or open black op rendition facilities all over the world. "Big government" didn't create Guantanamo or okay the use of torture. "Big government" didn't leave the residents of New Orleans to suffer in the wake of Katrina. "Big government" didn't cause the financial industry to run off the rails. Indeed, the free market is what created all the new, risky ways for banks to game the system and, eventually, implode -- then come calling on "big government" to ride to the rescue.

    The Grover Norquists among us have been trying to drown government in their bathtubs for too long. The way Busheney have set themselves at the task is to put the worse possible under-qualified people in government and to engage in the worst profligate spending possible. The worst imaginable. It's not government that is the problem, but Republican government. To paraphrase a Reaganism, the scariest 11 words in the American lexicon are,

    "We are from the Republican Administration and we're here to help."

    One of the few silver linings in the clouds over our country at present is that we can finally explode the myth that politics is about 'us versus the government'. Politics is about good government vs. bad. It's time we had some of the good.

  7. Vigil:

    "...The way Busheney have set themselves at the task is to put the worse possible under-qualified people in government ..."

    R U saying that Sarah Palin represents more of the same?

  8. Go Nancy. Go Barney. Keep telling it like it is, not like the Republicans want it to be seen. A little truth never hurt anyone.

  9. Vig, I'm back to inform you that I poached a post from your comments thread. I did link both you and the originator of the post, Nothing is off the Table. Hope you don't mind the shameless thievery.

  10. vigilante: I'm starting like that Arianna Huffington. Messenger: Thanks for suggesting this article. I'm going to it right now.

  11. Nancy is so hot when she gets mad.

  12. Yes she is beach, and I bet she had a great education as well. I'm just sneaking up on you. You left a comment about the politicians with the great educations being the ones who fucked thing up with the economy, and I left you a very good reply at my place, but since you're here...

    Vig, want to say my lines here? St Ronnie? Great or merely good education? McStupid? Good school, lousy student, rebel, bad boy, drunkard. George the dunce Bush? He was a drunk, barely a C student and HE WAS A FUCKING CHEERLEADER!!! Both these tools were supported by their daddies. Big bad Billy? Great education, Rhodes Scholar, not supported by his daddy. Left us with a balanced budget and a surplus. The stupid one? Left us with this clusterfuck of a meltdown. Want another? Well then, I didn't think so. Now, lets all join hands and vote for Obama. Thank you kindly for listening to my rant. Nite all.

  13. Utah, you go, Girl! But just tell us how you really feel, dammit!

  14. Bob Herbert, writing When Madmen Reign yesterday is also spot-on on Daryl Issa:

    . . . . I would like to see the self-proclaimed conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots step up and take responsibility for wrecking the American economy and bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Depression.

    Even now, with the house on fire, the most extreme among them won’t pick up the fire hoses and try to put it out.

    . . . Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, stuck to his political playbook like a man covered in Krazy Glue. He pronounced himself “resolute” in his opposition to the bailout because to be otherwise would amount to a betrayal of party principles. To deviate from those principles, in Mr. Issa’s view, would be like placing “a coffin on top of Ronald Reagan’s coffin.”

    We are in very strange territory here . . . . . Now we’re looking into the abyss.

    It gets better!

  15. Issa accused Democrats of wanting to bury Reaganism Issa is an idiot, but he's right. When Ray-Gun was Governor of California, he decimated the UC system. Had it not been for Jerry Brown to right Ray-Gun's wrongs, California would be in worse financial shape now.

    Macdaddy is on target. Utah, you're incomparably wonderful George the dunce Bush? He was a drunk, barely a C student and HE WAS A FUCKING CHEERLEADER!!!. LOL, I love that.

    Trickle down Reganonomics perfected by the Bushits: trickles down to the top 1% of the wealthy and big oil. Great post, Vig. And, yes, Pelosi laid it on the line. Although, I wish she'd come out of the starting gate fighting in 2006.