September 29, 2008

Did House Conservatives Just Hand the Election to Obama?

Hatched by Dafydd

They invite John S. McCain to Washington D.C. to get them a better deal on the bailout. They accept his help in negotiating with the Senate. They strongly praise him when the deal is improved, and their own negotiator strongly implies that they will accept it -- or at least oppose it only narrowly, so that it will still pass with substantial Republican support.

Then on the vote, perhaps miffed at Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 93%), they betray McCain and instead vote against the rescue measure en masse, triggering a cascade failure that causes the bill to collapse, the stock market to record its biggest one-day drop in decades, and to plunge the entire country -- and world -- into financial chaos.

...And this leaves the American voter with the sour impression that:

  1. John McCain is completely ineffectual even at managing his own party;
  2. He is not the person to turn to on economic matters;
  3. He is not ready to be president.

Hey, nice strategy, Mr. Conservative! Perhaps next, they can openly question whether McCain should be the nominee and call for him to be replaced by Mike Huckabee. Or Bob Barr. That would make everything much, much better.

The American people are now terrified that they'll lose everything... and when terrified to this extent, we have a disturbing tendency to turn to the man on the socialist horse, who promises (like Woodrow Wilson, like Benito Mussolini) that a massive government takeover will fix everything and comfort the masses -- by relieving them of all future responsibility.

There is now only one chance for McCain to turn this around: He must return to D.C. and somehow, someway, get enough of those ideology-plated "conservative" morons to change their votes -- it only takes a few, but they all should do it -- that a (slightly) modified version of the bill actually passes.

And this time, when Pelosi, who senses that she can goad and manipulate House Republicans as easily as the hysterical, chained-up dog in the yard next door, gives another insulting, gloating, triumphalist speech, the HRs have to swallow hard and just vote for the damned rescue anyway, even if it wounds their pride.

If they want to introduce more market-based incentives and regulations into the process later, they will have the best opportunity since the era of Newt Gingrich (during which they never bothered to do much about the issue). But for right now, not passing a rescue bill is not only a political catastrophe (for John McCain and even for congressional Republicans) but an economic disaster as well.

Whose fault is it? Certainly it's as much or more the fault of the Democrats as Republicans. But anybody who thinks the GOP is going to be able to convince the American voter that it's really Pelosi's fault (and by extension, Barack H. Obama's fault), that Republicans can persuade voters to punish Democrats, not Republicans, in November, is living in sin with Prince Nemo in Slumberland.

Logic and rationality fly out the window when voters panic, hysteria and demagogy rule the day. And Democrats are, if nothing else, masters of demagogy in a way that Republicans have never been able to match. If this election becomes a contest to see which party is the better at flinging poo, Republicans will be buried.

To put it in a nuthouse, if the HRs fold their arms and simply say "Nyet" over and over, then we will wake up on Guy Fawkes Day to President Barack Obama -- and a 60-vote, fillibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate.

I know there are some putative "conservatives" who call for exactly that; they believe that the Democrats will overreach, and in two years, they will recapture the House and Senate... "just like in 1994!"

But I have another date for them to bear in mind: I say the current political mood -- if they don't change their minds on this bailout -- is more akin to 1932 than 1994... and there certainly is no Gingrich waiting in the wings, as there was (and already very well known and trusted) in 1994.

The 1932 election was falsely sold as a choice between the "progressivism" of FDR and the "failed laissez-faire capitalism" of Herbert Hoover; in fact, Hoover had enacted virtually every "progressive" policy that Franklin Roosevelt later tried in response to the Great Depression, and neither version worked. Yet not only was the Democrat elected president for the first time in 16 years, but both houses of Congress went overwhelmingly Democratic... and they both stayed Democratic for fourteen long years, through seven congressional elections.

The Democrats continued to hold the White House for twenty years, until 1952; and the only reason Republicans won that year was that Eisenhower, who had never said what party he belonged to while on active duty, declared himself a Republican. Had he declared himself a Democrat, he still would have won; and the Democrats would have continued to hold the White House until 1968, which would have given them a 36-year run.

As of 1946, after fourteen years of a Democratic president and a thoroughly Democratic Senate, seven justices on the Supreme Court had been appointed by Franklin Roosevelt... and the other two (Justice H.H. Burton and Chief Justice Frederick Vinson) were appointed by Harry Truman. All nine justices were Democratic appointees.

Democrats controlled the Court until 1958, when Dwight David Eisenhower nominated his fifth justice, Potter Stewart, ending a twenty-year run of Democratic control of the Court, starting when the Warren Harding appointee George Sutherland retired, and Roosevelt nominated Stanley Reed to replace him.

This period includes one of the worst runs of judicial activism in our history. Yeah, that 1932 election sure worked out well for the Republicans... and so too would the election of Barack Obama, if it comes to that.

And it will come to that, if House Republicans don't get their minds out of the ideological clouds. Please, for the love of God, stop lecturing us on how the free market would have built a better boat, and start bailing out the water that's pouring through the hole in the hull. The time to rethink boat-building, which we desperately need to do, is when you're home safe in drydock... not when you're rounding the tip of Africa.

But here is a contrary scenario: Obama dithers, blaming Republicans; but McCain immediately flies back to D.C., and by mid-week, he is able to get HRs to agree to a modified version of the bill. The vote is held on, say, Thursday or Friday... and this time, it actually passes.

In which case, John McCain becomes the man on the white (and capitalist) horse who has saved everything... and he might -- might -- make this rescue work politically as well as economically.

So the ball is now in the court of the House Republicans. They have two choices:

  • Continue to be obstructionists -- and prepare for a rerun of the horrific 1932 election;
  • Become problem-solvers -- and help elect John McCain president... and hold their own or even pick up seats in the congressional races, if they can successfully don McCain's mantle as a principled but practical reformer.

Pick a hand, Mr. Conservative. Which shall it be?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 29, 2008, at the time of 2:53 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing:


The following hissed in response by: FredTownWard

While I, too, would have preferred that enough Republicans voted for this bill to pass it, I think that fears that this will result in a Democrat victory in November are based on an unproved assumption:

that a majority of American voters are too stupid to know who has the majority in Congress.

Elections have consequences, and I submit that the ONLY voters so stupid (or so insane) as to blame REPUBLICANS for this loss are already voting straight Democrat.

Seriously, how many voters who are angry today because Republicans did not ultimately manage to save Democrats from their own incompetence are going to cut off their noses to spite their faces by voting Democrat in response?

And if the economy tanks as a result, who in their right mind chooses to put Barack (they've got my phone number if they need me) Obama in the White House?

Personally, I refuse to believe that Americans are quite that stupid, but if I am overly optimistic, a President Obama should drive home the lesson well and good...

for the survivors.

The above hissed in response by: FredTownWard [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 3:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E


Totally agree with your analysis. This is no time for ideological purity.

And your last point may yield unexpected benefits: If a new bill passes soon, it may be harder than ever for Dems to pooh-pooh McCain’s leadership. Will this accrue to his benefit? We’ll see.

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 3:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

100% on board with you Dafydd. Also, interestingly enough, I believe I now understand the position you took on the immigration bill -- though a quibble, if I may? I believe the difference in the two is that there the status quo was (and is) it most certainly is not.

In my own pet theory I think Pelosi intentionally goaded them with that speech, and probably had members of her caucus vote Nay as insurance, to make this bill fail. It's win-win for them: if the bill fails, and the market is ok, they don't have to sully their little patty-paws with an on-the-record vote that was fairly unpopular; however, if the market tanks (check) and continues to do so, come Thursday it is likely they will have enough political capital to do pretty much whatever they dang well please.

That? That would be bad.

Bad form, house Republicans. Bad form indeed.

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 4:06 PM

The following hissed in response by: Zelsdorf2

I agree the Republicans did not vote for this bill in the numbers necessary to pass and McCain reluctantly backed it however a large number of Democrats voted nay, also. It has been said Democrats could pass this bill on their own. Why is it they did not? If Obama was in touch with Pelosi and Reid, why did he allow them to sabotage the bill with the partisan post conference speech? Does Obama think a collapsed economy would benefit him? Kind of reminds me of Germany in the 1930s. Axelrod kind of favors the leader of that deal.

The above hissed in response by: Zelsdorf2 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 4:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

Dafydd, I thought I'd check in with you. Man oh man, this is the first time I've seen you like this. Wow. I don't know what to say. I really am at a loss.

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 5:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: RattlerGator

It is wishful thinking on my part to be sure but I think you've missed the mark badly on this one, Dafyyd.

And I'm not sure at all the Democrats are going to be able to put their stuff back in and pass this bill. There is serious anger out in the country about this bill -- far more, apparently, than you are able to recognize. Many Democrats simply will not be able to vote for a bill that stuffs that language back in. People are posturing on the Hill perhaps but quite a few elites are missing the hell out of the anger that is exploding at the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac angle to all of this.

I also think you are overestimating by far the Pelosi effect with that speech.

The above hissed in response by: RattlerGator [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 6:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bryan C

I am in complete agreement, Dafydd. Ace over at Ace of Spades is saying much the same thing (with saltier language) and he's been taking a lot heat for it.

The House Republicans really have been stunningly inept. I don't know if McCain can salvage this. He's only got until Thursday at latest, so he's going to have to knock some heads together, divide and conquer. Maybe the market plunges and bank failures will finally convince them that Paulson isn't just making stuff up after all. I reluctantly have concluded that many many people out there are simply in deep denial. They'd rather posture and cloak their fear with ideology than make a hard choice.

The above hissed in response by: Bryan C [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 6:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

You may be right.
The dhimmies have worn people out.
But they only get away with it because they are permitted to.
I sent you the friggin' link of video showing the smoking gun in the dhimmie hands as they pull the trigger on saving FNMA and FMAC. And apparently it is just not making the impact it should.
Is it because we put up with the dem back stabbing on everything for so long that this latest example does not register?
We lose this, and we lose big- freedom of speech, on radio and likely the internet. We will lose our money big time. We will be taxed like crazy. WE will waste trillions on energy....after all they will do to energy what they have done on finance.
And do not get me started as to how many millions of people will die around the world thanks to Obamaton policies.
And terrorists will likely thank us by...killing a whole bunch more of us.
I think, however, this election si far far from over.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2008 7:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi


Toss out your values. Toss our your "ideology" think about doing it all "later" when you have the votes. Manana manana.

Ive been saying for months now to all my friends who will listen that the media remembers well, "It's the economy stupid". I wish there were a conspiracy to point to here but there isn't. Life is too complex. Media, meaning television, newspaper and magazines, is filled with Democrats who want to see Democrats win.

There is always bad news about the economy. Now is the time! Here is the The One we've been waiting for. So they focus on as much bad news as they can to help talk the economy down.

And yet, I went out with the wife a few nights ago and the restaurant was packed. Went to the movies and the movie was packed. Drove to work and the freeway was packed. All with people supposedly who have lost their jobs, their homes, their lives under this new great depression. So great that even Dafydd is ranting and shouting on his blog for Republicans to stop being conservatives (Good advice coming from someone who isn't a conservative) and get the non-conservative John McCain elected by golly!

Forget about principles, this is politics! The sky is falling and when the sky is falling, politicians DO SOMETHING!

Does it really matter if what they do is wrong or right?

Well, not to Dafydd. What really matters here is style over substance and the Democrats are winning on style points. So c'mon Republicans, toss your substance out the window, at least until November (At which point we'll as you to throw it back out the window again, at least until 2012, at which point we'll ask you to throw it back out the window again, etc) so John McCain can win this election!

Nothing else is more important right now than John McCain winning this election.

Because, for some reason, it seems this country cannot survive 4 or 8 years of a lefty/liberal administration that would be run by Barack Obama.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2008 1:46 AM

The following hissed in response by: stombs

Is it really that simple? Roosevelt did a lot of things that seemed like good ideas at the time. Some of them may even have been good things in the short run. In the long run, the results were very bad. Should one take drastic action to deal with a problem now and let the future take care of itself? Or not? Since I'm not a Congresscritter, I don't have to answer that. But if you know someone who can, I'll vote for him.

The above hissed in response by: stombs [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2008 2:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Nothing else is more important right now than John McCain winning this election.

Because, for some reason, it seems this country cannot survive 4 or 8 years of a lefty/liberal administration that would be run by Barack Obama.

I think the reason is self-evident; I wonder that you don't.

Oh, wait: Could it have something to do with McCain's position on immigration?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2008 4:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Jon S.

I'm just wondering if there isn't a disconnect between your analysis and conclusion: if the public thinks that the Paulson plan was fatally flawed (much like they thought the McCain-Kennedy immigration bil was fatally flawed), and if McCain comes back to DC and stumps for it a second time, even if it passes he will only get credit for showing leadership on a wildly unpopular bill.

Once again Obama will lurk in the shadows and do nothing but throw brickbats at the Republicans, while McCain struts on his white horse leading the parade, inviting all and sundry to blame him as much as Paulson, Bush, and Wall Street fatcats. If the market takes off and surpasses where we were two weeks ago, and keeps a healthy pace till Election Day, then McCain will indeed be in good shape, as the same people who think Pelosi's analysis is correct jump ship and change their minds for the 17th time in the last month.

But if all we get is a weak sputter and no more than an end to the bloodletting in the markets but no appreciable gain, then I'm afraid McCain will get soundly walloped on Election Day. This is now the biggest gamble of McCain's political career; I hope he does the right thing.

The above hissed in response by: Jon S. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2008 6:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bryan C

Er, have you guys checked the latest polls on this "wildly unpopular" measure? Perhaps you should note the trend. McCain has to come up with a better plan and push that plan through ASAP. Hopefully our strategic geniuses in the House can set aside their bruised egos and resentments long enough to think of the future. I swear, if Ronald Regan himself descended from Heaven and pleaded for Republican support, some of those "conservatives" would dismiss him as a senile Left Coast liberal scaredypants.

The above hissed in response by: Bryan C [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2008 11:08 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved