Thursday, October 2, 2008

Slow-mo party fracture

Steve Benen on some of the politics of the bailout earlier this week:

Let me get this straight. The Republican president supported the bill. The Republican Senate leadership supported the bill. The Republican House leadership supported the bill. The Republican presidential nominee supported the bill. And the Republican National Committee runs an ad insisting that Obama's bailout package "will make the problem worse."

I'm so numb to this stuff I have no outrage left. I'm just confused. be fair, the Republican rank and file dissented just enough for the first attempt to pass the bill in the house failed. But I think that only sort of proves my point about the party fracturing.

....the left hand is campaigning for the bill and the right is campaigning against it, and there's no cognitive dissonance whatsoever. Funny.


Anonymous said...

But you neglect to write about the democratic house leadership wanting it also, and their people didn't pass it either. They could have passed it without the republicans even showing up. You mean Obama is voting with Bush?!! I think Hell just got very cold, and yes, it is freezing. Democrats were afraid, republicans didn't like the bill.

Dennis said...

Maybe it's because I am tired of the false equivalences being made between the parties. Yes, only something like 2/3 of Dems voted for the bill, but the agreement between Boehner and Pelosi was that each would deliver enough to put it over the top. Pelosi delivered her share; Boehner didn't. There are specific reasons for each, and it would be good not to assume that since the Dems had the numbers to pass it, they share equal blame. That ignores what actually happened.

Plus, I don't think the lack of Dems voting shows a fracturing of the party in the same way that the Republican vote does.

Anonymous said...

But that doesn't make sense. If it is fractured, who cares the percentages. The democrats could have passed it with or without the republicans, and they didn't. The democrats were fractured enough to block the bill from being passed. I don't recall Boehner ever promising to deliver the votes. Plus, if he knew the vote count, wouldn't that mean they violated open meeting laws? Since the dems could have passed it on their own, how is the blame equal? I think you are being a bit disingenous with your last statement:

"Plus, I don't think the lack of Dems voting shows a fracturing of the party in the same way that the Republican vote does."

Seems to me the dems gave up their majority to the republicans on the vote, and most of the republicans didn't want it. Dems need to poop or get off the pot.

Dennis said...

1. The Dems never should have supported anything remotely resembling the bailout bill that failed in the first place. That was the mistake of the Dem leadership - that they bought into the now! now! now! hype.

2. The Dems aren't fracturing because they've never had the same level of unity exhibited by Republicans over the last decade. It's not news when Dems split on things. There's no decade-old coalition threatening to break apart.

3. See this post for a reference to Boehner's promise to deliver 100 votes, and how he got 65, and how the Dems promised 118, and how they got 140.

4. Can we stop playing the equivalency game now?

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