Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain's Leadership Failure, Part 3

The pundits are pouncing, and rightly so, on John McCain's failure to bring the House Republicans around on the bailout package. 

Here's MSNBC's Chris Matthews speaking today: 
McCain said he was going to lead the Republican charge, he was going to make sure that this was a bipartisan success. He called charge, and the Republicans retreated. That's what happened here. 


Tony said...

Is anyone the least bit concerned what helped get us in this mess?

Let's look back to a hearing in 2004 to see part of the problem:

I doubt anyone will take the time to watch the whole piece but yes, those are Democrats defending Fannie & Freddie and Republicans questioning their practices.

I urged our representatives and congressman to vote 'No' to the bailout. I do not want to see these companies bailed out at the expense of the taxpayer.

Quit bashing the 'pubs because the Dems have just as much dirt on their hands. Flame me all you want but this isn't just a problem brought on by the Republicans.

Tulsan said...

There is blame to go around.

But I ask you: which party was in decisive control of Congress for 10 years, then when they became the minority, devoted themselves to obstructing as much legislation as possible?

Quote from Congress: The Roots of Obstruction about the last two years:

"Majority rule has essentially been repealed.

"The strategy hasn't been a secret. Conservatives have openly gloated about it. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer told Fox News viewers, 'I think [Democrats' inability to pass legislation] will give the Republicans the one opening they are going to have in 2008. Everything is running against the Republicans, but I think they have a chance if they argue that the Democrats have been in charge and they are the do-nothing Congress.' Or as former Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss, told Roll Call, 'The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail...and so far it's working for us.'

"Now this is sort of like knee-capping the postman and then complaining that the mail is late."

Dan will like the article, too, as it details some of the sensible and popular measures cynically kiboshed by the GOP minority in hopes of sticking the Dems with the blame.

Specific to Freddie and Fannie: some right-wingers are now advancing the notion that brokers were pressured into making loans to minorities as a congenial (to them) explanation of the situation.

But, McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was president of an organization formed mainly by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac whose aim is to increase the number of Fannie/Freddie mortgages.

Davis in 2004:

"We have an opportunity in the next decade to increase minority homeownership and significantly reduce the minority homeownership gap. The future of the housing market rests heavily on the economic success of minorities. Homeownership is likely to grow faster among minority Americans in the next decade if all the stakeholders in the housing industry work together to make it happen. The Homeownership Alliance is working toward this goal."

It would seem McCain's right-hand man had a big hand in practices leading to the crisis.

And McCain's top financial advisor, then-Sen. Phil Gramm, pushed through a deregulation bill in 1999 that broke down walls between commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and securities firms, directly setting the table for today's troubles.

So hire McCain (and the GOP) to straighten things out? Whatever you think of the Democrats, does the GOP look like the go-to party?

The Dems may be heterogeneous and less coherent as a group, but that is preferable to the well-organized, but malevolent GOP.