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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Breaking: Bailout bill fails, Dow roller-coasters

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - This has to be considered a shocker. The bailout bill failed in the House, and it wasn’t especially close. The final tally was 207-226, with Democrats supporting it 141-94, while Republicans opposed it 66-132.

How did the markets react? Initially, with panic. Dow dropped from around a -290 to more like a -660, but then recovered within minutes to a -400. Within a few minutes after that, it rose a little further to about -360, a 300-point gain, but it continued to go up and down, and probably will all day long.

What does this mean? The Senate can always initiate their own version of the plan and re-send it to the House, but that will take some doing. Can Republicans change their votes after taking this kind of stand?

If it stands, it will be a repudiation of the leadership in both House caucuses and the Bush administration. Pelosi couldn’t hold her caucus together, and Boehner, Cantor, Blunt, and Putnam will find themselves in the minority of theirs.


Anonymous Jim Geraghty said...

From National Review Online:

What the hell was yesterday's smiling press conference all about? Why were Hoyer, Frank, Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic Leadership smiling yesterday? Did they have any sense of their own caucus?

Sure, two-thirds of House Republicans voted against it. But they were always against it, complaining about it from the beginning. You heard Boehner, he described the bill as a crap sandwich; nobody should have expected a lot of Republican votes for this. But the House GOP Leadership did get on board, and encouraged their rank-and-file to do the same.

Pelosi said she needed political cover. A third of House Republicans ought to be enough cover.

How the hell does Pelosi's bill not carry 40 percent of her caucus?

Earlier today, the Dow was down 700 points, which would have been the biggest single-day drop ever. Now it's down about 500...

Monday, September 29, 2008 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Geraghty said...

From National Review Online:

Pelosi, moments ago: "The Democrats more than lived up to their side of the bargain."

Horsepuckey. Pelosi has 235 members. She needed 218. She could spare 17 members and still pass the bill.

The GOP spotted her 65 members, for a bill that made most Republicans' skin crawl in both broad outline and in terms of detail.

That meant Pelosi could afford to lose 82 Democrats.

She lost 95.

Bush and Paulson were never going to pass this bill with House Republican votes. It had to be palatable to the Democrats, and Pelosi and Frank said that it was.

Think about it - the majority party is insisting that the minority party is responsible for the bill not passing with a majority. Do you see the incongruency there? Why is anyone taking that argument seriously?

Monday, September 29, 2008 3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Otis said...

From Powerline:

No one likes this bailout, and there's plenty not to like about it, starting with the fact that it does nothing to remedy the country's addiction to debt which is the real problem. Indeed, it's merely the next "fix" for that addiction, not to mention a bonanza for millions of foolhardy and/or dishonest people who took out mortgages they knew they couldn't afford. Still, Bush is right that the consequences of not having the bailout will be worse than the consequences of having it. Right now I'd say we are headed for a Depression. Almost no one alive remembers what that is really like. When they find out, there will be chaos. At least in the thirties the country was tough. Now it's soft and pampered. People will be in for a shock when they find out the privation they've been (falsely) complaining about can be quite real, and is about to descend. So, bottom line, the thing has got to pass. But it failed today in the Democratically-controlled House by 23 votes, with more than 90 Democrats voting against it. Question: Where is Barack Obama? The man is the newly annointed head of the Democratic Party. He could tell his followers in Congress that for the good of the country, they have to vote for this, awful as it is. Has he? No. Why? Either because he doesn't understand what we are actually facing, or because he sees it's unpopular and hasn't the guts to risk his lead in the polls by swimming against present opinion. The country cannot abide such "leadership." You can't just vote "present" on this one. Nor would such a "vote" by Obama be honest, since in fact he's not even present. . . . His yammering inaction in the face of this financial crisis is bad enough. But it is yet more frightening to think about what he would do, or fail to do, in the face of the far more malevolent and lethal threat we will face if and when he occupies the White House. Give me someone with some guts. For whatever his flaws might be, and they're plenty, I believe there is someone meeting that description on the ballot this year.

Monday, September 29, 2008 3:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Shannen Coffin said...

From National Review Online:

House Republicans are suggesting that Nancy Pelosi's floor speech scared some of their rank-and-file away. But equally importantly, did it scare away some of her own rank-and-file? Between the railing about "failed Bush economic policies," and dramatically emphasizing the "SEVEN. . . HUNDRED . . . BILLION. . . DOLLARS," it is a wonder that anyone wanted to vote for the bill. Wouldn't the job of the Speaker in that situation be to try to solidify her own party and draw in as many Republicans as she possibly can? Or is it simply to set up the blame game for later? Perhaps Nancy knew when she took the floor that there was no way that the bill was going to pass, and thus she decided to let er rip. But tactically, this speech seems pretty ill suited for an end game of passing the bill. Not a particularly bright move by the Speaker.

Monday, September 29, 2008 3:52:00 PM  

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