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Stephanopolous on strategic behavior, partisan behavior, and voter behavior

Interesting analsis (via Atrios) from Stephanopolous. First, the strategic behavior:

[T]he bigger sell to Congress to do something may be the consequences of not acting. More bad news through the end of the week that might do it.

Jeebus, Georgie! Are you asking to be shocked? "It sure would be a shame if some bad news were to happen to your portfolio..."

Next, the party behavior; check out the option Stephanopolous rates as most unlikely:

one other unlikely option talked about on Capitol Hill is to try to pass the bill almost entirely with the Democratic majority in the House. That would require adding a major stimulus package favored by Democrats, infrastructure spending, unemployment insurance spending, and heating and food stamp assistance for low-income Americans.

Democrats acting like Democrats? Why... That would be partisan! And... And... Maybe Broderella would call us populists!

And finally, the voters's behavior:

There was a Republican president, a Democratic Speaker of the House, a Democratic majority leader, the entire Republican and Democratic leadership from both sides of Congress and both presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain arguing for this package.

But a peek at the upcoming congressional races of the people who voted against this package provides some insight.

We calculate there are about 31 competitive House races divided between Democratic and Republican House members, and 24 of the 31 members in competitive districts voted against this package.

No one wants to vote for this.

Well, slap my ass and call me spanky! The voters have spoken -- and the House even listened! Shouldn't that be Georgie's focus instead of "the meetings on Capitol Hill" that he leads with?

NOTE In the same way that 18 million voters didn't buy the WWTSBQ drumbeat of our famously free press, so the House reps who were up for election decided that they'd rather face the wrath of Bush + Reid + Pelosi + Obama + McCain than vote for the bill. Wall Street isn't the only instiution that's have a crisis in confidence.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

on the elite panic and the failure of the Democratic leadership to come up with a proposal other than the Bush plan.

Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- could be politically safer than opposing George W. Bush. And yet the entire Democratic leadership, Barack Obama included, lined up to support a cockamamie plan proposed by this scorned and shriveled figure, a plan that was transparently nothing more than an audacious raid on the Treasury by Big Money hoods and yet another authoritarian power grab by a gang of murderous, torturing, warmongering toadies. This was the plan and these were the people that the Democrats decided to fight for.


So Monday's rejection of the bailout plan is not a catastrophic political defeat for George W. Bush; he has no political standing, no political future. But it is a vast and humiliating defeat for the Democratic leadership, across the board, who, as Democrat Lloyd Dogget of Texas said

“never seriously considered any alternative” to the administration’s plan, and had only barely modified what they were given. He criticized the plan for handing over sweeping new powers to an administration that he said was to blame for allowing the crisis to develop in the first place.

Now the Democratic elites have had their collective head handed to them on a platter. It is a dish most richly deserved. And although it is almost possible to believe that they will learn anything from this episode, there is now a chance -- a chance -- that we can at least have a discussion of alternatives to the Bush scheme.

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

it like that.


It's because they're so little that the biggies don't see them, eh?

Submitted by jawbone on

Dems ought to do.

First, Bernhard at Moon of AL is getting pessimistic (as is Roubini, whom he quotes, so do click over).

Last thought for now: 9/29 will be a marked day for historians - maybe even as big (bigger?) than 9/11. Osama Bin Laden's goal to bankrupt the U.S. was achieved without him doing anything remarkable. The U.S. did it on its own.

An end of an era. As said in earlier comments, the end of the quarter tomorrow will be devastating for lots of financial entities. They will have to report real numbers instead of made up stuff because the Paulson bill, which gave the authority to fake balance sheets by 'mark to fantasy', was rejected. The Paulson bill could probably have helped to make the dive smoother.

Many hedge funds will be slaughtered as redemptions will come in at an unprecedented scale. All of the capital they have and which will now be redrawn is highly leveraged in risky bets on all kind of financial 'products'. They will have to sell, sell and sell everything.(My emphasis)

Does Roubini's outlook seem likely? He has been pretty correct all along, so his take is pretty scary. Bernhard's predition (we'll know soon enough, like tomorrow)? Any econ/business types want to add anything?

Second, Sterling Newberry lists 4 relatively simply steps for the Dems to legislate and implement, and then do the real overhaul in the next Congress. Lot fewer billions right now--and his plan calls the Banker Boiz' blackmail bluff--if it is a bluff.

What now? It's very simple, we need a shot of adrenaline to get lending going, until there is time to deal with the larger crisis at hand. The bill that should be crafted should be designed to get us through to January, and to give us time to work on a more comprehensive and fairer redesign, not bail out, of the banking system.

Severely limits Paulson's ability to toss money around. Has Dems acting like, well, the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Submitted by lambert on

... so presumably they'll be able to fake the books at least one more time?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

um, i hate to say this, but "some people" we listen to, well, let me put it another way:

we need a shot of adrenaline to get lending going

it's called "nationalization." and "selling off assets of immediate value." and "strict regulation including executive compensation limits." just give me the powers republican have assumed for themselves at the expense of the Constitution, and i'll show you what i mean.

i adore SN, truly. but sometimes i find his "we can't do without the banking class" orientation frustrating. what is "lending?" why do banks lend, and to whom? with what money, from where?

in this age when we can decide to have a New War, on Terra, which eats up trillions uncounted, i think that fearmongering can have a benefit, should any progressives be willing to take that step. simply, it is: you fucked it up, bankers. you're done. give us your assets, shut up and go home. we're going to spend/use every last one of them protecting ~330m american citizens from the tens of trillions of dollars of fuckup shitpile on the global markets that you want us to eat. sorry, that's not going to happen.

/end perfectionist progressive rant/

Submitted by lambert on

... I just ran into somewhere over at Stoller's in comments between "progressive" and "populist." Now, "progressive" has been totally poisoned for me by the primaries, but focus on technocratic expertise is way creative class, too. "Populist," on the other hand...

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.