The – 777.68 Point Plunge

Bailout compromise bill fails. Dow subsequently plummets by a record figure (nine-eleven-shmine-eleven). TSX also plummets by a record figure, throwing a wild card onto the Canadian election table. All this capped off a day in which global markets took a major league ass-whipping (most of which, it should be noted, occurred before the bailout flame-out).

To quote Paul Krugman (who, in turn, quotes himself)

So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch.
As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes.

Heck of a motherfucking job, kiddies.

Not that I’m fully convinced, contra certain quarters I normally find myself agreeing with more often than not, that it was imperative to pass this bill right fucking now (an ambivalence further cultivated by the knowledge that the much-ballyhooed $700 billion figure was arbitrarily yanked out of some Treasury Department flunky’s ass because they “just wanted to choose a really large number” to put the fear of smoking guns and mushroom clouds into everyone’s heads). Nor is it at all apparent that Paulson’s preferred solution to the credit crisis was the only viable one (see this list of alternative proposals not currently on the table, h/t Sarah J via tweet).

But if, as Kyle noted, this:

really is the primary reason House Republicans chidlishly chose to flip the bird to Democratic and Republican House Leaders (not to mention Secretary Paulson, President Bush, and John “Coalition Builder” McCain), then each and every one of the GOP dissenters up for reelection in November deserves to be unceremoniously turfed from office for being a bunch of petty, shallow, self-absorbed drama-queens apparently more concerned with partisan preening than the economic health of the nation (if not the world).

Speaking of petty, shallow, self-absorbed drama queens and partisan preening:

From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.

Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.

Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.

No, Senator McCain, this bill failed because you, someone who has applied to become leader of the fucking free world, couldn’t whip your own goddamn party (the GOP, aka the party of fiscal responsibility, ideas and utter fucking bullshit) into line, you puerile sack of monkey shit. You demonstratively “suspended” your campaign, snatched the ball out of Pelosi, Paulson and Bush’s hands, started to do an endzone celebration on the 20 yard line and quite spectacularly fumbled it before crossing the goal.

As Marc Ambinder observed:

Two thirds of…Republicans voted for its defeat…after a weekend of telephone call diplomacy from McCain.

Nancy Pelosi may have given a partisan speech, but she was able to get most of her Democrats on board….

Mother fuck ’em and John Wayne.

12 Responses to “The – 777.68 Point Plunge”

  1. gcotharn says:

    You’d have more success blaming Repubs if it wasn’t for this: House Dems don’t need Repubs to pass the bill. House Dems could pass it on their own, if they wanted to, without a single Repub vote.

  2. Mark says:

    Given the fact that the stock market is often driven primarily by perceptions rather than reality, I wonder what kind of a drop there would have been were it not for the fear-mongering of the Bushies insisting that we needed THIS bill THIS day. Had they instead said that something needed to be passed by, say, the election, or the inauguration, would the markets have cared so much that THIS bill failed? I doubt it. In the grand scheme of things, is the crisis so bad that legislation which will take months to implement and which was drafted in a matter of hours cannot wait a few days or weeks for passage and further revisions? Extremely doubtful.

  3. Rob in Michigan says:

    To gcotharn:

    Except, the entire point of the “bipartisan” bill was so that the Republicans couldn’t turn around and use it against the Democrats after the fact. All of them know how unpopular (to put it politely) this bill was on ‘Main Street’ (which I’m already sick of as a euphemism) and that anyone who voted for it was probably going to suffer some, uh – ‘strongly worded’ backlash from their constituents. The only way to get the bill passed and not have s–t all over their faces was for the Demos to force the Repubs to sign on beforehand. Each was supposed to ‘supply’ a majority YEA vote so that the pain of doing so would be evenly spread on both sides of the aisle.
    The Democrats came through. The Republicans didn’t. It’s that simple.
    Understand, I’m making no statement on whether the bill should have been passed or not. Nor am I giving Nancy “Listen to me Preen” Pelosi any slack on being an idiot. But, for Republicans to point at THAT as a reason to vote down a bill that was so “critically needed” is ridiculous on its face. The real reason is that there are too many Republicans who are holding onto their seats by their fingernails and they’ve got their own elections coming up back home.

  4. tas says:

    This will be off-topic, but I find it curious how gcotharn is constantly on the most extreme side of Republican talking points — splitting hairs in arguments like it’s his job.

    When it was rightly pointed out after Palin’s interview with Charles Gisbon that she was, well, clueless, gcotharn tired telling me that there were multiple ways to define the “Bush Doctrine”, therefore it was a “gotcha question” when Gibson asked Palin what it is. The bullshit from that comment was so thick you could cut it with even a dull knife. That much is evidenced by all the conversatives jumping ship after Palin’s second MSM interview with Katie Couric, where she proved to be so much of a bafoon and one National Review writer asked Palin to step down from the campaign.

    As far as I know, gcotharn is still pro-Palin.

    Now after the Republicans tank the bailout — no question about this one — goctharn questions away anyways. This time we don’t have to wait a week to see conservatives eating each other over this.

    It’s starting to become routine. Predictable.

    Why does gcotharn split hairs over the most extremem views that the right has to offer, even when the standard-bearer pundits from his side have seen the silliness in supporting these positions? I’m not sure. And while he and others we’ll point to this as an attack against his character (which is accurate — I’m channeling Rove here), I still can’t help but wonder why gcotharn takes the most extreme position that he does — not only bucking trends from his own side but bucking all empirical evidence whatsoever.

  5. gcotharn says:


    I respect everything you wrote, and I follow the thread of the logic. However, that logic assumes the proffered bill was automatically the best thing for our nation. I disagree.

    The bill was suspiciously vague. It allowed for much amendment and flex in future – which potentially could result in interference and mischief by House Committee Chairs. House Repubs wanted insurance emphasized; government exposure limited; oversight strengthened; immediate reforms put in place; and vagueness which could be exploited by Pelosi taken out. They got lip service; they got feints in their direction; they did not get satisfaction.

    My respectful opinion: if House Repubs did not get the bill they wanted, they were under no obligation – neither patriotic nor inside baseball legislative – to vote for the inferior bill which was proffered.

    That bill – and the future mischief which could result from amending it and flexing it – favored House Dem causes. 138 House Dems voted for it; 95 House Dems opposed it. A dozen switched Dem votes would’ve passed it. A little more give towards Repub concerns would’ve also passed it. I see Pelosi incompetence and intractability more than I see Repub culpability.

    However, your comment above was coherent and well reasoned. I understand it, and I respect your opinion.

  6. gcotharn says:


    Charles Gibson had to refer to his own notes to offer up one of four separate and widespread definitions of Bush Doctrine. I think my criticism of him was fair.

    Conservative nervousness and criticism of Gov. Palin has no connection to my criticism of Charles Gibson’s haughty Bush Doctrine foolishness. Your attempt to draw a parallel is illogical.

    I love Gov. Palin. I hope she is able to justify herself to voters. She is equally as worthy of office as Barack. I am sort of a “be tranquil and let events play out” kind of person. What should happen will happen. If Gov. Palin deserves office, she will gain office. If she is undeserving, she will not.

    As to your closing remarks: you may as well ask why I think freely and why I think for myself.

    To me, your criticism would be more effective if you targeted something I say which is either factually incorrect or illogical. When I skim through this blog, I pause at the assertions which are overtly incorrect or illogical. You say I “split hairs”. That is not my intention. I take a quick look through here. If something is overtly incorrect, I protest. I do favor Kathy’s posts over everyone else’s, as I enjoy the give and take with her. She has guts and authenticity.

    I know you are interested in accuracy and truth. I know you don’t want to be sloppily misled. In that regard, I’m on your side. We are both in favor of accuracy and truth. We’re a team!

  7. Rob in Michigan says:


    I understand what your stating, but like I posted, I’m not making any statements about the appropriateness of supporting or bailing on the bill in question. Your first post pointed to the fact that the Democrats could have passed this bill on their own, as if they were to blame for its defeat. It is an argument that I’ve read a lot of on Pro-Repub/Anti-Demo posts… I’m just pointing out that if they did, there would have been Hell To Pay. Within 24 hours, the ads from Republicans or their surrogates would have lambasted them for “bailing out Wall Street gamblers with your money!” while leaving their hands completely clean.
    Nancy may be a horrendous Speaker of the House and an all around bitca, but she isn’t exactly brain-dead. She knew what would happen if this had been an all-Democrat bill passed on party lines. And lest we forget, John “Only I Can Save This Deal” McCain was the one bragging it was his direct involvement that got it passed right before its failure.
    I’m afraid no matter how you slice it, this came up a snake-eyes on McCain’s gamble, which means it lays at the Republican’s feet (though there are plenty who see it as a win, because they hated this ‘bailout’ on principal) just as matttbastard posted in the story.
    Like I said in my original post, I’m not saying whether the bailout/rescue being defeated was a good or bad. And, I’m not defending Pelosi particularly (as you may have gotten, I can’t stand her). But, this IS a Republican failure/accomplishment for the reasons I articulated in my first post.


  8. Rob in Michigan says:


    Oh, one more thing I meant to bring up… the fact that RIGHT AFTER the vote failed to garner the majority of Republicans… and before they even had time to question their members as to why they wouldn’t go along… to come out and say it was because Pelosi was mean was one of the all-time frikkin’ stupidest maneuvers in the history of gaffing into an open mik for the media.
    I mean, please! The economy is in danger of collapse (as is the meme going around) and you won’t support the bail out because the Speaker of the House is too stupid to keep her big trap shut until AFTER the vote?!
    Yeah… definitely a Republican FAIL in front of the public.

    Again… this has nothing to do with the bill itself, just the way that it was handled afterward.


  9. tas says:

    Charles Gibson had to refer to his own notes to offer up one of four separate and widespread definitions of Bush Doctrine. I think my criticism of him was fair.

    And I think your conclusion is unfair because Palin didn’t (and continues not to) offer a single amount of insight into any topic. Fact is she just didn’t know. As for complaining about Gibson using his notes, all journalists have notes — I’d be more afraid of those that don’t. When I interview somebody over the phone, you better believe I have my notes in front of me. Does this somehow make me guilty of something?

    To me, your criticism would be more effective if you targeted something I say which is either factually incorrect or illogical. When I skim through this blog, I pause at the assertions which are overtly incorrect or illogical. You say I “split hairs”.

    Your problem is that you’re hopelessly biased through a one-sided view of your own logic. Your views of logic cause you to miss the larger picture that even other pundits on your side have to admit to seeing. When it is pointed out that Palin has no clue about basic foreign policy questions like the Bush Doctrine, you claim that there’s four different definitions of the Bush Doctrine and such questions are examples of “gotcha journalism”. That’s splitting hairs — that’s using logic to explain situations that don’t exist. Fact of the matter is that, to anyone who watched the interview, it was obvious that Palin didn’t have a clue — period. She couldn’t factually or otherwise answer a question that’s asked of college freshman. To say that this is gotcha journalism, in the face of such empirical evidence, is illogical.

  10. gcotharn says:


    If passing the bill was about voting for a good bill, the Dems could’ve passed it themselves.

    If passing the bill was about patriotism, the Dems could’ve passed it themselves.

    If passing the bill was about sharing the pain, then Pelosi betrayed her own cause by taking to the House floor and inflicting as much pain as she was able to inflict.


    It was illogical, from the beginning, to try to pass a bill based upon a rationale of “share the pain”.

    Here’s what is logical: fix the bill. Make it a bill which a majority of the House wants to pass. House members should be able to look at the bill and say this: this bill is so right for the nation that I am willing to vote for it and then face whatever electoral pain I have to face. For every member in favor – whether Dems or Repubs – the positives must outweigh the negatives.

    The failed bill was not good enough for a majority of House members to be able to look at it and say that. Their no votes were not about lack of patriotism or unwillingness to share sacrifice. Sure they were scared about their re-election chances. That fear could’ve been overcome, for a sufficient majority of House members, by a strong bill. The failed bill was weak. Fix the bill.


    I won’t quibble that McCain’s actions weren’t tinged with self-interest. However, his actions were also effective.

    When McCain returned to Washington: reportedly less than 10 Repub House Members supported the bill. 60 something eventually supported the bill. Why? McCain threatened Senate Repubs with embarrassment if they did not join him in forcing – via threat of Senate filibuster – Repub House Members’ concerns to be addressed by House Dems. When Repub House Members’ concerns were addressed: 50+ additional Repub House votes materialized. Before McCain returned to D.C., Repub House Members were being ignored even by Repub Senators (who are more liberal than Repub House Members).

    There’s a misconception that either McCain or Barack can berate House Members into voting a certain way. McCain and Barack might be able to bargain with House Members (via offering to campaign for them), yet McCain and Barack cannot berate anyone into doing anything.

    What McCain and Barack can do – and what McCain did do – is work to fix the bill. The positives of voting for the bill must outweigh the negatives. McCain helped change the equation for 50+ Repub House Members.

    Barack says he was on the phone with Bernanke every day for two weeks. I don’t think Barack’s action was as effective as McCain’s action.

  11. gcotharn says:


    I began to remember the comment of mine which you are characterizing, so I went back and looked it up. It is here. Our discussion was not about Palin’s knowledge, or lack thereof, but rather about whether Gibson’s Bush Doctrine question was a gotcha question. I think my comment was reasonable. Excerpt:

    I think I saw, further back in this blog, some of you guys sneering that Palin did not know the “Bush Doctrine”. However, if you guys honestly sat around and discussed, the group of you would come up with different answers for the meaning of “Bush Doctrine”.

    I’ve always suspected Palin blanked on the Bush Doctrine, and I’ve never denied that. I wrote this, on Sept 12, on my own blog:

    Gibson quizzed her about “the Bush Doctrine”. She was unsure of what he was referencing. She asked him to further explain. Here’s the funny part: Charlie Gibson could not himself remember the Bush Doctrine! He haughtily quizzed her about something he himself didn’t know the answer to! Hilarity. Gibson fumbled around, seemed (off camera) to be referencing his notes, then gave an incorrect definition of the Bush Doctrine!

    I’m with Andy McCarthy’s take on the incident … except: I think, more than Andy does, Palin drew a blank on “Bush Doctrine”. Maybe she’d never heard of it. Maybe she just blanked in the moment. But, to my eyes, she blanked on it. That’s not a big deal. Bush hasn’t much publicized his doctrine, i.e. “with us or against us”, since the end of 2001.

    When I wrote that, I did not know that four separate policy thrusts have been called “The Bush Doctrine.” I defined The Bush Doctrine as “with us or against us.” Charles Gibson defined it as “pre-emptive military action.” Governor Palin, in the Gibson interview, defined it as “spreading democracy”. Charles Krauthammer, in the very first ever usage of “Bush Doctrine” by anyone, defined it as

    Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the anti-ballistic missile treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

    You could shorthand Krauthammer’s point into this: The Bush Doctrine = neoconservative foreign policy.

    I will take your warning to me:

    “Your problem is that you’re hopelessly biased through a one-sided view of your own logic. Your views of logic cause you to miss the larger picture that even other pundits on your side have to admit to seeing.”

    for the piece of wisdom it is. As to those pundits on my side: they’ve been wrong before!

    Have a great day! This approaching debate feels like an approaching big ballgame. One never knows in advance what will happen – in either direction – in an approaching big ballgame. Delicious anticipation. Even if Palin bombs in the most embarrassing fashion ever, still: we had the pleasure of the delicious anticipation!


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