On Sunday evening, Republican House Minority Leader John A. Boehner explained his considered opinion on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan: It's a "crap sandwich," he said, but he was going to eat it.
Well, it turned out he couldn't shove it down his colleagues' throats. The bill failed on a bipartisan basis, but it was the Republicans who failed to deliver the votes they promised. Some complained that Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi drove them to switch their votes with her needlessly partisan floor speech on the subject. Of course Pelosi's needlessly partisan. This is news?
The Republican complaint is beyond childish. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, a man saturated with guilt for this crisis, nonetheless was right to ridicule the GOP crybabies on Monday. "I'll make an offer," he said. "Give me (their) names and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they'll now think about the country."
Would that Frank had been imbued with such a spirit earlier. Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has spent the last few years ridiculing Alan Greenspan, John McCain and others who sought more regulation for Fannie Mae's market-distorting schemes - the fons et origo of this financial crisis. Now he says "the private sector got us into this mess." His partner in crime, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), a chief beneficiary of Fannie Mae lobbyists' largesse, claims this mess is the result of poor oversight - without even hinting at the fact he is in charge of oversight of banks. They sound like pimps complaining about the prevalence of STDs among prostitutes.
And let us not forget that House Democrats, with a 31-seat majority, could not get 95 of their own to vote for the bailout, largely because it didn't provide enough taxpayer money to their left-wing special interests. Would that they thought about the country.
The one man who truly tried to treat this crisis like a crisis - McCain - was ridiculed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who implored him to come to Washington to help in the first place. And the news media, which now treat any Republican action that threatens a Barack Obama victory as inherently dishonorable, uncritically accepted the bald Democratic lie that McCain ruined a bipartisan bailout deal last Friday.