The Corner

Re: Speaker Spoke

Pete’s embarrassed by the House Republicans making Speaker’s Pelosi’s attack their excuse for voting no. I think he should save his embarrassment.

On the vote: I argued that given the toiling of Cantor et al., there was a sort-of quid pro quo responsibility of GOP colleagues to support their leaders and their effort – i.e., the final, less-liberal bill. Well, that didn’t happen. Using the Pelosi speech as an excuse for a no vote may be cheap and convenient – and maybe it was for some Members. But it might also be a very legitimate excuse.

Think about it. Picture yourself as on-the-fence Republican, willing to vote in favor of the bailout but concerned this entire enterprise might in some part be a political set-up, with expected blame-gaming by Democrats and their media pals leading to an even larger Dem majority in November, which in turn goes hog wild, “reforming” the bailout plan and . . . well, you know where that’s going, and that it’s a reasonable scenario. And one made all the more believable with every bitter, partisanship-dripping word that came out of the Speaker’s mouth.

In the face of such, who’s to blame a fence-sitter from saying “to hell with this, it is a set-up” and voting no? Anyone truly interested in seeing the bailout bill pass with bipartisan support had no business tempting defeat. Yet the Speaker thought she had conservative Republicans over a barrel. She thought she could two-fer the bill passing along with a big, fat, juice partisan smackdown. Well, guess what: She didn’t.

If anyone should be embarrassed, it is Mrs. Pelosi. I doubt she’s capable of such.


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