I am disappointed by the politics and the media coverage of the current financial crisis, but not so much about the failure of the bailout bill yesterday. Throwing money and bigger government at problems is almost never the answer. I am glad that many House Republicans stood up against additional government interference in the economy. My best hope is that with the failure of yesterday’s bill, we will end up with a better one. My fear, though, is that rather than House Republicans ending up with a bill they can support, Democrats will throw in some items to woo the votes of the 94 Democrats that voted against it. That would result in passage of a more liberal bill that would most likely help Obama and congressional Dems politically short term, but would make the economy worse for many years after the November election. My fears have been more accurate than my hopes lately so I am not optimistic on that front.
As for being disappointed by the politics, let me make clear I am disappointed, not surprised. Making a bitterly partisan speech on the floor of the House just before voting on a huge piece of legislation, when you have been begging for votes from the other party, and when 94 of your own party could not be persuaded to vote with you, is just about the dumbest move a Speaker of the House, or any politician for that matter, has ever made. Ever. Nancy Pelosi is either breathtakingly stupid or so consumed by hatred that her brain cells are not operating properly. Based on some of her past statements, over a period of years, my guess it is a little of both.
What might be the second stupidest move of any politician goes to House Republicans who came out and gave a press conference saying more people might have voted for the bill if not for Pelosi’s partisan rant. Republicans have many reasons not to vote for the bill and most of those who voted against it did so on principle, because they favored a market solution rather than a government solution. For House Republicans voting for the bill to come out and make such a statement was not only politically stupid, but it was not fair to all those Republicans who voted against the plan on conscience and principle.
The media coverage is disappointing, but also far from surprising. This morning Tucker Carlson said the biggest problem with media coverage has not been bias, but dumbness. That is almost always the case when it comes to anything that is remotely related to the economy. I don’t know much about Wall Street or banking, but far too often the journalists on camera reporting these issues this week appeared to know even less.
I just skimmed back over this blog post and realize I called a lot of people dumb and stupid. In my defense, I was bipartisan in my name calling and it was hard to avoid considering the subject matter.