The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Pelosi and Reid must go

Posted by Bill Nance on October 3, 2008

There’s an old saying that goes: “The Democrats are the party of no ideas, and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas.

Nowhere have I seen a more clear demonstration of this old saw than in the bailout bill just passed by Congress, not to mention the sad excuse for one which failed in the House last week. I’ve written about the downsides of the Paulson plan before. Too much authority transferred to the executive branch, not enough oversight and no guarantees the assets purchased will be bought at prices which would give taxpayers sufficient equity in the entities that sell them.

Once again the Democrats in Congress have showed they have no ideas of their own, no concept of courage and no willingness to do anything which might jeopardize their own careers. They actually managed to pass a plan that’s even worse than the one last week, including, you guessed it, earmarks. Hard to imagine it, until you remember who’s running Congress.

Don’t get me wrong, the Republicans are just as bad, if in different ways. But at least they have, on rare occasion, showed the willingness to stick by principles, however foolhardy said principles may be.

Democrats, since January ’07 when they took office as the majority in congress, have not done a thing to oppose the Bush Administration other than to posture. No reasonable person wanted or expected them to force an immediate pullout from Iraq, but a timeline or a specific re-definition of goals was a perfectly reasonable position. They didn’t do it. They didn’t rein in the irresponsible spending of the Bushies, they couldn’t even manage to get a strict anti-torture bill passed, much less serious investigation of the no-bid Halliburton contracts, illegal wire-tapping etc.

Nancy Pelosi and  Harry Reid can blame Republican filibustering in the Senate and they can blame Bush vetoes. But the bottom line is, they weren’t ready to stick to their guns on any issue of substance. When it came time to force a showdown, as usual, they balked.

I’ve never been fond of the Democratic Party.

There are a litany of reasons for this, from their tendency to spend money like a sieve leaks water, to their complete lack of testicular fortitude as a party. But here they missed an opportunity to do some genuine good for the American people AND the economy, and once again, they failed miserably.

Bush and Paulson are desperate for a bailout plan. The American people were desperate for a bailout plan, if not the one proposed by Paulson.

The bill, which was and is unpopular, could have been made to be a lot more palatable to Americans. The bill could have passed the house on a party-line vote and Dems could have simply dared the Republicans, already hugely unpopular, to filibuster/veto the bill. The bill would have passed. The Republicans may have screamed bloody murder, but it would, in the end, have passed.

In case you missed the point, this is what’s called being in the opposition.

What might they have done?

  • A 10% across the board pay cut for every federal employee making over $100,000 per year (including congress).
  • Capping interest rates on credit cards to Federal Cost of Funds +10%
  • Extending the tax cuts on small business and credits for alternative energy research and paying for it with cuts to SDI and all subsidies to oil exploration and development.
  • Requiring all new foreclosures to certify a set of alternative payment options (temporary repayment suspensions, one-year interest rate reductions to FCoF+ 6%, etc) have been offered and declined.
  • Cutting (insert Federal agency or agencies of choice) funding across the board by 10%

I could go on and on. The bill could have been crafted to be both popular among the Dem base and sufficiently aggressive on spending cuts no one would even notice to seriously offset costs. Even some Republicans would have jumped on board a bill that was more fiscally responsible and held the money for the bailout to better oversight.

They chose to do none of the above. What’s worse is that after caving initially and still not getting the Republicans to play ball, instead of crafting their own alternative, they just caved even more.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have demonstrated over the last two years that they wouldn’t know leadership if it bit them in the ass. It’s time for them to go before they can do any more damage.

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2 Responses to “Pelosi and Reid must go”

  1. Thing is the ideas necessary for change will be drowned out in the election with the economic meltdown.

    http://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/congress-backs-700bn-bail-out-mccain-aint-dead-yet/

  2. […] been reading this blog, you’ve read my screeds about the Democratic Party in general and my contempt for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in particular. This doesn’t make me any less disgusted with the Republicans, but it does make […]

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