Monday, September 29, 2008
Boobs in Toyland-Congress in Action
My favorite comedians, Laurel and Hardy, never made a Film Noire, but if they had, it surely would have been filmed in Washington. Once again, our Congress has conducted itself like Laurel and Hardy in trying to get a bailout bill through the old sausage-making machine-and failed. Today, the House of Representatives (mostly Republicans) defeated the bill, much to the consternation of Nancy Pelosi and President Bush.
As expected, the process degenerated into a partisan "Battle of the Boobs" as each side pointed the finger of blame on the other. Pelosi, for her part, alienated many Republicans with a pre-vote speech in which she derided the Bush economic policies as being to blame. This affronted many Republicans, who then took out their pique in voting against the bill. Barney Frank joined Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Raum Emanuel and James Clyburn in a press conference, in which they accused the Republicans of....partisanship. Frank, who played no small role in this mess by pressuring lending institutions to make loans to lower-income people-which they could not repay, mocked the Republicans who were miffed at Pelosi's speech. So now it's back to the sausage machine as they try to craft something different "in a spirit of bi-partisanship".
As I said before, I have no idea what the solution is, and I am sure there is blame (current and historic) on both sides of the aisle. Am I uncomfortable with bailouts for failed companies? Sure. I believe that we should all be free to succeed or fail, and the tax-payer should not be forced to foot the bill. Same for people who borrow money for things they can't really afford. Tax-payers should not have to cover for other people's bad choices.
Yet, if it is true that our economic system is in danger if government doesn't act, then some compromise is in order, I guess. If Wall Street goes under, we all do.
I'll tell you one area in which I am on the Republican side, however. The Democrats tried to get in a provision that some money would go to that shadowy agency called ACORN (Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now). This outfit is nothing more than an arm of the Democratic Party. During his community organizer days, Obama had a strong association with this group. One of ACORN's more dubious activities is Democratic voter registration in lower-income areas. There have been numerous accusations hurled against ACORN for fraudulent registrations in several states. Republicans howled when they learned of this scheme and vowed to vote down any bill that included funding for ACORN. In my view, this outfit bears public scrutiny as well as Obama's connection to it.
So now, the Battle of the Boobs continues unabated, and the only thing we know for sure is-the boobs in Congress are sure to screw it up again.