“This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.”
That’s John McCain’s take on why the House failed to pass a bipartisan Wall Street bailout bill today, according to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s economic adviser. The McCain camp cites Nancy Pelosi’s “strongly worded partisan speech” that “poisoned the vote” as the deal-breaker.
So, let me see if I understand this correctly. McCain’s campaign theme is “Country First.” McCain, in step with President Bush, championed the passage of this compromise bill. And a host of House Republicans refused to get on board because they were upset at Pelosi’s rhetoric, so they sulked, rejected their own president’s impassioned insistence, and voted no. (Identify them here.)
Legitimate concern about the bill’s specifics aside, if that is indeed why it failed, McCain is shooting himself in the foot to suggest that such pettiness reigns among Republicans that they cannot– or will not – rise above partisan sensitivities for the nation’s welfare.
And it’s not just McCain’s ambition that’s shoving country aside in making such absurd claims, it’s Republican ideology as well. Consider this remark from Representative Darrell Issa, the conservative multi-millionaire California Republican, whom the New York Times reported today was “’resolute’ in his opposition to the measure because it would betray party principles and amount to ‘a coffin on top of Ronald Reagan’s coffin.’”
Again, let me make sure I’m clear on this: what is most important at this moment of collective crisis is that we put philosophy over pragmatics to ensure that we do not dishonor Reagan’s legacy. Is there nothing that has happened this week to suggest to Congressman Issa that perhaps the Reagan philosophy has been a failure? That indeed, it has driven the catastrophic deregulation that’s defined virtually the entire McCain tenure in Congress, which has led to the current economic implosion?
Oops — I keep forgetting that logical analysis has no place in politics anymore.
Categories: scholars and rogues