There was a 4:00pm meeting at the White House last Friday to discuss the $ 700 billion bailout of the US financial system or as Mainstreet calls it a bailout of Wall Street. President George Bush invited Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barnett “Barney” Frank, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr., John McCain, Barack Obama, etc, etc, etc. In other words a veritable Who’s Who of top US politicians from both political parties showed up to discuss and maybe come to a quick agreement on how to fix the financial mess.
From the very start there were problems with the bailout for different political reasons. On one hand Senate and House Democrats wanted a business as usual bill with provisions that a percentage of the money be put aside in a slush fund of their creation for their pet organizations like ACORN and La Raza. Instead of using all of the money made on the bailout, if any, to pay off national debt, Democrats wanted 20% to be given to organizations like those mentioned before. Never mind that the last “mini bailout” bill approved by Congress and signed into law last Wednesday by President Bush put into the slush fund close to $ 100 million to keep on giving out risky loans to minorities that would not qualify for a regular loan and have a high probability of defaulting. With the public blaming Republicans for the problems with the economy Obama was slowly pulling ahead in the polls.
On the other hand the Republican White House was in a real hurry to pass a blank check bill to stop the economic panic in Wall Street by injecting a huge amountof money to the financial system thus shoring it up and proving to voters they finally had things under control. Never mind that House Republicans were getting inundated by angry calls and emails from constituents voicing their strong opposition to any bailout of greedy Wall Street fat cats and to any money going to La Raza or ACORN. To make matters worse John McCain was slowly dropping in polls as voters blamed President Bush’s administration for the economic mess.
By Thursday an agreement was reached between Congressional Democrats, the White House and some Senate Republicans on a bailout bill. House Republicans refused to have anything to do with the agreement. Seeing the impasse Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on John McCain to go to Washington and get House Republicans to the table. McCain said he was needed in the Senate, stopped his campaign cold and left for Washington. This was seen as a gimmick by the Democrat friendly Mainstream Media. Before McCain even got to Washington, Democrats worried that it would bolster McCain in the polls if his presence helped craft a bill, immediately said his presence was not sought, needed nor wanted and that a bill had already been agreed to. False but that is why politics is politics. Of course the Mainstream News Media hurried to spin the truth and tell the whole world only the Democrats point of view.
The question arises, Democrats hold majorities in both the House and Senate and have the votes to pass any bill they want so why do they want Republican House support? Because if the bill does not work, if it is full of shameless pork, if it is lousy and full money for special interests, if it is a Christmas Tree full of earmarks, etc., they can share the blame with Republicans and no one gets a political advantage. Come election day the bill would be a non issue and could not be used by Republicans to bash them over the head and win votes. Democrats need Republican cover to give money to ACORN, La Raza, gay and lesbian groups, teacher unions, fund environmental groups, fund alternative energy concerns, etc. This time House Republicans after having agreed to the other “mini bailouts” in the last few months held firm so a meeting was called by President Bush between all parties.
Enter Democrat boss Barack “Dapper” Obama. When the meeting or negotiating session at the White House got under way President Bush turned the floor over to Congressional Democrats and they in turn gave the floor to Obama. This was the moment Obama had been waiting for to upstage John McCain in front of his peers, to act presidential in a White House setting, to put to rest once and for all any doubt that he lacks executive of experience, to be the saviour of the US economy. What did Harvard educated Senator Barack Obama do? Cause the meeting to blow up in his face. A minute or two after Obama started to speak most everyone sitting at the table was raising their voice and well on their way to shouting at each other.
The first words out of his mouth were something akin to saying the House Republican counter proposal bill was flawed, criticized Republicans, criticized their proposal and to finish his task of mending bridges asked Treasury Secretary Paulson what were his thoughts on the counter proposal. Paulson, a Democrat, whose old buddies at a Wall Street trading house had sent Obama the House Republican proposal, agreed with Obama. The meeting blew up as tempers flared with House Republicans realising they had been set up and ambushed not only by Democrats and Obama but by President Bush’s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson Jr. Way to go Barack!
Afterwards all President Bush could do was try to calm everyone down so the meeting could continue. By the time John McCain got the floor all he could do was say that those present should put aside their differences and work together. What else could he do after Obama’s impressive Academy Award winning lack of tact and diplomacy? Of course as soon as the negotiating session was over the Mainstream News Media ran with the Democrat’s talking points saying that McCain did not speak much, was ineffective and that Republicans were on the wrong side of the issues. Not for nothing did the Obama campaign send an email alert asking his supporters to watch the Presidential Debate on CNN. In my opinion to help raise their viewership and Nielsen ratings for the debate. Quid pro quo by reaming McCain a new one in the post debate commentary, right CNN?
What could have been a kumbaya moment, a coming together in time of crisis, a good faith bipartisan negotiation in favor of the American people was wasted, scuttled really, because of Obama’s lack of executive experience, judgement and common sense. Chicago thug politics and tactics do not work at high level White House meetings among equals. I guess Barack Hussein Obama never heard of smooth talking Dapper Dan also known as the Smiling Peacemaker.