Yesterday the House Republicans stepped into a Newt Gingrich time machine. Remember how in 1995, Speaker Gingrich forced a government showdown because he was offended that President Bill Clinton didn't allow him to leave at the front of Air Force One when returning from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's funeral? Gingrich also complained that President Clinton didn't talk to him or Senate Republican leader Bob Dole and the New York Daily News responded with their famous "crybaby" headline.
Yesterday the House GOP scapegoated Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan speech as the reason for their not being able to deliver more votes to pass the Wall Street bail out. I'm not enamored of this bailout plan but I would have voted for it because the credit crisis is real. I'm not certain it would work but don't consider inaction an option.
However, I'm also not dissappointd it failed because the Democrats have an opportunity here to seize the manltle leadership and help the country. At this point, if the House GOP can't pull their caucus together then we should move on without them. Democrats can use their leverage to wrest more concessions from the hapless White House for bankruptcy protection for beleagured homeowners as well as expansion of FDIC. More House Democrats would support a bailout measure if funding for Wall Street bankers were scaled back and instead more funds were appropriated to address infrastructure. How about congress appropriate $500 billion for Wall Street and $200 billion as a stimulus for wage earners that includes the expansion of food stamps, unemployment insurance and job creating infrastructure development?
The House Democrats would pass such a measure overwhelmingly and enough Republican Senators would likely support any lifeline to the financial markets at this point. There is no reason for America to be held hostage by the loony far right House Republicans.