No One Could Have Predicted

Can we stop trying to appease bad-faith Republicans now...please?

Boehner to GOP: Vote against stimulus

By: Patrick O'Connor and Jonathan Martin
January 27, 2009 10:59 AM EST

President Barack Obama is coming to the Capitol this afternoon to curry favor with congressional Republicans. But it appears GOP leaders have already made up their minds to oppose his $825 billion stimulus plan.

House Republican Leader John A. Boehner and his No. 2, Whip Eric Cantor, told their rank-and-file members Tuesday morning during a closed-door meeting to oppose the bill when it comes to the floor Wednesday, according to an aide familiar with the discussion. Boehner told members that he's voting against the stimulus, and Cantor told the assembled Republicans that there wasn't any reason for them to support the measure, according to another person in the room. Cantor and his whip team are going to urge GOP members to oppose it.

Boy, good thing we made sure to strip out the contraceptive funding that got Republicans so worked up yesterday!

Update [2009-1-27 11:40:25 by Josh Orton]: Josh Marshall is exactly right.

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Boehner: Profile In Courage

When John McCain called a hasty press conference back in September, I was convinced he'd announce opposition to the $700 billion - instead he "suspended his campaign" and flew (leisurely) to Washington.

Then after one failed vote, enough House Republicans reversed themselves to pass the plan, despite its unpopularity. Had McCain and House Republicans joined to oppose the $700 billion, would we have seen a closer election? Maybe.

But now that the elections over, House Republican leader John Boehner has announced his opposition to releasing the balance of the TARP funds:

"I remain disappointed about the way TARP has been managed and how its resources have been spent over the last several months. From the outset, the program has been implemented with too little transparency and in a manner inconsistent with the way it was presented to Congress last fall. Until officials can present a clear plan to Congress -- and, most importantly, to taxpayers -- demonstrating how the expenditure of additional TARP funds will benefit our economy and making clear an exit strategy for getting the government back out of the private sector, it would be irresponsible for Congress to release the remainder of these resources. I will oppose the release of these taxpayer funds when the matter is considered on the House floor," Boehner said.

Translation: 'why yes, I will take this consequence-free political posture now that the election is over.'

So far, Boehner seems to only speak for himself, but the goal of opposition here is cynical: with the first half of TARP mismanaged under Republicans, Americans distrust the plan even more...so why not force Democrats to own the policy exclusively?

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They Just Don't Get It

"In record numbers, Americans voted on Tuesday for a skillful presidential nominee promising change, but "change" should not be confused with a license to raise taxes, drive up wasteful government spending, weaken our security, or give more power to Washington, Big Labor bosses and the trial bar. Americans did not vote for higher taxes to fund a redistribution of wealth; drastic cuts in funding for our troops; the end of secret ballots for workers participating in union elections; more costly obstacles to American energy production; or the imposition of government-run health care on employers and working families." - John Boehner Washington Post

    Did this guy see the same campaign and election that I saw? In the campaign that I saw President-elect Barack Obama laid out in no uncertain terms what his agenda was and what he wanted to accomplish. There were no hidden innuendos or code words; he stated as a matter of fact what he felt the government's role was and how he planned to implement that role. And despite Mr. Boehner's claims to the contrary, the majority of the American public voted to accept this candidate and his agenda. We have seen for the last two election cycles the electorate's repudiation of the Republican ideas and their tactics and yet they continue to believe that nothing has changed. Many of them feel that the reason they lost was because they weren't right of center enough. If this continues this Party will be replaced by another one and they will become strictly a regional and rural Party.

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Unfiltered Thoughts on the Failed Bailout Bill

Yesterday, as I watched the votes against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 rack up on the U.S. House floor, I said to someone that as soon as Wall Street gets word of the bailout bill failing, the stock market is going to drop like a rock.  

And that it did -- more than 700 points at the close of trading Monday evening.

Now I don't know if this $700 billion bailout package is going to work, but at this point, we've got to try something because doing nothing only makes matters worse.

There's a blame being thrown around on why the bill failed.  Republicans are blaming Democrats.  Democrats are blaming Republicans.  But the truth is that both sides of the aisle share some of the blame.

When the President, the Speaker of the House and the leadership of both parties are supportive of any particular piece of legislation, you can usually guarantee and take to the bank the passage of that bill.  That's not what happened yesterday.

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Stamped by Fear, Scammed by lies: Why the Bailout Failed

In Bush's Wild West economy, Americans have seen inflation, increased unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies; they have seen their retirement plans dwindle in the vapors of economic chaos. The vote against the bailout was simply political reality by members of Congress who no longer were about to be stampeded by fear, scammed by lies, and whose own self-interest is to be re-elected.

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