Incompetent Or Crybabies? (UPDATED)

You decide!

Yesterday, the Republican caucus failed to deliver enough votes on the economic rescue plan, despite what they promised Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats.

That would make them incompetent.

But afterward, while the stock market was plummeting, they blamed Pelosi herself for the failure, claiming she gave a ‘partisan’ speech that ‘poisoned’ the voting process.

That would make them crybabies.

So, question is, are the Republicans incompetent or crybabies? Do they have such poor leadership that they couldn’t stop two-thirds of their caucus from voting against them? Or are they such crybabies that more than a dozen Republicans were willing to put their precious egos ahead of the good of the country?

Well, according to yesterday’s Roll Call, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that Pelosi’s speech wasn’t the motivator and that she had ‘principled’ reasons for voting against the rescue bill. And on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) said basically the same thing. In fact, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a Republican willing to admit that Nancy Pelosi’s mean old speech caused them to vote against saving America’s economy.

Either way, though, is this a party we want controlling Congress? Or the White House? Whether its incompetence or self-centeredness, the fact is that the Republicans failed, big time, causing a stock market crash that cost nearly $1.1 trillion.

Good job, guys. Reagan would be proud.

UPDATE: So the sentiment among conservatives today seems to be ‘the Democrats are the majority! Why didn’t they just pass this on a party line vote?’

Come on. They know better than that. If we had drafted a bill that could have gotten almost every Democratic vote in the House, it would have been a far different bill than the one that failed yesterday. Had we proposed that bill and passed it, the right wing would be screeching today about how the Democrats crammed the bailout down everyone’s throats.

They would have spent the rest of this election running against the bill, attacking Democrats for not coming to them and working out a bipartisan deal. The last thing this legislation needs to be is another election-year political football.

It’s funny that conservatives are attacking Pelosi’s ‘hyperpartisan’ speech for derailing the bill, but are then are turning around and attacking Democrats for not ramming the bill through Congress and being more partisan. Cognitive dissonance, much?

And let’s be honest, the economic rescue legislation is pretty unpopular. There were going to be a lot of votes against it from both parties no matter what the final bill was.

The Democrats worked hard with the Republicans to come up with a bill that would have broad support from both parties. And both parties knew there was going to be a lot of dissent against the bill. But the Republicans and the Democrats had an obligation to deliver a certain amount of votes for the bill. That was the deal. The Democrats met their obligation; the Republicans fell very, very short of what they had promised. Hence the blame-shifting.



The bailout deal just failed in the House–right now the vote is 205 ‘yea’ and ‘228 ‘nay.’ The majority of ‘nay’ votes came from the Republican caucus.

In response, the Dow Jones just dropped like a rock–it’s currently down nearly 600 points.

UPDATE: It’s official, the bailout has failed.

UPDATE II: The Republicans are blaming Speaker Pelosi for the failure.

Seriously, they’re saying it’s her fault because she gave a ‘partisan’ speech that ‘poisoned’ the voting. Seriously, guys? You’re blaming this failure on Nancy Pelosi giving a mean speech?

Come on, guys. More than two-thirds of your caucus voted against the bipartisan agreement but it’s everyone else’s’ fault? How about next time you do your jobs and deliver the votes you promised?

UPDATE III: Here’s the roll call vote.

UPDATE IV: Chris Matthews makes a good point: John McCain ‘suspended’ his campaign to work on this deal, he tried to take credit for the final agreement, he even said during Friday’s debate that he would vote for the bill.

Yet, the GOP didn’t take his side. John McCain yelled ‘charge’ but the Republicans retreated. He’s the Republican nominee for President but he can’t even get half of his party’s caucus to vote the way he wants them to. That’s just pathetic, both on John McCain’s part and on the part of the GOP’s House leadership.

UPDATE V: Speaker Pelosi is giving a statement.

She’s saying the Democrats held their end of the bargain, and that there were major improvements to the bill that were bipartisan–credit for small business owners, protecting savings, preserving retirements, etc.

She’s saying the Republicans didn’t get the message that this bill is needed to stabilize the markets and protect taxpayers. Pelosi then pledges she’s going to try to give the House ‘another bite at the apple.’

UPDATE VI: The Dow is down 655 points. I hope Boehner, McCain and the GOP are happy–they just made the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression worse.

UPDATE VII: The NYSE closed at 4:00; the Dow is down 770 points. It’s the biggest point drop in history.

And it’s all because 12 GOP Congressman didn’t vote the other way. Why didn’t they? Well, according to the Republican leadership, it’s because Nancy Pelosi was mean to them.

Thanks, guys, for putting your precious little egos ahead of the American economy. I’m sure the voters will remember this come election day.

UPDATE VIII: Just in case you’re not convinced McCain bears some blame for not rallying enough GOP votes, here’s McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt on Meet The Press yesterday:

“What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties to the table, including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed to pass this.”

Well, Steve, I guess he wasn’t able to bring enough of them to the table, huh?

UPDATE IX: Anyone reminded of this:

Once again, crybaby Republicans throw a monkey wrench into the works because some Democrat dared to bruise their precious, delicate little egos.  Except this time the problem is a lot bigger than a simple governmental shutdown–it’s the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Even as a minority these guys are terrible.  The less influence the Republican Party has, the better.

Check The Polls (UPDATED)

After I declared Obama the winner of Friday’s debate, one commenter told me to check the polls come Monday.

Well, happy Monday!


Obama-Biden: 47%

McCain-Palin: 42%

Undecided: 8%

McCain now has a net unfavorable rating among Inds. Just 43% have a favorable impression of the GOP nominee, while 46% have an unfavorable impression. One week ago — in the survey completed 9/20 — his fav/unfav among Inds was 51%/36%.

And the AZ Sen.’s trouble with Inds extends to the WH matchup. Obama leads the group, which makes up 19% of today’s Diageo/Hotline sample, by a commanding 52-29% margin. One week ago, McCain held a 40-39% advantage

[Emphasis added]

Research 2000:

Obama-Biden: 51%

McCain-Palin: 42%


Obama-Biden: 50%

McCain-Palin: 42%


Obama-Biden: 50%

McCain-Palin: 45%


Obama-Biden: 325.5 EV

McCain-Palin: 212.5 EV

There is a 64.35% chance Obama will win all the Kerry states.

There is a 65.88% chance Obama will win VA but lose OH

There is a 71.68% chance Obama will win CO but lose OH

There is a 54.48% chance Obama will lose OH but still win the election

There is a 25.54% chance of an Obama landslide (375+ EV)

Obama-Biden: 286 EV

McCain-Palin: 252

Obama wins all the Kerry states plus CO, IA, NM and VA.


Obama-Biden: 229 EV

McCain-Palin: 174 EV

Toss Up: 135 EV

Of the toss up states, Obama is currently winning PA, MN & CO; NH is tied. If you add up the states Obama is currently winning, he has 269 electoral votes.

UPDATE: Let’s not forget LA Times/Bloomberg:

The Illinois senator extended his advantage to 49% to 44%, compared with last week, when the same respondents gave him a 48% to 45% edge.


Obama was seen as more “presidential” by 46% of debate-watchers, compared with 33% for the Arizona senator.

The difference is even more pronounced among debate-watchers who were not firmly committed to a candidate: 44% said they believed Obama looked more presidential, whereas 16% gave McCain the advantage.

The Republican candidate also has lost ground on several measures of voter confidence, including trust.

[Emphasis added]


Knievel Fail Motorcycle Jump

A brief history of the McCain campaign

Looks like Senator Stuntman is out in the garage, strapping rockets to his motorcycle and preparing for his next PR epic fail:

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

[Emphasis mine]

Yes, because it’s a great idea to wrestle the media away from covering the economy–the most important issue of this election–and force them to give wall-to-wall coverage to your Vice Presidential candidate’s daughter’s wedding.  Especially right after you campaign just faceplanted by interfering with–and messing up–political negotiations to help end our economc crisis.

When are you guys going to learn that the American people aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt anymore? You’ve staged so many stunts and tried to pull off so much nonsense in this campaign that nobody’s going to even pretend that Bristol Palin’s (conveniently) pre-election wedding is anything but a desperate ploy for positive media coverage.

You just don’t get it–there are major issues out there; the American people are waiting for you to start showing some leadership. This isn’t 2000, or even 2004–trying to derail the Presidential campaign with trivial garbage isn’t going to cut it anymore.  In fact, it’s just going to make people angry that you’re wasting their time instead of dealing with the economy or fixing our foreign policy or ending our war in Iraq.

If this happens, expect a major backlash.  We just went through eight years of a stunt-driven Presidency (anyone remember ‘Mission Accomplished’?) and the last thing America needs is another impulsive President who cares more about his political image than about rising to meet our nation’s challenges.

Obama Wins (UPDATED)

Hands down, no question, Obama won the first Presidential debate.

McCain came off as combative and angry–Obama knew the issues, he was in control of the exchange and he showed the kind of calm and stability we need in a President.

McCain is going to have a hard time catching up after this…

UPDATE: And the preliminary polls are in:

40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won.

UPDATE II: Josh Marshall sleeps on it:

I think it was a much bigger win for Obama than I was ready to figure last night. And that’s for two basic reasons.

First, the pattern in the 2000 and 2004 presidential debates was essentially this: the Democrat generally won each debate on points and even in the snap polls of undecided voters. But there was usually some remark or bit of affect that — ludicrous or not — right-wing commentators and yakkers fixed in on and were able to parlay into the dominating conversation of the next few days. In this way, strong debate performances turned into weak debate performances.

I’m not seeing anything like that this time. Mainly that’s because Obama just didn’t make any mistakes. But I suspect it’s also because there’s now more meta-media parity between right and left.

Second was McCain’s attitude. Whether it was contempt or condescension or some sort of fear or inability to — in the most literal sense — face Obama, it made McCain look small and angry.

Surprise! (UPDATED)


Senator Stuntman’s latest trick has fallen apart–CNN is reporting that John McCain will, in fact, debate Barack Obama in Oxford tonight.

Remember, McCain said he wouldn’t debate until this crisis was resolved. The House GOP killed yesterday’s agreement right after McCain showed up, and it doesn’t look like today will bring a resolution, either.

So even though the crisis isn’t resolved, John McCain will go back on his word and attend tonight’s debate. It makes me wonder, can we really trust someone so impulsive and unbalanced in the White House? I don’t think so.

Obama/Biden ’08–for the stability and leadership we need.

UPDATE: Not only is McCain attending the debate–apparently he’s already won it, according to web ads his campaign is running:

So, John McCain injects himself into the middle of sensitive Congressional negotiations (after having nothing to do with Congress since April), leaves before anything is resolved, then declares himself the winner of a debate that hasn’t even happened yet.

Irrational and presumptuous. Is that really the kind of guy we want running the show?

Suspended…? (UPDATED)

So, yesterday John McCain ‘suspended’ his campaign.

But his campaign commercials are still on the air. And his surrogates are still going on television and spouting their talking points. And I can still go to his website and donate money to him. And this ad is still up and running on right-wing websites:

And now John McCain is on my television, giving a political speech to the Clinton Global Initiative. But the CGI is meeting in New York, so even though McCain said he was suspending his campaign to go to Washington and work on the bailout, instead he went all the way to New York to give a speech.

In fact, it looks like McCain’s campaign is doing all of the things they were doing yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. So it raises the question, what exactly did John McCain mean when he said his campaign was ‘suspended’?

UPDATE: Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports:

What exactly constitutes a “suspended campaign?”

Well, Team McCain is still working away this morning. Joe Pounder, the indefatigable press aide, blasted out his morning email of clips and quips to reporters

And The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports:

The most popular half of the McCain-Palin ticket plans a Thursday afternoon rally near the Philadelphia International Airport, according to a Philadelphia TV station.

The McCain campaign says that the rally won’t happen.

So McCain’s press shop is still up and running, and now there’s a debate over whether or not Sarah Palin will be holding a rally in Pennsylvania today. How is this a suspension, again?

UPDATE II: More non-suspension news: Mitt Romney is campaigning for McCain in Michigan while McCain economic adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer is participating in a live online chat on the Washington Times website at 11.

If McCain shows up in Oxford tomorrow, one of the moderators should ask him what the definition of the word ‘suspended’ is.

UPDATE III: Today, Sarah Palin went to Ground Zero and took questions from reporters about terrorism and foreign policy. How is that not campaigning?

And Raising Kaine found out that John McCain’s mid-Atlantic regional headquarters is not only up and running, but looking for volunteers.

It looks like Senator Stuntman is trying to pull one over on the national press corps. His campaign isn’t suspended–this is just a PR gambit to make himself look better in front of the cameras.

UPDATE IV: And now John McCain has a round of television interviews scheduled for tonight.

I wonder if his campaign is officially going to declare his ‘I will suspend my campaign’ stunt dead or if they’re just going to pretend it never happened and hope everyone forgets.

UPDATE V: Hey, does this coffin have enough nails in it yet?

The Huffington Post called up 15 McCain-Palin and McCain Victory Committee headquarters in various battleground states. Not one said that it was temporarily halting operations because of the supposed “suspension” in the campaign. Several, in fact, enthusiastically declared the continuation of their work. Others hadn’t even heard that the candidate for whom they were devoting their time had officially stopped campaigning.

[Emphasis added]