"Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to affix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem. "Forget for a moment the illogic in those consecutive sentences. What, specifically, does the McCain campaign reference as partisan? The answer is Nancy Pelosi's speech introducing the debate. Here's senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin:
Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome. This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.Read the speech and Speaker Pelosi blamed the Bush administration for the current crisis:
It [$700 billion] is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush Administration’s failed economic policies—policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.Now, compare that to what McCain said in Friday's debate:
Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.
That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol.
As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.
It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.
Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.
It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.
It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.
Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.
we are seeing, for the first time in a long time, Republicans and Democrats together, sitting down, trying to work out a solution to this fiscal crisis that we're in.If Pelosi repeats (and makes a bit more explicit) McCain's charges, then how is that overly partisan?
And have no doubt about the magnitude of this crisis. And we're not talking about failure of institutions on Wall Street. We're talking about failures on Main Street, and people who will lose their jobs, and their credits, and their homes, if we don't fix the greatest fiscal crisis, probably in -- certainly in our time, and I've been around a little while.
But the point is -- the point is, we have finally seen Republicans and Democrats sitting down and negotiating together and coming up with a package.
This package has transparency in it. It has to have accountability and oversight. It has to have options for loans to failing businesses, rather than the government taking over those loans. We have to -- it has to have a package with a number of other essential elements to it.
And, yes, I went back to Washington, and I met with my Republicans in the House of Representatives. And they weren't part of the negotiations, and I understand that. And it was the House Republicans that decided that they would be part of the solution to this problem...
Somehow we've lost that accountability. I've been heavily criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. We've got to start also holding people accountable, and we've got to reward people who succeed.
But somehow in Washington today -- and I'm afraid on Wall Street -- greed is rewarded, excess is rewarded, and corruption -- or certainly failure to carry out our responsibility is rewarded...
look, we've got to fix the system. We've got fundamental problems in the system. And Main Street is paying a penalty for the excesses and greed in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street.
So there's no doubt that we have a long way to go. And, obviously, stricter interpretation and consolidation of the various regulatory agencies that weren't doing their job, that has brought on this crisis.
Who, exactly, presided over the failure of accountability? Who let greed call the shots on Wall Street and in Washington?
It was in the context of spending, but McCain offered the most scathing partisan attack issued over the past few days:
"We Republicans came to power to change government, and government changed us."In this case, Republicans were supposed to deliver just 75 to 80 House votes and they failed.
The emergency rescue bill would have passed the House if 12 more Republicans (of 133 voting no) had joined their colleagues (plus 140 Democrats) and voted yes.
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