Last week's theater performance in Washington settled once and for all that many Democrats are politicians first and Americans second. Their actions and words were so beyond the pale that every American should condemn them in the strongest terms.
Being closely involved with financial markets requires me to observe every movement on Wall Street and in Washington. I watched and listened intently to the Paulson/Bernanke testimony last week and read every report as the battle over the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP, raged on.
After being told countless times by our leaders that the financial world would collapse if immediate action was not taken, politicians went to work politicking. Countless press conferences, laced with dire predictions, proclaimed how hard our faithful servants were working on the problem and that they soon would have a plan.
Now keep in mind that while their office telephones were being overwhelmed with constituents voicing their anger and their opposition to the program, Democrats forged forward with no regard for the will of the people. Apparently Democrats thought they knew what was best for the people, and the people need not express their concerns or desires.
Rep. Kanjorski, D-Pa., said the phone calls coming into his office were, "50 percent no and 50 percent hell no." Yet that did not stop the fine congressman from continuing to support a bill the American people clearly view as ill conceived and a reward for the misdeeds of Wall Street.
In the middle of the week, word came that John McCain was suspending his campaign to fly back to D.C. and work on the bill. That is when the low-level gutter politics starting streaming out of the Democrat surrogates. The Obama faithful went into full battle mode accusing McCain of a "political stunt."
Democrat attackers however failed to mention it was Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson who requested McCain return for the negotiations, according to Bob Schieffer of CBS news. Given he is a U.S. senator who draws a paycheck from the taxpayer, shouldn't that be his first priority?
All through the day Thursday, Barney Franks, Chris Dodd and others made it clear that McCain was not needed, and all he did was muddy the waters. Each taking their cheap shot about the political motivation of the McCain' "stunt."
Then came Friday.
Obama co-chair, Claire McCaskill, in an interview on CNBC made the ridiculous claim that the Democrats had a deal and John McCain "rode" into town and blew it up. She went as far as to suggest that if we could pull all the players into a room, promise them we wouldn't tell anybody what they said; they would tell us McCain destroyed the bill.
An hour later, Harry Reid held a press conference in which he asserted that McCain came into town to "insert presidential politics" into the discussions. This was right after he talked about how everyone involved embraced "the principles laid out by Sen. Obama." Who did you say was inserting presidential politics, Harry? Reid then went back to talking about how the "insertion of presidential politics" has been "harmful" to the process.
No less than five times during his press conference, Reid excoriated the Bush administration for the current crisis, while standing next to Chris Dodd who himself enabled Fannie and Freddie to run unabated after countless warnings that there were problems. Maybe that had something to do with the millions of dollars in campaign contributions Dodd and his fellow Democrats took from the mortgage giants.
Is Harry kidding me, or is he just so steeped in partisanship that he has lost sight of reality? Do the Democrats really want to blame the current crisis on Bush when it was liberal, Democratic political correctness that forced many banks to lend money to totally unqualified buyers under their now infamous Community Reinvestment Act?
Does Harry really want to claim that conservative Republicans were promoting the socialist idea of homeownership being a birthright in America? That "no down payment, no qualification" loans were a capitalist policy conceived by the Wall Street elite? That free-market thinkers and promoters of personal responsibility cooked up such a toxic formula?
Lending money to every Tom, Dick and Harry was clearly a Democratic idea that bought them a lot of votes and is now costing the country untold amounts of pain. But why let the facts get in the way with old Harry?
The fact is the Democrats control both the House and Senate. Given the number of Republicans who supported this monstrosity, the Democrats could have easily passed this bill if so desired. McCain could have done little to overcome the majority they retain in both House and Senate.
But No. Speaker Pelosi wanted 70 to 80 Republicans to sign on first. That way, those Republicans could provide the needed political air cover if the program were ever to fail. Which in its current form, it will. That way, Nancy and her crew can point fingers at everyone else.
Only one problem, Harry and Nancy. A group of brave Republicans were listening to the will of the American people. They were statesmen who placed the people's best interest ahead of politics, and they called a timeout to make absolutely certain this bill protected taxpayers first. They insisted on assurances that the bill would relieve the credit markets so people on Main Street would receive as much benefit as those on Wall Street. They represented the people. What a novel idea to a partisan Democrat.
Every interview given by a Democrat was rife with attacks on McCain and his motives. Every Republican interview focused on the pros and cons of the plan. Bipartisanship in Democratic terms is, "Do what we say, or you're a partisan."
Heck, they know what is best, right? Damn the people.
When people like Harry Reid and Chris Dodd refer to the discussions of this bill as being, "between Democrats and serious Republicans," they say all they need to say about their inability to act in a bipartisan way. If a congressman votes with them, they are serious. If not, they are a joke. Talk is cheap, as Democrats have so perfectly demonstrated.
I wish the Democrats were accurate in their claim that John McCain simply came to town, stopped their bill and almost caused Armageddon on Wall Street. If McCain is that powerful, he should definitely be our next president. One man – John McCain, senator from Arizona – can stop lousy legislation by his mere presence? That is power.
This recent "crisis," and I do not stipulate it is a crisis, has revealed just how impulsive and easily manipulated the Democrats have become. They are told the world is coming to an end, and they start panicking and use the only answer they have in a crisis: Throw money at it. They now point to Mr. Bush, who in their own words has been lying to us for eight years, as the messenger of truth about the inevitable collapse.
I am confident, with responsible Republican participation, we will get a bill that injects renewed confidence and assurances necessary to unfreeze credit markets and ensure the continuation of the greatest economy on Earth. Confidence is more important than capital. There is plenty of capital waiting to jump back into these markets if Congress promises to insure any future problems. It must be insurance that will kick in only in the event of a real crisis – not a $700 billion check from the taxpayers.
There are no simple solutions to the problems we face in America, but one thing is clear: America must come first, not politics. The voice of the people is more important than the future of incumbency. It is time for politicians from both parties to put America first. And this week the Republicans won that prize, hands down.
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