Good News/Bad News

The good news is that yesterday House Republicans rebelled against Dick the Dick.

The vice president traveled to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to silence a chorus of GOP complaints about Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion plan. But House Republicans who walked into a closed-door meeting with Cheney steaming over the plan walked out just as angry, and they described what happened in between as both “a bloodbath” and “an unmitigated disaster.”

The bad news is that House Republicans are going to play the partisan politics game with the financial crisis.

Republican leaders are now hoping Democrats load the legislation with unrelated measures that would give them the political cover to oppose it, members and aides said. At the same time, party leaders are using back channels in the business community to gauge member support for a “clean” bill.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) warned his former colleagues that they would pay a price in November for backing the bailout now — and that John McCain could ride to victory over Barack Obama by persuading voters that the bailout is really the “Obama-Bush plan.”

Maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet, but I find it baffling that some Senate Democrats are waiting to see how McCain votes on the measure before they decide how they will vote. See also Digby.

Back to good news/bad news. The good news is that Obama has a clear lead over McCain in the latest Washington Post-NBC News poll. Much of this lead is coming from white women switching their preference from McCain to Obama. Obama now has a small lead among white women.

The bad news is that media are still going with the “white women don’t like Obama” story.

File this under “weird news.” Michelle Malkin blames illegal immigrants for the financial crisis. The girl belongs in a carnival freak show.

More weird news, although I’m not surprised. Pew Research says 57 percent of the public favors the Wall Street bailout. On the other hand, the latest Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll says 55 percent of the public is opposed to the Wall Street bailout.

The Pew poll told respondents that the government is “potentially investing billions to try and keep financial institutions and markets secure” and asked whether that’s the right thing to do. The Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll asked whether “the government should use taxpayers’ dollars to rescue ailing private financial firms whose collapse could have adverse effects on the economy and market, or is it not the government’s responsibility to bail out private companies with taxpayers’ dollars?”

I extrapolate from this that about two-thirds of the public doesn’t know what the hell is going on. Anyway, the good news/bad news I see here is that, politically, it doesn’t much matter what Congress does. All that matters is how it’s explained. This opens the door to the possibility that Congress could do the right thing without political penalty. It also opens the door to the possibility that Congress could do the wrong thing without political penalty.

Sort of bad news: The Right thinks the Fannie-Freddie issue can be blamed on Democrats.

The good news is that John McCain’s campaign manager has been on Freddie Mac’s payroll from the end of 2005 until last month.

Bring it on, righties.

Update: The McCain campaign is slamming the New York Times for running the story about the campaign manager’s ties to Freddie Mac. Not true, says Michael Goldfarb. Freddie Mac did pay a monthly retainer of $15,000 to Rick Davis’s firm, Davis Manafort, but Davis himself did not take any of that money.

For the record, the New York Times story published a statement from the McCain campaign saying David is not receiving income from his company. The Times also said, however, that Davis “as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income.”

Goldfarb is having one major hissy fit and complaining that the New York Times has not published any nasty investigations into whatever nefarious things David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager, is into. Press bias!

David Isikoff at Newsweek is biased also, apparently.

See also John Cole.

4 thoughts on “Good News/Bad News

  1. “I extrapolate from this that about two-thirds of the public doesn’t know what the hell is going on”

    Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. My take on this is that the details of this entire situation are so confusing, so hard to process, even for those of us who are blogging/writing/obsessing over it, and it’s all happening so fast that people don’t have a full grasp of the details yet.

    I was talking to a friend the other day who, usually, is my go-to guy on economic issues, and even he hadn’t yet gotten his mind around it enough to form an opinion.

    I dunno. I’m burned out already and the fun is just beginning.

  2. And while everyone’s looking in one direction (“MELTDOWN! BAILOUT! WOOOOOLF!”), in the opposite direction the Dems let the offshore drilling ban expire.


  3. I think that the house Democrats are waiting to see what Sen. McCain will do so he won’t be able to say that “it is the fault of the Democrats” if there is a problem (which there will be no matter what happens.) This is a partisan game on the part of the Republicans in order to enhance any chances that they might have of being re-elected in November.

    If Sen. McCain doesn’t vote on the issue (the way he didn’t vote on the veteran’s bill and said he did not vote against it) then he can truthfully state that he neither supported it nor denied it depending on which vote is the most politically acceptable at the time. That way he can’t be accused of flip-flopping since he had no stated position. His numerous statements on banning regulation will be put aside as he can say that in the end he did the right thing by doing nothing.

    If Sen. McCain makes a stand, he will have to defend it and he will have to take the blame if he supports the president’s bill and it turns to crap. By securing a McCain vote, the Democrats will not have to take all of the blame when things go sour.

  4. Only a liberal loser could be puzzled that 57% are for the bailout and 55% against. As every investment banker and Washington official knows, 100% isn’t all there is.

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