The House Republican caucus slammed Speaker Pelosi for her speech on the House floor before the vote today on the Wall St. bailout bill. In part she deserved it. The problem was her beginning.
“Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?
It 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.”
In some ways, Pelosi is the Democrats’ John McCain. She doesn’t seem to know when to fight, re-group, concede or surrender. When you’re trying to get votes of ideological Republicans who rightly hate the bill, don’t stick a poker in their eye.
The rest of speech did not attack the GOP, but it didn’t offer an credit to Republicans who negotiated in good faith and were prepared to vote for the bill.
All that said, can it be that some Republicans voted against this bill because their feelings were hurt?
Update: I had heard only part of Pelosi’s speech live and relied on a written text. However, the copy Pelosi’s office distributed was not the speech she gave. Or more precisely, she embellished it with more partisan remarks. Among them:
“When President Bush took office, he inherited President Clinton’s surpluses — four years in a row, budget surpluses, on a trajectory of $5.6 trillion in surplus. And with his reckless economic policies within two years, he had turned that around … and now eight years later the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility, combined with an anything-goes economic policy, has taken us to where we are today. They claim to be free-market advocates when it’s really an anything-goes mentality, no regulation, no supervision, no discipline. …”
“… Democrats believe in a free market … but in this case, in its unbridled form as encouraged, supported by the Republicans — some in the Republican Party, not all — it has created not jobs, not capital, it has created chaos.”
She is even more tone-deaf than I originally thought.