Mediachannel’s Danny Schechter was no fan of the bailout scheme before it was passed and signed into law last week. Now, seeing the continuing crisis around us, he wonders, what was the rush to pass the Wall Street “rescue” bill all about?
[After the House narrowly defeated the Paulson proposal,] the full court press was on. The White House and its political operatives went to work to find out what the “rebels” wanted to change their votes. The “Maverick” McCain was pressed into action to rope in his supporters. Obama was given the job of pacifying the Black Congressional Caucus. Favors were traded, and promises of generous earmarks followed.
The Senate then, in an unusual maneuver, was ordered to vote first to persuade the House. Their Bill suddenly grew to 451 pages with some $105 BILLION in tax cuts added and other subsidies.
… Now, members of Congress in tight races have goodies to brag about. Others said they voted while holding their noses, but only because they didn’t want to be accused of fiddling while Rome burned. You didn’t get a sense that most members believed the measure was needed or workable. But that didn’t stop them from voting as instructed. A few believed in the bailout; others knew they had sold out.
What an “emergency.” The House was persuaded, lobbied, cajoled and then bought to pass the bill. There were no hearings, no testimony. No sooner was it passed than President Bush signed it before sundown in his latest shock and awe maneuver. A day later, he acknowledged that nothing would happen immediately – despite the urgency that drove the process. In his weekly radio address, he admitted, “While these efforts will be effective, they will also take time to implement.” A few days earlier he was saying there was no time.
There was another reaction, and not the one we had been told to expect. The grateful markets did not go up as we had been led to expect they would. No, they went DOWN. A report showing another big job loss led to a 157 point drop. Banks in several European countries went bust.
So what happens now? Do the architects of Paulson’s panacea expect that we will move forward with all deliberate speed? Think again.
via Mediachannel: The Bush Bullydozer Strategy To Preempt His Successor