Contrary to what Barney Franks and Ben Pershing think, Republicans who voted against this legislation were not attempting to punish the country out of spite for Nancy Pelosi. Instead, many Republican congressmen felt this legislation was awful for America. Those Republicans needed to be convinced that this legislation was good for America. Pelosi's partisan rhetoric made it more difficult to do so. Pelosi ignorantly put partnership above the good of the country.
House Republican leaders gave a press conference right after the vote, and they have strongly suggested that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) floor speech toward the end of the debate was at least partly to blame for the loss. "I do believe we would have gotten there had the Speaker not made this partisan speech on the floor of the house," Boehner said.
It's too early to know whether Pelosi's speech, which laid much of the blame for the whole financial crisis at the foot of the Bush administration, really made much of a difference. But if several House Republicans actually did switch their votes on a momentous piece of legislation just because they were irritated by a speech, what does that say about them? As Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) mockingly characterized the GOP's argument: "Somebody hurt my feelings, so I'm going to punish the country."
Monday, September 29, 2008
Ben Pershing writes: