John McCain blamed Barack Obama and Democrats for the failure to pass a financial rescue plan Monday. Huh? Two-thirds of House Republicans voted against the plan, the group that McCain was trying to get on board. This is the same group that scuttled the bipartisan plan that was nearing finalization last week. And the claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to blame because of her partisan speech — as boneheaded and irresponsible as it was — makes the GOP look even worse. As Peter Wehner, a former Bush administration official, wrote on the National Review blog: “On one of the most important votes they will ever cast, insisting ‘the speech made me do it’ is lame and adolescent.”
But there is plenty of blame to go around, including for President Bush, who doesn’t even have clout within his own party, to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who didn’t do a good job explaining the bailout, and to Democratic and Republican leaders who were unable to deliver as many votes as expected.
The only good news is that, so far, the market is up today based in part on the hope that Congress will get its act together.