I'm of two minds about this whole bailout thing. On the one hand, I think that we should just sit back and let things burn. Honestly, I have a sick curiosity that makes me want to see just how bad it can get. The fact that many of these financial firms and banks are in trouble because of their unchecked greed doesn't make me any more sympathetic to their plights. On the other hand, if these firms go belly up, a lot of people who had nothing to do with this debacle will lose their jobs, possibly myself included. My company makes software for the mortgage industry and while things haven't been spectacular for us, if bunches of lenders start going belly up, things can get a whole hell of a lot worse.
Regardless of my unclear feelings on the bailout, it was interesting to see today's proposed bill fail, only because it was the first time in a long time where the members of Congress seemed to be voting based on their opinion of the bill and not just because they were falling into line with their party. Just think about how different the past eight years might have been had members of Congress and the Senate voted based on what they felt about the various pieces of legislature, or based on how things would impact their constituency, rather than voting simply to stick with party lines or to not appear weak on terror or some other nonsense. The mind reels at the concept of members of Congress and the Senate actually doing their job.
What Pelosi et al thought they were going to accomplish by calling on the House Republicans to get behind the President is beyond me. The President is a) on his way out and b) one of the least popular sitting Presidents ever. There is absolutely no one in Washington DC who feels like they have to do a damn thing for that man, or even remotely cares about how they appear in relation to him. Well, except for House Democrats whose lack of a backbone in the face of Presidential pressure is rivaled only by their sheer incompetence.
Now, I'm not so naive as to think that every person who voted against the bill did so because they opposed it, as opposed to opposing it because Pelosi was for it, nor do I believe that every person who voted for it did so because they were just falling behind their party, however I do think that there were more people than usual that voted their opinion than their party. Regardless of the outcome, whenever our elected officials vote based on the merits of the legislation and the needs of their constituency it promotes responsible government and governmental accountability, something that has been sorely lacking for years now on both sides of the aisle. It's a shame that it took a near total economic meltdown to bring about such responsible behaviour, however briefly it lasts.