John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Mulligan, anyone?

Posted on September 29, 2008



            The best-case scenario for the House Republicans is that they have a mulligan vote.


            The worst-case scenario is that Democrats add a bunch of junk to the bill to buy off the Congressional Black Caucus to get enough votes on their own.


            A mulligan vote means that the same package gets passed.  No harm, no foul.


            But should the Democrats decide to play hardball, the taxpayers are going to have to pay billions in unnecessary spending.


            Looking at the vote count, it looks like the people who voted no were either in very vulnerable seats or in very safe seats.  The Black Caucus pretty much all voted no, as did the hardest hard-heads from the Republican Study Committee. 


            Vulnerable members on both sides were given a pass, as well as they should have.  They will have another chance to vote yes when their constituents wake up to the fact that they can’t cash their paychecks later this week.


            I talked to one member (a Republican) who told me before the vote that he was voting no.  “This is a terrible bill,” he told me.  “Wall Street needs to feel some pain.”


            Well, if all the predictions hold true, we are all going to be feeling some pain, so thanks for the notice.


            Tough votes are tough because members don’t want to go outside their comfort zones, especially a month before an election.  There aren’t too many profiles in courage any more.  And you have to wonder why.  It isn’t that great of a job.  It doesn’t pay that well.  The travel is hard on the families.  And the lifestyle is unhealthy. 


            If the job isn’t that great, you would think that more members would do the right thing.  But that’s not the case.   Must be the pension. 


            The Republicans are getting blamed for this debacle, but there is plenty of blame to go around.  Nancy Pelosi is really not that good at her job.  She gave a bad speech that alienated just enough members to put the bill in serious jeopardy.  And then she refused to round up the votes or hold the vote open to guarantee victory.  A real leader would have hammered this thing through. 


            The extreme left-wing of the Democratic Party hates Wall Street and hates capitalism.  They were only too glad to vote to kill the free-market by voting to kill this bill.  Democrats also were complicit in creating this crisis by pushing bad loans to people who had no chance of paying them back.  It is little known that Democrats, under Bill Clinton, created the subprime market, but they did. And now, we are paying the price. 


            That being said, this is not a good day for the House of Representatives or for incumbents who voted against this plan.  A dozen of them are going to have to change their votes by Thursday and a month later, face the voters with an explanation as to why they flip-flopped.


            Maybe they can just say they need a Mulligan.

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