Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Star: Obama Voted Present On Bailout

An Indianapolis Star editorial takes issue with the House of Representatives' failure to pass a bailout measure for the nation's financial system earlier this week. The editorial has tough words for all of the players, but particularly the Democrats:

President Bush's political capital is fully depleted, even with members of his own party. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has been inept at selling the financial rescue plan he cobbled together. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose partisanship and pettiness sank to a new low Monday, has shown herself to be a master of poor planning and bad timing. As the majority party, House Democrats have wasted the power given to them by voters, except to further their own political interests. House Republicans refuse either to lead or to be led, instead pouting over Pelosi's rants as the economy falls apart.

The editorial hits Obama for Rep. Andre Carson's vote against the bailout. You may recall that Obama endorsed Carson at a critical point during his crowded primary race this spring. The Star's editorial says Obama sat on the sidelelines, effectively voting present like he did hundreds of times on criticial issues when he was in the Illinois Senate:

Democrat Barack Obama failed to even try. Among the 95 House Democrats who voted against the financial rescue package Monday was Indiana's Andre Carson, who has served in Congress for all of six months. Obama, who endorsed Carson last spring, almost certainly could have switched the 7th District congressman's vote with a phone call. A handful of calls from Obama would have rescued the legislation from
defeat. Instead, Obama engaged in the leadership equivalent of voting "present.''
Last week, Andre Carson said in an interview with NPR that he would vote for the bailout plan. Carson told the Star this week he would like to see some changes in the bill:

Rep. Andre Carson, a Democratic member of the House Financial Services Committee from Indianapolis who opposed the bill, said changes he'd like to see include better mortgage protection for homeowners, more restrictions on corporate pay beyond what was in the proposal, and better assurances that the government will get back much of the $700 billion cost.

In other words, Carson wants to reward homeowners who took out mortgages that they can't repay by letting them off the hook and he wants government determining salaries for corporate CEOs. Note that Carson omits the demand he mentioned in the NPR interview that the legislation set aside a percentage of the asset management work to minority and women-owned businesses. Carson made some highly partisan comments earlier this week, blaming the entire mess on the Bush administration, forgetting that his grandmother as a member of the House Financial Services Committee sided with Democrats in opposing efforts to clean up Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and that she was a big proponent of the Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks to make risky loans to people with poor credit histories in "economically disadvantaged" neighborhoods. Carson has collected $137,400 in campaign contributions from the financial industry this year, or more than 10% of his campaign receipts. Like his grandmother, he sits on the House Financial Services Committee. His background is in law enforcement.


Vox Populi said...

None of Arizona's 4 Republicans voted for the bill. Only 4 of Texas' 20 REpublicans voted for the bill. Had only half of them flipped, the bill would have passed.

What does that say about the leadership of George Bush and John McCain when they couldn't even bring in their home state congressmen?

At least Nancy Pelosi got 60% of the Democrats, when she only promised 50%.

Gary R. Welsh said...

And Barack Obama's own congressman back home in Illinois voted against the bailout.

Shofar said...

I think that everyone would agree that this entire problem is a direct result of the housing meltdown. Banks being forced to make bad loans to unqualified/risky home buyers, and then selling off the paper to other organizations caused the domino effect of collapse.

I will grant that greed on the part of Wall Street and the malfeasance of the government acerbated the entire situation, however it was the abuses of the system by groups like ACORN and other race baiting organizations that ultimately started the ball rolling.

It is ironic to note that the alternate media (quickly becoming the REAL media) is reporting on a case that a young attorney named Barack Obama was one of the litigators. In the case, Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Docket / Court 94 C 4094 ( N.D. Ill. ) FH-IL-0011
State/Territory Illinois, as reported here:, Obama and the firm he worked for sued Citibank for not giving unqualified applicants home loans. The case was settled out of court and the loans rolled forward.

That's Me said...

Explain something: Everyone gets upset when votes go right down party lines with little regard to anything else. Now the reps seem to be thinking about things more than usual and you folks get equally upset. What would you prefer?

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Maybe the republicans voted AGAINST the bill because it is a ROTTON BILL. What a concept!!

As opposed to democrats who vote FOR the bill because Pelosi or Reid tell them to vote for it, or they see $$$$$ donations coming from it, or they can take money from people who EARN it and give it to people who SIT ON THEIR A$$ watching their big LCD TV collecting "entitlements."

Vox Populi said...

A majority of the Illinois Democrats voted in favor of the bill. And it's not like Bobby Rush has ever been close to Obama in the first pace, seeing as Obama mounted a challenge to him in 2000.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Few have ever lauded the intelligence of Andre Carson, who was elected largely on the basis of his lineage.

It's been noted that those with reelection "challenges" tended to vote against the bailout, and Carson certainly falls into that camp!