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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rachel Maddow: Republican Party Has No Leader


Who's the Leader of the Republican party right now? Is it the President? Is it John McCain? Is it John Boehner? Maybe it's... who's that guy who's the pretty chairman again... Mike Duncan? Who's the Leader of the Republican party?

I ask because I'm trying to figure out where the Republican party stands on the Wall Street bailout. Because if the Republican party is against the Wall Street bailout, so much so that a big majority of Republicans are going to vote against it and kill the bailout, say... then you'd think that leaders of the Republican party would muster an argument against the bailout.

But instead, we heard from the Republican candidate for president John McCain, and the Republican president George Bush, and the ranking Republican in the House John Boehner, that they were all in favor of the bailout. So their party's negotiators headed into talks with the Democratic party's negotiators to come up with a biparitsan plan to save Wall Street.

An announcement was made this weekend. They've made a deal. They've come to an agreement. They recognize that it's controversial, not everyone will be able to do it, but they've figured out how to get a majority from both parties. It'll pass, they've got a deal. Hoozah!

So what happened? When they voted today... FAIL! NO DEAL! A majority of Democrats voted for it. A big majority, two thirds of Democrats, no surprise. Democrats said that would happen, that's what their leadership said, and that's what the members of their party did. Very simple.

But the Republicans? Their leadership said they were for it. But Republicans voted 2 to 1 against it. 133 Republicans voted no, only 65 voted yes, and the bailout failed. What does this mean? It means that the Republican party's leadership apparently doesn't speak for the Republican party. Which means... it's not really leadership!

Rachel then shows clips of McCain supporters prematurely giving John McCain credit for his leadership on the bailout-- Not only could McCain not lead his party into voting for the bailout, he could not even convince the Republicans from his own home state of Arizona to vote for the bill.

Rachel then asks, so why did the Republicans vote against the bailout? Republican Eric Cantor explains their position.

Eric Cantor (R):

[holding up piece paper]
Right here is the reason I believe why this vote failed and this is Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi's speech, uh, that frankly struck the tone of partisanship that frankly, was inappropriate in this discussion.

Rachel has a few words for Cantor, and then plays the brilliant response from Democrat Barney Frank.

Barney Frank (D):

Give me those twelve people's names, and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them, and tell them what wonderful people they are, and maybe they'll now think about the country.

Source: Daily Kos

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected president in 1932.