Do we have a President? Or do we have someone who is drawing a paycheck but isn’t running the country? The latter seems to be the more accurate assesment. What leadership has George Bush personally shown to the American people? None. He and his cronies knew the financial market freeze up was coming and they decided to do nothing about it. At a minimum, they allowed banks to fail. More accurately, they encouraged their failures through destructive policies. But ever since the Bush Bailout was presented to America (months after they had written it), where is the resolute leadership that pundits were crowing about the past 8 years? The answer is there wasn’t any leadership to begin with. Bush can’t demonstrate that which he doesn’t have.
The House of Representatives rightfully rejected the amended Bush Bailout Plan. Legislators can talk all they want to about how much they negotiated about the bill. The difference between the original and modified Bush Bailout Plans? About 100 pages of fluff. Nothing real was added to or taken away from the bill. Treasury Secretary Paulson was still going to be left with too much unchecked power. Homeowners were still going to lose their homes. Executives were still going to walk away from their experiments which ended in disaster with millions of dollars. The credit markets were still going to remain stuck in neutral. And since then? Bush has exhibited no attribute that is so sorely needed at this time by the middle class. That’s not by accident – current events are a direct result of planned CONservative economic policies. Enrich the rich further. Destroy the middle class and make America look more like a feudal state than a democracy.
Readers of this blog know I have no love for CONservative policies. They’re too top-down, hypocritical and destructive of democratic principles. Careful readers of this blog know I don’t pull any punches when it comes time to disagree with Democrats. This is one of those times. None of the Congressional leadership, Democratic or Republican, has displayed any kind of useful leadership either. Many of them are just as guilty in creating this morass as Bush’s cronies are. Their palms have been greased with too much corporate money during their careers. During that same time, Democrats lost more races than they won. Their habits are ingrained in an environment where Republicans could get away with relentlessly attacking them, no matter if those attacks resembled reality or not. Despite stunning victories in the past 2-4 years, many older Democratic officials still don’t understand that the political landscape has shifted underneath them. They need not fear absurd Republican attacks like they used to. But they remain cowed and thus unable to lead at one of the most critical moments in our history.
Democrats should come up with their own legislative bill to address the financial mess. I know they wanted to go home at the end of last week and campaign, but reality has a rude habit of interrupting plans. Democrats haven’t reached out to economic experts to work on developing their own policy proposals. Similar financial situations have cropped up before, both in the U.S. and abroad. Solutions were identified and implemented before. Simply looking at those solutions and slightly adjusting them to our current situation would seem prudent. This particular economic problem cannot be characterized by anything more esoteric than has been witnessed before. It is an insult to Americans that Democrats, historically so good at dealing with the economy, are offering no plans of their own. I expected Republicans to drop the ball – and they have. All they’re proposing is further tax cuts for the rich. That won’t solve anything for the rest of the 99% of us.