What a bizarre day. Let's all just take a step back and calm down for a second. 777 is the biggest points drop in Dow history, but at just shy of 7% it doesn't even approach the 26% drop in 1987. There will be much moaning and gnashing of teeth. Congressional leaders are already declaring that they will not give up, but they're going to have to go back to the drawing board. Beyond that, there's even a question of whether or not some leaders in Congress want a bailout vote to succeed. Nancy Pelosi must not have wanted this to pass, that's the only way I can explain away her anti-GOP rant at the close of the debate today. You don't build bipartisan support for a deeply unpopular bill by attacking the minority party whose support you need, right before the vote. We know she supports heavy handed government intervention in the U.S. economy, so her actions today leave only two possibilities in my mind. She may be gambling that the economy is going to tank (Wall Street's reaction to the vote was predictable) and wants to blame the Republicans for voting down the bailout, or she is completely inept, incompitent, and just plain stupid. If anyone else has a viable explanation for her unhinged remarks today, I'd like to hear it.
Now don't get me wrong, I hate this bailout and am happy to see it fail. The bumbling Republicans however, have missed their opportunity. This crisis was caused by government regulation. By forcing lenders to accept less than qualified home buyers because of economic or racial status, they placed the housing market on a house of cards. Instead of pointing this out and educating the American people, the GOP leaders (you know, the party of limited government) responded to an over regulation problem with support for a mass government intervention that would make Karl Marx smile in whatever corner of hell he's stewing in at the moment. Are there any classical liberals in the upper echolons of the Republican Party anymore? Thank God the rank and file voted against it (if only because they feared being booted out of office). This is the problem conservatives face right now. We seem to be losing our hold on the Republican Party. Hardly if ever do I see an elected Republican promote the Libertarian economic principles that our country was founded on and swept Reagan into office. The American people aren't dumb. They will see who is in the right if we actually argue and defend our position. As Margaret Thatcher put it: "The facts of life are conservative," but you have to let people know what the facts are.
The 228 stand victorious for now, hopefully no one shows Henry Paulson a goat path.