Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The implosion of the US Republican party

I am now a proud new shareholder of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Call it contrarianism, call it bloody-mindedness, call it recklessness but a new and proud RBOS shareholder I am.

Today's "get it into perspective" statistic: The Dow fell 42% in the month of the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Since the end of August 2008, the Dow has now fallen 11%.

Today's bonus "get it into perspective" statistic: If 12 Representatives in the US House had voted "yea" instead of "nay", the vote on the bail-out would have got through.

We appear to have shifted from a economic crisis to a crisis centred on politics. Specifically, it is centred on the breathtaking implosion of the Republican party in the the US.

Imagine a reasonably popular mid-term President A of Party A on reasonable terms with his own party and with the Treasury secretary appointed by President A and the head of the Federal Reserve appointed during Party A's term of office. A package to sort out the banking mess would have got through Congress with no problems.

But look at what happened yesterday. Bush is not a lame duck President. He has now become a Dead Man Walking.

Yesterday, President Bush's Bill, although passionately urged upon congress by a respected Treasury Secretary Paulson and an equally respected Chair of the Federal Reserve Bernanke (both Republican appointees), was only supported by 33% of his own party in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the Republican Presidential nominee is unable to do anything except make things worse.

That is just a stagegring breakdown of leadership in the Republican party. A complete dislocation between leadership and party. And all it needed for 12 carrots to be offered or 12 arms to be twisted!

And throw into the mix John Boner Boehner. It seems unbelievable that he was incapable of getting just 39% of his members (that is all it would have taken) through the same lobby as him.

A note about Nancy Pelosi. As Rep Franks bluntly put it, 12 Republicans thought she hurt their feelings so didn't vote for what was best for America - because she hurt their feelings. Franks offered to speak "uncharacteristically nicely" to those 12 if it would make them do what is best for America.

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