The Republicans failed to come up to the plate, and with 66 voting for and 132 voting against, the critically important bailout bill has failed in the house. As the vote turned against the bill, we watched the stock market dive precipitously. The Dow stands now at about 500 down, but it was much lower a few minutes ago.
Make no mistake: This is a situation where the elected representatives need to make a decision: Do they act in their own self interest and vote against the bill (which makes sense because the average American does not want this bill), or do they act in the interest of the nation (and more broadly)?
Many politicians are selfish slime buckets, but it is abundantly clear that this applies to a vast majority of Republicans and a more modest minority of Democrats. This has never been more clear than in this vote.
The Asian markets will open in a couple/few hours. It will be interesting to see what happens then.
So, what happens next? Well, for starters, we have a little problem with religion. Since there is a Jewish Holiday starting tonight, the house cannot continue to debate and work out some kind of positive movement, and they don’t meet tomorrow. So for lack of separation of church and state, the world markets get an extra 24 hours to spiral downwards. Gee, thanks, religious people.
As we watch this happening, the various experts are asking each other: What happens now? I’m watching veteran Hill reporter Mike McCaric and he is hyperventilating and sweating because he is so alarmed. The financial reporters are aghast. It is reported that people at the NY Stock Exchange are wandering around like zombies. This may well be an historic moment.
Ah, wait, something is happening. A motion to reconsider is being made on the house floor. They are discussing rules, which should not be so difficult because this the house. The democratic chair is trying to explain this to the Republicans, and suddenly Representative Frank has intervened to shut down the Republican’s question and end the process.
At this time the bill has officially failed and the house is on to other business.
Julia just asked me what this all means. I said “Well, this is an historic moment. Could be the end of civilization as we know it. The economy may now collapse.”
She quickly replied, “OK, then. We better go shopping NOW!”