I want to hear a debate tonight. If McCain flew to Washington to fuck up talks about the bailout and to drag Obama into the weeds with him, he better stand up in front of me and explain himself.
If if he’s too much of a chicken to do so, then Obama should appear without him.
Harsh Republican Party in-fighting sidetracked the Bush administration’s $700 billion plan to bail out the battered financial services industry, and it’s uncertain how many GOP lawmakers will even take part in Friday’s resumption of closed-door negotiations in Congress.
Even for a party whose president suffers dismal approval ratings, whose legislative wing lost control of Congress and whose presidential nominee trails in the polls, Thursday was a remarkably bad day for Republicans.
A White House summit meeting called principally with the purpose to seal the deal that President Bush has argued is indispensable to stabilizing frenzied markets and reassuring the nervous American public descended into arguments — mostly among Republicans.
The meeting revealed that Bush’s proposal to combat the worst financial crisis in decades had been suddenly sidetracked by fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to embrace a plan that appeared close to acceptance by the Senate and most House Democrats.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson begged Democratic participants not to disclose how badly the meeting had gone, dropping to one knee in a teasing way before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make his point according to witnesses.
Paulson reportedly pleaded Pelosi not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the financial rescue package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.
“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, according to a report in the New York Times, making a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, adding that “it’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”
When Paulson hastily tried to revive talks in a nighttime meeting near the Senate chamber, the House’s top Republican refused to send a negotiator.
“This is the president’s own party,” said Rep. Barney Frank, a top Democratic negotiator who attended both meetings. “I don’t think a president has been repudiated so strongly by the congressional wing of his own party in a long time.”
By midnight, it was hard to tell who had suffered a worse evening, Bush or McCain. McCain, eager to shore up his image as a leader who rises above partisanship, was undercut by a fierce political squabble within his own party’s ranks.