Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Personal Aside: Pelosis Partisan Blast Killed the Deal The Tribunes Extremely Bad Makeover.
Let this old House staffer veteran (circa 1958) tell you: the Speaker has the power to affect history by prudential judgment. In April, 1951 Douglas MacArthur appeared before a joint meeting (not session) of Congress to defend his record in Korea. As the world knows he delivered a stem-winding speech, respondent in his simple army jacket with 5 stars appended to his shoulder-straps. The windup old soldiers never die ended with a thunderclap. The applause was still ringing when the Senate trooped out and the House went back into regular session. Speaker Sam Rayburn gaveled the session to order. Not fully understanding the electricity of the moment, he personally recognized an old friend, a conservative southern Democrat.
Rayburn, a Truman supporter, expected a sonorous voice of support for MacArthur, nothing more. Instead his old friend turned the tables on him and introduced a resolution on the spot calling for the impeachment of Harry Truman because of his firing of MacArthur. The House, ringed dry with emotion from the speech by the old World War II hero, thundered YES! LET THE RESOLUTION BE SUBMITTED RIGHT HERE AND NOW AND WELL VOTE!
The temper of the House was such that old partisan loyalties died and as Rayburn tried to gavel it back to order he calculated that votes were there to begin an impeachment of Truman on a highly improbable but emotional causeexerting his presidential right to fire a general in the field. But Truman was highly unpopular as unpopular as George W. Bush is now land the Korean War was grievously unpopular far more unpopular than the Iraqi War is now because Truman had initiated the war without as much as a single vote (he called his decision a police action). Rayburn was stunned to see the Democratic chairman of his own armed services, Uncle Carl Vinson (his eyes misting, his lips curling in anger at Truman) rising to second the motionand Republicans by the score were thrilled at the opportunity to see the president in the prisoners dock no matter what the infraction, even though he would certainly have been exonerated.
The man later to be my revered boss, Rep. Walter H. Judd (R-Minnesota), on foreign affairs, a supporter of MacArthur but also understanding of the crisis a passed resolution of impeachment would become for Americas role in the world, raced to the podium and conferred with the Speaker of the opposite party. He found Rayburn angered, stunned and ready to gavel the resolution into extinction. No-no, said Dr. Judd (a renowned medical doctor who had been a missionary to China), deal with it in a legitimate way.
Rayburn listened. He gaveled the House to silence and said gravely that the resolution would be referred to House Rules. Everyone was appeased and trooped out. The old wise heads of Rules met, had a taste of bourbon and branch water, and decided the resolution was out of order. The moment passed.
Unfortunately the gentle-lady from San Francisco chose another tack. She left the podium, went to the floor and in the guise of urging a vote and purportedly getting Republican votes for the measure she deemed important, utterly lost her cool and turned her speech into a savage partisan attack on the very Republicans she had hoped to woo. The effect was like pouring gasoline on a simmering fire. She strayed from the issue, blasted the right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation of financial markets (when in fact Republicans in the Senate following the lead of John McCain tried to exert some regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were voted down, with Barack Obama voting against curtailment.
An index of her duplicity, her prepared speech the one that will be in the Congressional Record was bland. Her ad libs did the work. Seeing the lean and hungry Cassius standing behind Barney FrankRahm EmanuelI know what hell do. Hell raise his eyes to heaven and say what? Us?
Those who dont know the House say it was immaterial, that speech by the Speaker. Dont believe them. A score of Democratic committee chairmen regarded as part of the leadership voted with the opposition, emboldened by their leaders vitriol. Republicans decided they were going to be made the goats anyhow; the milk of human kindness curdled. More than two-thirds of Republicans and 140 Democrats deserted the cause. And because of Ms. Pelosi, the House defeated the bill 228 to 205 and the Dow tanked 800 points far outstripping the 684-point drop after 9/11.
Thus thanks to Ms. Pelosi there was a $1.1 trillion loss in the economy today. The compliant mainstream media tried to blunt Pelosis outrage and laughed happily as the man who speaks without moving his lips, whose head rests double-chinned on his open shirt collar Barney Frank lisped his latest quip that he would graciously speak kindly to 12 Republicans who can be found to switch back (12 was the magic number).
Someone else said it before me but Ill repeat it.
The. Worst. Speaker. Ever.
Tribunes Extremely Bad Makeover.
A cheap, utterly valueless rehash of a once sober and studious-appearing newspaper into a low-rent reformat of USA TODAY. Whenever they radically change formats of newspapers its an indication that nothing else is working.
An indication of the doltish decision of the editorial board. Putting Charles Krauthammer on the Internet and bannering a so-called conservative columnistKathleen Parkerwho hates Sarah Palen like poison.
Krauthammer, a Pulitzer prize-winning sage, relegated to the Internet while a lady who gives the candidate of conservative Republican women the finger is front and center. No room for two columnists because the garish art splats all over the page.
Too bad its not printed on softer paper. And on rolls.
Colonel McCormick what hath these wretches with no ideology just money wrought?