Congressional Republicans do something (seemingly) sensible, Nathancontramundi asks if sky has fallen

From the New York Times:

But once the doors closed, the smooth-talking House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, surprised many in the room by declaring that his caucus could not support the plan to allow the government to buy distressed mortgage assets from ailing financial companies.

Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand.

[. . . ]

“I didn’t know I was going to be the referee for an internal G.O.P. ideological civil war,” Mr. Frank said, according to The A.P.Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

[My emphasis. – Nathancontramundi.]

Funny, Ms. Pelosi, we didn’t know that you’re Catholic, either!

Seriously, though, all doubts about the intellectuality of Speaker Pelosi’s alleged Catholicism aside, how can she possibly suggest that the [Congressional] Republicans’ “blowing this up” is bad? President Bush, Mr. Paulson, and the Democrats wish further to make obsolete the Constitution, authorizing Mr. Paulson, an appointed member of the executive branch, to have virtually limitless control over SEVEN HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS. Presently, it is they, and not the GOP (hardly, on the whole, any better in this situation, I willingly concede), who commit a heinous act of betrayal. (Go figure that Senator McCain refused to take a stand!)

I’m late to commenting on this, but MLB Hall of Famer-turned-junior senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) offered, before the proposed super-mega-colossal bailout, but in the wake of the AIG bailout, in John Schwenkler’s terms, “first-rate” stuff:

Instead of celebrating the Fourth of July next year Americans will be celebrating Bastille Day; the free market for all intents and purposes is dead in America. The action proposed today by the Treasury Department will take away the free market and institute socialism in America. The American taxpayer has been mislead throughout this economic crisis. The government on all fronts has failed the American people miserably.

My great grandchildren will be saddled with the estimated $1 trillion debt left in the wake of this proposal. We have gotten to this point because nobody has been minding the store. Both Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke should be held accountable for their inaction – and now because of that inaction – the American taxpayer is left with bill.

We must take care of Main Street. Small businesses in Ashland, Bowling Green, and Paducah are hurting because of high taxes, and energy costs. Those small businesses are the economic engines that fuel our economy. I hope in the closing days of this Congress we can pass legislation to help those good people on Main Street rather than helping the power brokers on Wall Street.

Will, of Dispatches, astutely points out, commenting in reply to John’s post on Bunning’s wisdom, that the senator fails to offer his own proposed alternative. It’s a fair point, but Bunning’s words are no less apt. And, now, Mr. Boehner has offered something. Will offers, at his site, this, “House Republicans Discover the Constitution”:

The only good thing to come out of this mess is Republicans’ renewed appreciation for legislative oversight.

I doubt that this newfound respect for the Constitution will last with a party that has backed its president’s super-Constitutional exercises of power, but it’s nice to see even this slight glimmer. After eight years in power under George “”It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” Bush, perhaps an internal ideological civil war is just what the Republican Party needs; America, too! However, Ron Paul would be a far better referee than Frank, whose remissness in his duty, doubtless, helped to bring forth the crumbling, and eventually buy-out, of Fannie and Freddie.

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