When Mike Turner and Dennis Kucinich agree, we live in extraordinary times

It’s been said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and this bailout package vote is no exception. The most radical of “liberals” Dennis Kucinich voted against the bailout bill- as did the staunchest Bush supporter Mike Turner, even against the pleadings of House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-West Chester who usually has Turner on puppet strings.

Turner scored major points in my book for taking this stand. Here is what he said in the Dayton Daily News:

Turner, meanwhile, said he voted against the bill because it fails to hold accountable those who got the financial system into trouble in the first place and because it does not prohibit the bad lending that led to this crisis. He said there were no guarantees that the bailout would work, and no plan for what to do if it didn’t succeed.

“Our entire financial system has been imperiled by the greed of the people that run some of these companies,” he said. “The same people could continue to offer these same loans that caused all this trouble; this bill will not prevent it.”

The performance of our presidential candidates, however, reeks of spinelessness and ego. Both say they supported the bill- which is a total bone being thrown Wall Street’s way. There are no real penalties to the titans for their bad behavior. When John Q. Public is in this mess- the response has been “tough”- however, when it’s people making millions and squandering billions and trillions- we are expected to extend a hand.

Ego first: John McCain is standing on the side lines blaming partisan politics for the failure- even though he wasn’t able to muster the votes from the R side of the House any better than Obama to do the D side. Name calling isn’t what we need right now John.

Spineless is Barack Obama’s response to the failure- well after the smackdown, he’s now calling to double the FDIC deposit guarantee- as if that has anything to do with the price of the Texas Tea they’ve been slurping in the penthouses of NYC?

Haste often makes waste, and the speed at which this bailout has evolved has been mind-boggling, circumventing every mechanism in place to provide for oversight and some good debate. Turner is right (maybe he’s been reading this blog)- without some revision to bankruptcy laws, alternative loan solutions for those caught in bad loans or predatory lending, or relief from high bank penalties for late payment or over the limit fees- we haven’t done anything to stop the default rates of John Q. Public.

With unemployment already heading higher, the incredible insecurity of Wall Street (although the Dow is up $222 so far today) we need some new tools to stabilize the economy and prevent this sort of instant meltdown. I’m really surprised no one has suggested some temporary retarding of trading on Wall Street until the bailout is complete, or that automatic triggers weren’t tripped.

A final thought- instead of having to depend on the media (who by benefiting from campaign ad dollars, is bereft of true objectivity) for the reporting of positions by each member of Congress- wouldn’t it be great if we as voters, could just check each incumbent and each challengers site- to find out how they would vote, or why they voted the way they did- straight from the horses mouth? Neither Jane Mitakides or Mike Turner have had anything resembling an original idea on their respective sites about this critical issue.

Of course, if I was still a candidate for OH-3, you’d all know exactly how I felt- and why. You’d also have the chance to discuss, debate and influence my position, because- believe it or not, it’s called the House of Representatives for a long forgotten reason.

Represent! Now Damnit.

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9 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter September 30, 2008 / 11:21 am

    Turner, meanwhile, said he voted against the bill because it fails to hold accountable those who got the financial system into trouble in the first place….

    He is accountable as he is a sprawl monger which drove the development in communities, while leaving holes in other communities. His policies exacerbated the problem, but why should he care; his wife is so successful, they have no Mortgage.

  2. Billy Jackson September 30, 2008 / 11:58 am
    Excellent post David. While I often disagree with what you write, I couldn’t agree with you more on this post. And, once again, more mindless name calling from the peanut gallery.
  3. Dad September 30, 2008 / 12:13 pm
    Why don’t you telephone Jane Mitakides to ask her for her views?

    You may want to vote for Mike Turner in November.

  4. J.R. Locke September 30, 2008 / 1:00 pm
    CNN’s take on this is funny. They see this all as partisan politics. I think this is far deeper than that but they have barely touched on why the Dems couldn’t just get a majority.

    Mr. Esrati I am losing faith with the internet. I sure hope your idea does come true.

    Mr. Hunter I like the term sprawl monger!

  5. Mike Bock September 30, 2008 / 4:16 pm
    David. I enjoyed reading your post and I heartily agree with its conclusion:

    “Wouldn’t it be great if we as voters, could just check each incumbent and each challengers site- to find out how they would vote, or why they voted the way they did- straight from the horses mouth? Neither Jane Mitakides or Mike Turner have had anything resembling an original idea on their respective sites about this critical issue.

    “Of course, if I was still a candidate for OH-3, you’d all know exactly how I felt- and why. You’d also have the chance to discuss, debate and influence my position, because- believe it or not, it’s called the House of Representatives for a long forgotten reason.”

    I just checked Turner’s web-site, http://www.house.gov/miketurner/ thinking maybe it would feature his press release, but nothing. Yesterday I called both Turner’s Dayton office and his Washington office and left my name and e-mail address and requested that the congressman send me a copy of any press release he would prepare for the news media. Nothing.

    I’ve urged Turner’s challenger, Democrat Jane Mitakides, to make better use of the internet. Last week I interviewed Jane and wrote: “Effectively Using the Internet Is Key to Jane Mitakides Defeating Congressman Mike Turner” http://daytonos.com/?p=3412

    How someone runs her or his campaign is a strong indication of how he or she will conduct themselves in office, if elected. As a person with a strong history of web experience, you made a convincing point in your campaign when you promised to effectively use the internet to communicate with and to be accessible to voters.

    I need to comment also about your reaction to the Dayton Daily News article about Turner’s recent “No.” You quote the Dayton Daily News:

    “Turner, meanwhile, said he voted against the bill because it fails to hold accountable those who got the financial system into trouble in the first place and because it does not prohibit the bad lending that led to this crisis. He said there were no guarantees that the bailout would work, and no plan for what to do if it didn’t succeed.

    Our entire financial system has been imperiled by the greed of the people that run some of these companies,” he said. “The same people could continue to offer these same loans that caused all this trouble; this bill will not prevent it.”

    You are a long time critic of Turner, who sought the Democratic Party’s nomination to run against him, and I am surprised, in response to the DDN article, you wrote, “Turner scored major points in my book for taking this stand.”

    To me, this “No” vote was not a “stand” at all — at least not one involving good character or judgment. It seems much more likely that it was simply a calculated political move. People are usually true to their established character and behavior.

    I wrote, in my article, “Jane, made the point that because of the mess created by a Republican president and a Republican congress, and because Mike Turner has been overwhelmingly supportive of Republican policies, that Turner deserves to lose. Yes. But Jane needs to make the case.”

    The reason Jane needs to make the case, to lay the facts out in stark terms, is because, amazingly, some voters, who have lost all confidence in George Bush and his policies, don’t connect the dots that it was Republicans, like congressman Mike Turner, who made the actions of George Bush possible.

    Why did Turner vote 90% of the time, or so, to support the Republican agenda? I don’t believe he was making a “stand.” I don’t believe that his votes were motivated by good character and careful reasoning. I don’t think his votes were motivated by his commitment to advancing the public good, or that he even used his best judgment. The motivation for his wholehearted support of the Republican agenda, it seems to me, was purely political. It doesn’t strike me that Turner sees himself as servant of the people. With Mike Turner, it seems, it’s all about securing and advancing the interests of Mike Turner.

    The trouble is, reality has smacked the Republican agenda and the Republican philosophy in the face. The trouble is, it’s time to pay up. Under Bush and Turner the national deficit has increased by over $3 Trillion. Staggering in its implications. We’ve engaged in a very expensive war and at the same time we’ve cut taxes. We’ve grown the size of government and and the waste in government at an alarming rate. We’ve allowed lobbyists to write our laws. Connect the dots to today’s crisis. And Turner didn’t make a peep.

    This was politics. This was cronyism. This was gorging at the trough. This was all about winning and wielding power. Shouldn’t Turner have voted “No” to all this nonsense years ago when a “stand” from an Republican Ohio conservative might have made a difference? The attitude and the actions of this wild Bush era were never “conservative” — in any twisted meaning of the term. Of course Turner in this conservative 3rd District, would like to run from this miserable anti-conservative record. And now is his big chance to resound with all of the conservatives in the 3rd District who are mad as hell at this proposed bail out legislation. It’s his opportunity to vote “No.”

    Turner took a principled stand? I’m not buying it. Turner is trying mightily at this late date to pose as a “conservative.” He simply thinks it is to his political advantage to do so. Turner’s actions, in my judgment, once again, are despicable — because, as I see it, his actions are purely political.

    Congressman Turner Works to Get a Vote on Legislation to Make America More Energy Independent

  6. ShortWest Rick September 30, 2008 / 11:54 pm
    The Senate will vote on the bail-out Wednesday night, they have tagged it onto an energy tax credit bill and appropriately added a Mental Health Parity provision, it should probably pass in the Senate.

    It was quite refreshing to watch House Republicans finally throw Henny Penny under the bus.

    This ‘crisis’ has been a downhill snowball for several years, has already taken a major toll on Main Street and John Q, only came to the administration’s attention when the fat cats might have to actually eat cat food and convienently Mr. Bush and his backup singer Paulson were summoned to immediate urgency the same instant the debates began, thus dominating the airwaves with traditional fear tactics and distracting attention from their Ms Piggy and Kermit the Frog candidates who wouldn’t have a chance in hell if the lights were actually on them.

  7. Teri L October 1, 2008 / 9:58 am
    From Realtor.org http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2008093008?OpenDocument
    Last paragraph:

    “The Center for Responsive Politics, using data going back to 1989, said members of Congress who helped defeat the bailout had–on average, over their careers–collected nearly $590,000 from the industries most affected. The bill’s supporters had received $883,000.”

    No, I don’t support this.

    Yes, I do vote.

    Yes, I do understand what is at risk.

    Bailouts don’t solve problems, they create different problems.

    I am willing to eat whatever crap sandwich comes my way in order to avoid feeding a more horrific crap sandwich to our children in another decade.

    Need a laugh? NSFW: http://www.buymyshitpile.com/

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