Thursday, October 2, 2008

How Would You Vote on the Bailout?

By Joe Sims
And how would you vote on the bailout? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself these last few days. Implied in the answer are some huge tactical and ideological questions. First and foremost in my opinion, everything must be viewed within the framework of the election. Would a vote for or against, help or hurt the prospects for defeating McCain and the extreme right in November or would it matter?

Consider that only 65 or so Republicans voted for it the other, with the most right-wing section sealing it’s defeat. On the other hand, many progressives and good democrats – I use the small d here – were fairly split on it with majorities, albeit, slim ones of the Black and Hispanic Caucuses voting against.

The reason is clear, even with some improvements, the concessions to big business far outweighed language protecting Main Street. And be aware that the banks who got the country into this mess, used deliberately racist predatory lending practices that targeted Black and Latino families. There is understandably huge anger in working-class communities, Black, Brown and white at the attempt to bailout Wall Street.

On the other hand, one cannot be insensitive by advocating a “let-it-all-fall-apart strategy” that would end up hurt poor and working people in the event of catastrophic collapse. Marxists, Leninists, communist and socialists, and even good democrats don’t believe in “the worse, the better.”

But more broadly, did Monday’s vote, where very disparate forces defeated the measure, hurt or help? My gut says it helped. It increased pressure which will be needed to put in place measures that would protect homeowners.

But now its coming up again. It looks like the Senate approved bill sucks eggs. So if you were in the House, how would you vote tomorrow? And remember the election may be at stake