On MSNBC last night, Rachel Maddow looked at the political rationale behind the White House decision to make House Speaker Wanna-Be John Boehner, R-Ohio, the face of the “Party of No” in the midterm elections.
Boehner was chosen, in part, because he is a boozey, overly tanned cartoonish character, but mainly because he was the GOP leader in 2008, back when it was the Bush rubberstamp party. In late September 2008, when the United States financial system was in freefall, Boehner took to the well of the House and tearfully begged the Republican caucus to support the Bush bank bailout of Wall Street and the “too big to fail” banks, officially known as the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”:
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, MINORITY LEADER: Think about what happens if we don’t pass this bill, think about what happens to your friends, your neighbors, your constituents. So, I ask all of you, both sides of the aisle: what’s in the best interest of our country? Not what’s in the best interest of our party, not what’s in the best interest of our own re- election– what’s in the best interest of our country? Vote yes.
The bailout eventually passed both houses of Congress, with over 90 Republicans in the House and 33 GOP senators voting yes. (There’s a complete list at the below.) The vote was taken before the rise of the GOP’s astroturfed tea party mobs and their virulent opposition to Obama policies — particularly the government funding of programs intended to resolve the financial collapse brought on by the Bush Recession.
Since the rise of tea baggery, many, if not most, of the Republicans in Congress have made a spectacle of themselves by desperately kowtowing to the mob, so it is surprising to see many of their names on the list of Republicans who voted “aye” on the tea baggers’ much-despised Wall Street Bailout.