Congratulations, Corporate Crime Fighters!
Coup Averted for Three Days!
By Michael Moore
Dreams" -- - Everyone said the bill would
pass. The masters of the universe were already making
celebratory dinner reservations at Manhattan's finest
restaurants. Personal shoppers in Dallas and Atlanta were
dispatched to do the early Christmas gifting. Mad Men of
Chicago and Miami were popping corks and toasting each other
long before the morning latte run.
But what they didn't know
was that hundreds of thousands of Americans woke up
yesterday morning and decided it was time for revolt. The
politicians never saw it coming. Millions of phone calls and
emails hit Congress so hard it was as if Marshall Dillon,
Elliot Ness and Dog the Bounty Hunter had descended on D.C.
to stop the looting and arrest the thieves.
The Corporate Crime of the
Century was halted by a vote of 228 to 205. It was rare and
historic; no one could remember a time when a bill supported
by the president and the leadership of both parties went
down in defeat. That just never happens.
A lot of people are
wondering why the right wing of the Republican Party joined
with the left wing of the Democratic Party in voting down
the thievery. Forty percent of Democrats and two-thirds of
Republicans voted against the bill.
Here's what happened:
The presidential race may
still be close in the polls, but the Congressional races are
pointing toward a landslide for the Democrats. Few dispute
the prediction that the Republicans are in for a whoopin' on
November 4th. Up to 30 Republican House seats could be lost
in what would be a stunning repudiation of their agenda.
The Republican reps are so
scared of losing their seats, when this "financial crisis"
reared its head two weeks ago, they realized they had just
been handed their one and only chance to separate themselves
from Bush before the election, while doing something that
would make them look like they were on the side of "the
Watching C-Span yesterday
morning was one of the best comedy shows I'd seen in ages.
There they were, one Republican after another who had backed
the war and sunk the country into record debt, who had voted
to kill every regulation that would have kept Wall Street in
check -- there they were, now crying foul and standing up
for the little guy! One after another, they stood at the
microphone on the House floor and threw Bush under the bus,
under the train (even though they had voted to kill off our
nation's trains, too), heck, they would've thrown him under
the rising waters of the Lower Ninth Ward if they could've
conjured up another hurricane. You know how your dog acts
when sprayed by a skunk? He howls and runs around trying to
shake it off, rubbing and rolling himself on every piece of
your carpet, trying to get rid of the stench. That's what it
looked like on the Republican side of the aisle yesterday,
and it was a sight to behold.
The 95 brave Dems who broke
with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were the real heroes, just
like those few who stood up and voted against the war in
October of 2002. Watch the remarks from yesterday of Reps.
Sheila Jackson Lee, and
Dennis Kucinich. They spoke the truth.
The Dems who voted for the
giveaway did so mostly because they were scared by the
threats of Wall Street, that if the rich didn't get their
handout, the market would go nuts and then it's bye-bye
stock-based pension and retirement funds.
And guess what? That's
exactly what Wall Street did! The largest, single-day drop
in the Dow in the history of the New York Stock exchange.
The news anchors last night screamed it out: Americans just
lost 1.2 trillion dollars in the stock market!! It's a
financial Pearl Harbor! The sky is falling! Bird flu! Killer
Of course, sane people know
that nobody "lost" anything yesterday, that stocks go up and
down and this too shall pass because the rich will now buy
low, hold, then sell off, then buy low again.
But for now, Wall Street and
its propaganda arm (the networks and media it owns) will
continue to try and scare the bejesus out of you. It will be
harder to get a loan. Some people will lose their jobs. A
weak nation of wimps won't last long under this torture. Or
will we? Is this our line in the sand?
Here's my guess: The
Democratic leadership in the House secretly hoped all along
that this lousy bill would go down. With Bush's proposals
shredded, the Dems knew they could then write their own bill
that favors the average American, not the upper 10% who were
hoping for another kegger of gold.
So the ball is in the
Democrats' hands. The gun from Wall Street remains at their
head. Before they make their next move, let me tell you what
the media kept silent about while this bill was being
1. The bailout bill had NO
enforcement provisions for the so-called oversight group
that was going to monitor Wall Street's spending of the $700
2. It had NO penalties,
fines or imprisonment for any executive who might steal any
of the people's money;
3. It did NOTHING to force
banks and lenders to rewrite people's mortgages to avoid
foreclosures -- this bill would not have stopped ONE
4. It had NO teeth anywhere
in the entire piece of legislation, using words like
"suggested" when referring to the government being paid back
for the bailout;
200 economists wrote to Congress and said this bill
might actually WORSEN the "financial crisis" and cause even
MORE of a meltdown.
Put a fork in this slab of
pork. It's over. Now it is time for our side to state very
clearly the laws WE want passed. I will send you my
proposals later today. We've bought ourselves less than 72