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Notwithstanding a compelling plea from our outgoing president and Treasury secretary, who have no significant future political skin in the game, and a bipartisan team of lawmakers, our House of Representatives has let us down. Things I've heard include "My mail is running 10 to 1 against" and "The partisan tone at the end of the debate today I think did impact the votes on our side."
Elected leaders: You have been presented an opportunity to mitigate a very serious threat to your constituents' ways of life. It does not matter how we got here at this point -- even though many companies took extremely dumb risks, including Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM ) , Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE ) , AIG (NYSE: AIG ) , Wachovia (NYSE: WB ) , Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM ) , and National City (NYSE: NCC ) . This crisis extends far beyond those companies' (and others like them) executives, employees, customers, and shareholders -- it extends to every Main Street in America. You need to have the minimum amount of courage necessary to do your job. You need to reassure your constituents and the world that the U.S. economy, underpinned by its financial markets, is and will continue to be the most successful the world has ever known.
Senators McCain and Obama: Please stop the canvassing and cold-calling looking for my vote until you rally your parties to support this. By the way, you were both embarrassing in your inability to address this forthrightly in the debate on Friday night.
Nobody is blaming you. There will still be time for finger-pointing; you can have your fun later. Now is not the time for politics, ladies and gentlemen. Now is the time for a modest amount of bipartisan courage to help our economy stabilize. If you don't believe we have a very serious risk of a crisis, then stand up and say so; don't hide behind your "mail" and "partisan tone." Otherwise, do the right thing and support this bill, or come up with a better one. Sheesh.
Get this done.