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Rep. Bob Filner has decided to match the rhetoric of his cross-town rival in bashing the bailout bill.
From a just-released statement:
This bailout policy — and the arguments in favor of it — reminded me of the debate over Iraq. This is an “economic” Iraq. The Bush Administration wanted a blank check — with no accountability. They proposed that the same people who got us into this mess be charged with fixing it. Their estimates of the cost — even at the astronomical amount of $700 billion — are deceptively low. They used fear-mongering in arguing that inaction was a greater threat than any action — when nobody suggested inaction.
Filner has a penchant for comparing things to Iraq. In March 2007, I quoted him on the cross-border sewage issue wherein he compared the Bajagua treatment facility to the war. Like George W. Bush will have to live with the war in Iraq, Filner told me, he would have to live with Bajagua no matter how it went.
Bajagua, of course, burned up and disintegrated like a meteor coming to Earth when Filner couldn’t persuade Democratic leaders to keep it orbiting.
I’m sure he was grief stricken to not be able to go along with them on this bailout.
There seems to be a popular assumption floating around today that the only members of Congress to oppose the bailout were those who are facing tough re-election battles. The argument being that they saw the bailout as a political loser and no-win decision with which their opponents would later slaughter them. This, though, is definitely not the case for Filner, Issa and Rep. Duncan Hunter. Both Filner and Issa face no major electoral opposition in the November election and Hunter is moving on to a new life.
Susan Davis was the only local member of Congress to support the failed legislation (incidentally, to Filner’s horror, Davis had become lukewarm on Bajagua if not outright critical of the mega-project before it collapsed. I’m sure they’ve put it all behind them, though). Here’s a fantastic analysis of what happened to the bailout bill. I haven’t received any great quotes from Brian Bilbray, who opposed the measure. Bilbray, unlike the others, is facing somewhat of a serious challenge this year.