Recriminations, Recriminations, Recriminations

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The Republicans are blaming Nancy Pelosi's "partisan" speech for the failure of the bailout bill. "The speaker had to give a partisan voice to it, and it caused a number of members we thought we could get to go south," said John Boehner at a press conference. "Right here is why I believe this bill failed," added GOP Rep. Eric Cantor, waving a copy of the text. "This is an instance where you see Pelosi's failure to listen, failure to lead ..."

This sounds like spin to divert blame from the GOP for the failure of the bill, but two Republican staffers I know were themselves surprised by the outcome -- they had expected more GOP votes, and minority whip Roy Blunt claimed their whip count showed at least 12 more votes going in, which would have saved the bill.

But if it's true ... give me a break! No matter what you thought of the details of the bill, is that not the most immature thing you've ever heard? To vote against the biggest bill of the year -- to let, as President Bush put it, the sucker go down -- because the Speaker insulted your feelings?

Speaking of suckers going down, Senator McCain just announced that he blamed the bill's death on a failure of leadership from Barack Obama.

Update: Barney Frank is incredulous: "We have come together on a bill and because somebody hurt their feelings, they come together to hurt the country. I would not have imputed that degree of pettiness to the Republicans! Think about this: somebody hurt my feelings, so I will punish the country! I mean, that's hardly plausible! I'll make an offer: Give me those twelve people's names and I will talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are, and maybe they now will think about the country," he said. Meanwhile, in her speech at the Democratic press conference, a defanged Nancy Pelosi uses the word "bipartisan" five times.

--Eve Fairbanks

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