Like the Senate’s ill-fated amnesty for illegal immigrants, the House’s proposed bailout of Wall Street went down to ignominious defeat.
Then as now, the bill was negotiated behind closed doors. Then as now, congressional leaders did an end-run around the committees of jurisdiction.
Then as now, the negotiators congratulated themselves for making "great progress."
Then as now, outraged citizens told Congress to stick it. Voters overwhelmed the Capitol switchboard. The millions of emails that were sent caused the House.gov website to crash.
The American people sent a clear message: We will remember in November.
An analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com found the message was heard:
This was predictable, I suppose, but it's remarkable to see how strong a relationship there is between today's failed vote on the bailout and the competitive nature of different House races.
Among 38 incumbent congressmen in races rated as "toss-up" or "lean" by Swing State Project, just 8 voted for the bailout as opposed to 30 against: a batting average of .211.
By comparison, the vote among congressmen who don't have as much to worry about was essentially even: 197 for, 198 against.
Flood the Capitol Switchboard.
Folks should call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, and vulnerable senators, including Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Ted Stevens of Alaska and John Sununu of New Hampshire.
Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them they work for you.
To send an email, go here.