Will supporting the bailout sink Marshall and Chambliss?

There’s no doubt about it, people are mad about the $700 billion(or is it $850 billion) bailout approved by the Congress last week. I spoke with several Republicans over the weekend, all of whom were angry and a few said they would not vote for Chambliss this year. Wether or not they follow through on that remains to be seen, but it’s clear Saxby has lost some support. Many Democrats are not happy with the passage of this bill either and I would expect Jim Marshall has lost some support as well. Will this be enough to topple these to incumbents? Marshall has a smaller margin or error so I would expect he’s in real trouble and clearly the US Senate race has tightened considerably.

Jim Tharpe and Ben Smith report on all this in today’s AJC:

Whether you are U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican incumbent trying for a second term, or Jim Marshall, a Democratic two—-term congressman facing a Republican challenger, the recent economic events have clouded the political horizon just a month before most Georgians go to the polls.

Both men voted for the bailout, which they said was needed to stave off financial calamity.

Marshall, who is in one of the state’s most competitive congressional races, released a television ad defending his decision.

“I don’t like this rescue plan any better than you do,” Marshall said in the ad. “And I’m not interested in bailing out the irresponsible people who dragged us into this credit mess. But I’m not going to stand by and let this crisis undermine our economy and damage the financial future of everyone in America —- their jobs, their savings, their dreams.”

In metro Atlanta, Marshall’s fellow Democrat Jim Martin was busy attacking Chambliss for his support of the same “bailout” plan backed by Marshall and Democratic leaders in Congress.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, to see that Saxby Chambliss voted for another typical Washington solution to a very real problem,” Martin said. “It’s classic Saxby economics —- $700 billion for Wall Street, while Georgia families get stuck with the bill. That’s just wrong.”

Chambliss blamed the “Democratic leadership” for the initial failure of the bill. The Moultrie lawmaker said he does not like the idea of the government intervening in the free market, but he said it is unavoidable in the current crisis.

“You have to worry about the country first,” he said.

41 comments

  1. Icarus says:

    Still too early to tell, but my gut tells me there are two things, working in opposite directions, that will make the difference here.

    Most of these voters are voting straight pocketbook. The Dow is in for a huge tumble this morning, as Europe has now joined us in the full throws of a banking and credit crisis. Some stability will be needed soon to help vindicate this vote.

    The silver lining is that this has also killed oil and gas prices. Oil is under $90 this morning, and gas on NYMEX is under $2.15/gallon. Assuming no more hurricanes, supplies here should be near normal by the time early voting begins, and folks should be filling up for under $3 on their way to the polls.

  2. Clint Austin says:

    Folks,

    This is no time for political posturing. Smart people can make the case that Europe is now in a meltdown because Congress waited a few days too long.

    Right now, the bailout bill blowback is barely concealed class anger. However, when the first big companies start missing payroll because they can’t get rollover debt on the Street, the poll numbers on this issue are going to flip quick.

    These are not frivolous times, and this is not a frivolous issue. Let’s hope this stops before all our 401Ks and our jobs are threatened.

  3. Game Fan says:

    This bailout bill (over 400 pages worth) is just hideous. Lot’s of “chatter” about what it means. Unsubstantiated rumors ect… But these cats might go down in history as the people who sold us down the river.

  4. Donkey Kong says:

    But these cats might go down in history as the people who sold us down the river.

    Highly doubtful. Maybe to unabashed conservatives, yes. But most likely, these “cats” will be viewed the same as FDR’s New Deal supporters, if not better — better because FDR had a ton of bad monetary policy mixed in his bag, Bush doesn’t. I suspect that the American people / historians will view this bill as the beginnings of a New New Deal that appears virtually inevitable.

  5. AtlConservative says:

    I’ve had issues with Saxby for a while… This “bailout” just increases my negative opinions. BTW, why are we so credit heavy that business can’t make payroll? Isn’t that part of the problem? Something had to be done, but passing a bill with an ADDITIONAL $112B certainly wasn’t the answer. My vote will go to the libertarian.

  6. Three Jack says:

    clint wrote, “Right now, the bailout bill blowback is barely concealed class anger.”

    what a crock! class anger? no clint, most oppose(d) this bs bailout because it will only prolong the problem while adding trillions to our national debt. not to mention the underlying move toward more socialism.

    chuck clay jumped in with this little ditty from today’s ajc — In the longer term, Chambliss and Isakson may even have preserved the Republican brand in Georgia, said Chuck Clay, a former chairman of the state GOP.

    Principle can be carried too far, Clay argued, offering the Great Depression as an example.

    “There are still some people who say Herbert Hoover was correct, and they may well be right. But tell that to history,” he said.

    “preserved the republican brand” – what is the republican brand chucky; more spending, more socialism, is that your version of being republican?

  7. Wavy says:

    Clint,

    There is no doubt something needed to be done. Since our idiot congressmen all had a fancy analogy,…mashmellow cowpatties, highway wrecks, et cetera….. I’ve come up with an analogy that best describes this bill and their support for it.

    Say you break your arm and the ambulance comes to take you to the doctor. The doctor puts you in an induced coma, amputates your leg, gives you a blood transfusion, then fixes your arm and wakes you from the coma. You come to find out that your doctor isn’t a doctor at all, just some former lawyer/trust-fund baby with friends in the medical community. He ensures you that you would have lost your arm to infection had he not acted at all.

    Point is, there were no alternatives measures discussed, just this all or nothing hail mary that doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. This is just bandaid on a gunshot wound.

    So yes, you’re right a move was (is) necessary, but is this really the right move. Was any consensus reached or alternative plans seriously considered?

    Our government continues to fail us.

  8. Game Fan says:

    Class anger? HA I’d like to be rich too one day. Never advocated any type of “soak the rich” or tax increases. How about the folks from industry with “no class” who hang around DC for special favors. (because they can’t compete otherwise)

  9. drjay says:

    good for jim martin as a political tactic to call saxby to task –but i think its silly o think he’d have done different, unless he hooked up w/ some group pushing a more liberal alternative–although i suspect he’d have done just what reid et al had told him to do–its easy to critisize when you aren’t actually voting…

  10. jsm says:

    “I suspect that the American people / historians will view this bill as the beginnings of a New New Deal that appears virtually inevitable.”

    That statement scares me to death. Bear in mind that, although the Great Depression is recorded as being over in 1941, the markets did not come back until 1954–25 years later. This “New New Deal” will only prolong the agony like the first New Deal did.

    Will history remember the government-backed gorging on “affordable mortgages” that unsuspecting, deceived poor people couldn’t actually afford? What about the corporate welfare that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received at the insistence of democrats who say they’re against that kind of thing for big business? History won’t remember any of this if your local socialist college professor has anything to say about it.

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Here is a totally contrarian POV, one that Saxby and all of the incumbents, especially the ones who voted for this bill, would dearly love to stay beneath the surface.

    It won’t.

    It is THIS – how in heaven’s name did we go from “the economy is strong” and “the financial system is sound” from the DC pols and lying Bush administration Treasury Secretary and Fed Chairmen, as recently as last month, and now find ourselves in financial Armageddon???

    WHERE HAS SAXBY CHAMBLISS BEEN?

    Saxby has been in DC FOR 14 YEARS, in the majority all the while, and with all 3 branches of the federal government within control of his party. During this time hw was consistently supporting the policies that brought about this melt-down.

    With this vote, he is like an arsonist who set the blaze, then shows up as a volunteer firefighter seeking praise.

    No, Saxby doesn’t want the people to THINK about where he has been and what he has been doing to CREATE a dire ’emergency’ that necessitates socialized losses to the people.

    Saxby has been a key participant in the THEFT of the futures of every one reading these words and their children.

  12. IndyInjun says:

    Saxby’s party had total control of the 3 branches for 6 years. I was typing so fast that I omitted it.

  13. Ga Values says:

    In 4 weeks our Economy is going to be in worse condition. Everyone I know is ready to throw the crooks out. I just went by the local GOP hq. for some McCain sign, they said no one would take a Saxby sign. Saxby has lost the base with Amnesty, The Farm Bill, the Gang of 10 Traitors and the Bail out Wall Street. Saxby works for lobbyist not the Georgia Taxpayer, he needs to be fired.

  14. Mike Hauncho says:

    While I disagree with Saxby’s vote on the bailout I will still vote for him because he is the better candidate. Martin is a horrible candidate and if the Bush administration had not been so bad he nor Obama would even be mentioned right now.

  15. IndyInjun says:

    Hauncho

    We don’t need a “better candidate” if same is the most disastrous US Senator in the history of this state.

  16. Three Jack says:

    indy, do you completely ignore the actions of barney frank, maxine waters, et al who collectively prevented fannie mae reform from taking place?

    i certainly will not defend chambliss and company, but there is no way the gop deserves all the blame.

    of note, a story just appeared on foxnews saying paulson hired a former goldman sachs exec to divvy out the $700b. you just can’t make this shit up. the crooks are running the jail.

  17. AtlConservative says:

    GA Values – don’t forget the housing bail out!

    Oh, and in case anyine’s missed it – the Dow is down over 700 points. **That said, it is still less than 7% decrease which is no where close the the Great Depression.

  18. Doug Deal says:

    Atl,

    So the stock market went down 777 because the House failed to pass the plan, then it went up the next day by about 400 because obviously the investors thought the Senate would act. Then the market goes down another 400 because of “bad economic news”, bad economic news that apparently had nothing to do with the Senate passing it.

    I wonder what the MSM is going to credit this loss to? Naysaying about the Great Fix Everything Plan of 2008?

    Why is it that now this turkey passed, all of the new outlets are running stories about how ineffectual it will be?

  19. Game Fan says:

    Donkey
    re: “cats”
    Used to be as American as apple pie to take a certain attitude toward politicians. Thought I’d re-introduce the concept around here.

  20. AtlConservative says:

    Doug,

    My point was – the bailout apparently didn’t fix everything! Or… possible anything!

    Oh and they are blaming our drop on the foreign markets who are blaming their drop on fear of what’s going on in the US markets…

    What happened to a free market society? And hasn’t anyone in this country taken an econ class?!?!

    BTW, I would invest in a heartbeat if I had the money!

  21. slyram says:

    “Marshall’s fellow Democrat Jim Martin” That’s funny because Martin obviously can say what he wants without regard for Marshall because is barely a member of the Dem Team. I am telling you Marshall might have a pass from the Speaker Pelosi to ignore Obama/Biden and that senate race—just come back so he can vote for her.

    I must give Marshall credit; he does what he wants and if the voters don’t like it Goddard will be picking out drapes.

    If the new voters in Macon, Tifton and Covington realized that Marshall was not for Obama, it would be curtains.

  22. David says:

    I think Clint’s comment on “class anger” is dead on, although probably not in the way he intended. I think it’s the producers who make this nation’s economy work are outraged that this crisis was brought on by the taxpayers having to subsidize mortgages for those who couldn’t afford them and quite frankly, are undeserving of having them. Can’t afford to own a home and take on the responsibility that home ownership entails? Tough s**t!! Work until you can. It’s pretty simple. We’ve been propping up the parasites for decades and look what is happening. Our nation is about to crumble because we continue to support those who are literally sucking the life blood out of this country.

  23. Doug Deal says:

    Atl,

    If you buy an index fund today and the market returns to what it was 1 year ago, you would make 40%. Not a bad turnaround.

    In any event, I would buy now, and have bought. I was totally in cash so I lost nothing. Now I am buying back in a little at a time.

  24. Icarus says:

    In any event, I would buy now,… I am buying back in a little at a time.

    Dollar cost averaging should be O.K. here, but there’s more bad news to come, and October is traditionally a horrible month for stocks anyway.

    I think there’s another 10-15% baked in on the downside. There are far too many retailers who haven’t taken the hit that they need yet. I’m hoping we’re closer to the bottom than not, but I’m not yet willing to bet on it.

    Of course, if anyone wants to share contra-suggestions or investment themes, I’m all ears. Given the number of “Saxby has problems” threads we have up, I think we can get a pass on the threadjack.

  25. Doug Deal says:

    Icarus,

    My suggestion is to invest in things that are not discretionary. In a recession, people aren’t going to upgrade infrastructure and expand capacity. Consumers are going to cut back on nice restaurants and gadgets. However, people may increase visits to lower end restaurants (at the expense of the higher end one) and will continue to purchase the staples.

    When the market as a whole takes a hit, I think those types of investments will recover first.

  26. Bill Simon says:

    Wavy Sez: “Point is, there were no alternatives measures discussed, just this all or nothing hail mary that doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. This is just bandaid on a gunshot wound.”

    I am in agreement with Wavy. NO alternative from Paulson or Bush was considered.

  27. Ga Values says:

    Good post from the insider, so I cut & Pasted

    By JAY

    October 7, 2008 12:00 PM | Link to this

    IF HE CAN FORCAST THE FUTURE BY SAYING A YES VOTE WOULD BEAT A DEPRESSION, THEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STOP FANNIE & MAC FROM THEIR MELT DOWN.CHAMBLISS HAS BECOME JUST ANOTHER CLOSET SOCIALIST.HE ALSO SAID HE VOTED YES TO SAVE WALL STREET, I HAD NO IDEA THAT WALL STREET PUT HIM IN OFFICE. HE & JOE [STAND UO CHUCK] BIDEN MUST HAVE THE SAME DNA——-

  28. Icarus says:

    “people aren’t going to upgrade infrastructure”

    People won’t, but I expect the next Congress to decide that they need to “invest” heavily in infrastructure. I would expect a major expansion in highway funding (with the usual crap for sidewalks and bike paths), as well as some kind of energy infrastructure upgrade. I would love to find a beaten down aggregate company with a strong balance sheet, or something that is a pure play on nuclear.

    And I still think there’s an opportunity to short some of the retailers for another 15-25%. How many people are really going to be shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Doesn’t everyone already have a flat screen from Best Buy by now?

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Speaking of flat screens, I am in the market for a tube TV that someone doesn’t need anymore because they upgraded to their big-ass plasma/flat screen TV.

    Really…I don’t mind suffering with a plain old tube…

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