Leaving a Mark

David Sirota projects mightily, writing about the House vote to block the payment of the remaining TARP money:

What’s great about this vote is its juxtaposition of true bipartisanship with Beltway buypartisanship. Indeed, as the roll call shows, the House vote for the resolution of disapproval forged a coalition of about a third of the Democratic caucus, and most of the Republican conference – all voting for a progressive cause: namely, preventing Wall Street from ripping off the American taxpayer. Though we are led by the media to believe that “centrism” means corporatism, this vote is the kind of populist bipartisan coalition that reflects the real centrism in the country at large – a centrism where the “center” is decidedly against letting big corporations raid the federal treasury.

But Nate Silver actually read the roll call:

¬†Occasionally, you’ll come across an issue that splits the political spectrum literally down the middle, with the most progressive members and the most conservative members of the House uniting on one direction on a measure, and moderates in both parties taking the other stance. Is the bailout one such issue?

No, it isn’t. On the contrary, this was a fairly conventional vote in which the more a Congressman tends to define themselves as liberal or progressive, the more likely they were to vote to extend the bailout. The Congressional Progressive Caucus voted in favor of continuing the bailout by a 49-15 margin; by contrast, the more conservative Blue Dog Democratic Caucus voted 27-17 to block the bailout. And nearly every Republican voted against the bailout.

So, for the record, David Sirota is on the side of the Blue Dogs and the GOP, opposed to the overwhelming majority of the Progressive Caucus.

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