The House passes punishing taxes on AIG and other bonuses as reported by a local TV station in Portland, OR. I got this link using my handy dandy GOP.com tool bar, by the way.
I think that Boehner and Cantor missed an opportunity the whip the entire Republican members of the House to vote "Present" on this bill. Here is why I wish they had chosen this strategy. This so-called "outrage" of the money, reported in the media over the weekend, to traders in the unit that nearly brought about the company's collapse was intended to be channeled by Obama and the Democrats in Congress away from them. They manufactured the circus atmosphere to channel the outrage toward the recipients of the bonuses so the outrage would not be directed toward them. Democrats were responsible for removing a provision, originally contained in stimulus legislation, to ban such bonuses. So, we should channel our outrage toward all but seven House Democrats, and all the Senate Democrats plus three Senate Republicans who voted Aye for this stimulus bill. We should channel our outrage toward Obama who signed this bill into law. This is one of the few times when the House Republicans could rightfully say that they were mere spectators to the "circus in town." None of the House Republicans had voted for a bill that allowed for the bonuses to be awarded. I also think it would have been easier to whip them to vote "Present" than it was to whip them to vote "Nay."
Now I expect that some are going to tell me how this tax bill is so wrong that the only acceptable vote is "Nay." I will not argue with you on the merits because I do not disagree with you. The point I am making is that this bill and the outrage was a sideshow circus, and it was going to pass in the House without the 85 House Republicans who voted "Aye." If you're creating a circus you may as well have some spectators. Politicians are sometimes weaklings, and some did not want to be put on the spot in their district of supporting bonuses to the traders who nearly brought about the collapse of AIG. They could have went back to their district and explained that they had no reason to participate in a circus that was not of their making. They had voted against the Stimulus bill, and they had no reason to paper over a mistake because they did not make it.
Finally, I ask that we not hold a grudge against all 85 House Republicans who voted "Aye." Yes, they were wrong on this vote, but most of the time they vote right and are working on our behalf instead of working against us. We need to increase our numbers instead of decrease our numbers by eating our own. I agree with writing and calling them for this wrong-headed vote. After you have made clear to them how you really feel about it please do not continue an ongoing grudge against them.