A Brief Illustration Of How Congressional Bipartisanship Gets Killed Before It Grows

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Photo: ihtatho / Flickr

Former FDIC chair Sheila Bair’s tell-all about the bailout, ‘Bull By The Horns: Fighting To Save Main Street From Wall Street And Wall Street From Itself almost tells you more than you want to know about Washington mudslinging.Bair gives anecdote after anecdote demonstrating how party trumps country in politics.

A lifelong Republican, she criticises and praises people on both sides of the aisle. For example, she definitely admires then-House Banking committee chair, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank for his genuine commitment to making banks solvent and markets fair (mistakes aside).

In one story, Bair lays out how Frank tried to come to an accord with Alabama House Republican Spencer Bachus — get ready to be thoroughly annoyed.

In 2005, Congressmen Barney Frank and Spencer Bachus (R—Ala.) tried to put together a bipartisan effort to establish national lending standards. However, the effort met stiff opposition from the industry, which complained to the Republican leadership. Bachus was forced to stop negotiating with Frank under pressure from the House GOP leadership.

So basically, the Congressman who wants to do something gets bullied like a kid in a school yard.

Effective, obviously.

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