Maybe not lying, but certainly misleading

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With the Democrats looking to take a shellacking in the upcoming midterms, Democrat politicians trying to save their jobs have more and more been scurrying as fast as they can away from Democratic policies that are largely unpopular: ObamaCare, the stimulus package, massive deficit spending, and the big bank bailouts of 2008-09. That last is a little unfair, since the TARP program was a bipartisan bailout, but it’s become conflated in the public’s mind with everything else the Democrats have done since Obama was inaugurated. And those bailouts have become so unpopular that some Democratic congresscritters are proudly claiming they voted against them – before they were even in office:

At least five freshman Democratic House members are running ads claiming they voted against the bank “bailout,” when in fact none was in Congress when the bill setting up the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was enacted.

  • Mary Jo Kilroy says she “voted against the bank bailout.”
  • Kathy Dahlkemper says she voted “against a bailout that helped Wall Street.”
  • Frank Kratovil claims to have cast his vote in opposition to “the big bank bailout.”
  • Dina Titus’ ad maintains she “even voted against the bank bailout.”
  • Glenn Nye’s ad tells viewers he went “against his own party” and “voted against the Wall Street bailout.”

The final House vote on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 took place on Oct. 3, 2008. The bill passed, 263-171. None of the five lawmakers who are running these ads is listed in the roll call vote. That’s because none of them had taken office yet – in fact, none of them would even be elected for another month.

So what are they talking about?

Read the rest to get the full explanation. In summary, these five voted against the expenditure of the second batch of bailout money in 2009, money the outgoing Bush Administration had asked for at the request of President-elect Obama. Under the law, the money would be disbursed unless both houses of Congress voted to block the disbursal. At the time the House voted, the Senate had already failed an attempt to block, and therefore the money would be released. The House vote was wholly symbolic, and, far from taking a principled and risky stand, the five Democrats above had nothing on the line in their votes.

In other words, while they did vote against the final release of TARP money, it was for show, only, and it bends the truth almost to the breaking point to call it “voting against the bailouts.”

And these five now have less than 60 days to explain why they treated their voters like idiots.

Via Jimmie Bise on Twitter.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)