January 26, 2009

Geithner Confirmed: Sherrod Brown Absent, Voinovich Votes Yes (!&^*!); Updates: Brown ‘Supports the Senate’s Decision,’ Voinovich Spokesman Whines That Alternatives Were Worse

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:45 pm

The margin was 60-34. The roll call vote is here.


  • Sherrod Brown did not vote. Since his office gave no indication when I called this morning that he would not be around for the vote, I’d like to hear Brown’s non-vote explanation.
  • George Voinovich, after telling everyone within earshot that the people of Ohio have a problem with putting someone in Treasury who has had tax problems such as Geithner’s, voted yes. I give up on Voinovich. Totally.
  • Dem “nos” were Harkin of Iowa, Feingold of Wisconsin, and Byrd of Virginia.
  • GOP “yes” votes were Voinovich, Corker (TN), Cornyn (TX), Crapo (ID), Ensign (NV), Graham (SC), Gregg (NH), Hatch (UT), Shelby (AL), and Snowe (ME).
  • Specter (PA) voted “no” after having told reporters earlier in the day that he would vote “yes.” I suspect he saw Pat Toomey looming over his shoulder.

What people don’t get is that there is no gloating if Geithner ends up doing a good job. The end doesn’t justify the means, and a bar-lowering precedent has been set that will likely haunt us for years.


UPDATE: Miscellaneous ding-a-ling alert — I never predicted that Geithner wouldn’t be confirmed. I never made a prediction at all (who would after the immigration amnesty fiasco in 2007?). Nix did. Zheesh.

I also didn’t predict how Voinovich would vote (“getting it” is not the same as “voting it,” unfortunately). But that hasn’t prevented a comprehension-impaired lefty from just making stuff up. Those who follow this blog know where to find delusion in the Ohio blogosphere when I refer to it. Ohio’s formerly “largest and most influential political blog” has been working very hard building a case as to why it should be ignored, or (added later) at least not taken seriously, from this point forward.

UPDATE 2: Althouse — “So I guess that whole ‘I forgot’ thing works after all! Thank you, Steve Martin!”

UPDATE 3: Other reax –

UPDATE 4, Jan. 27, 10:30 a.m.: I called Brown’s office today, and the person I spoke to said that the Senator was called away due to a family illness. He also said (paraphrasing) that while Brown was troubled by Geither’s tax compliance errors, he supported the Senate’s decision to confirm Geithner.

Memory-bank filing complete.

UPDATE 5: A Voinovich spokesperson e-mailed that the senator voted “yes” because alternatives if the Geithner nomination failed were worse, and that senators from NV and TX concluded the same thing. This prompted the following e-mail response from yours truly (with grammar corrections to one sentence; links added by me) –

We’re supposed to forgive Sen. Voinovich for his unconscionable Geithner vote because the alternatives were worse.

What, there’s another couple of people who have cheated the IRS out of even more money?

Look, it’s one thing to have a problem on policy. It’s another to have one relating to basic fitness to serve. No we have the Certs of Treasury Secretaries: two, two, two problems in one.

If the other possibilities were worse, as you state, maybe a Dem or two or six would peel off. We’ll never know, because your boss and others never gave it a chance.

Now you’ve sent a message that if you’re smart enough and the situation is supposedly desperate enough, all sins will be forgotten. Not forgiven, forgotten — setting an example for other a bad example for other taxpayers, our kids, and the world (which has to be laughing so hard we’ll probably hear it from across the oceans) be damned.

Let TX and NV deal with the other two senators.

You have NO idea how angry regular Ohioans who are aware of what has just happened (not just conservatives) are with the Geithner nomination and confirmation. You’re only lucky that the press managed to keep the worst of Geithner’s sins bottled up. As I said at my blog, I give up trying to figure George Voinovich out.

If you follow my blog, you know how I feel about Bob McEwen. At least McEwen, for all his considerable faults, and no matter how much he didn’t deserve to go back to Congress when he tried, could have been counted on to vote conservatively if he had gotten there. I never thought I’d say this, but I have a lower opinion of Sen. Voinovich than I do of McEwen, because George stands for nothing. Absolutely. Nothing.

One of these days Ohio Republican leaders are going to figure out that they can’t get the consistent support of their conservative base and the conservative blog community because they don’t, and won’t, consistently talk and act conservative.

Look at the bright side: If George sells out at enough key times, he might land a $10 million gig like Oxley did. Oxley took a couple of staffers with him. Maybe you’ll be lucky too. If so, consider the money your reward for helping your boss sell out his constituents and what used to be his core values. For what it’s worth, I hear it doesn’t buy happiness.



  1. Nah, the bar isn’t lowered. There is no bar anymore. Unless of course we somehow have another Republican president then the media will scream about any real or imagined ethical lapses.

    Comment by largebill — January 26, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

  2. Line of defense for future nominees: “But Geithner did it, why can’t I?”

    Comment by TBlumer — January 26, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  3. That’s a line of defense for any tax cheat, really.

    Comment by Rob — January 27, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  4. Now that a tax cheater, I mean former tax cheater, Timothy Geithner has been officially confirmed by the Senate to become Secretary of the Treasury, we, the taxpayers, have the poster child of government fiscal irresponsibility. President Obama’s particular choice of this flawed person gives us a valuable insight into how he intends to squeeze us, the taxpayer, of every last penny. Who better than the very person who specializes in financial rescues would best be suited to the job of propping up failed government policies by finding yet more creative ways to fund those failures?

    Picking up on Thomas Brewton’s theme of Social Justice, liberals have a faulty worldview in regards to the cause of crime and poverty, that being unequal wealth distribution. In the liberal worldview money and the resources it buys is the answer to their Utopian dreams. This worldview is based on the trope that given enough money literally anything can be made to work.

    Geithner is a person who has rationalized why he didn’t need to obey the Law and only paid back taxes on two years beyond the statute of limitations because it became publicly known and he wanted the job Treasury Secretary. Money is a means to an end, other people’s money (taxpayers) is the liberal’s means to achieve utopia. Why else would Obama choose such a person? Honestly, the GOP really does lack strategic thinking by voting for this person and enabling Obama’s agenda.

    A shameless plug of course…


    Comment by dscott — January 28, 2009 @ 9:17 am

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