10/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Fatal Mistake By House Republicans

I do not know which genius in the House Republican messaging department decided to suggest that their members voted "nay" on the bailout because Speaker Pelosi was mean to them.

But whoever it was will be receiving holiday cards from Speaker Pelosi and her successor for a long time. Yes, that long.

Barney Frank's expert riposte cemented a flash impression of Democrats and the Treasury Secretary working together to find a solution to the national crisis while GOP bomb throwers let their egos rule the day.

Immediately my own mind went to the episode in 1995 in which Newt Gingrich shut down the U.S. government because he was upset Bill Clinton made him and Bob Dole sit at the back of Air Force One. (I'm not alone. A google search revealed that Huffington Post blogger Barry Yourgrau has already made the comparison.)

Dear reader, the time is nigh for you to write to your local paper and observe quite politely and pleasantly that the American people demand the Republicans attempt to regain the mantle of "fiscal responsibility" so tarnished by the Bush administration.

And if the DCCC isn't already cranking out ads using that language -- it should be.

Here's a fun fact: the GOP congresscritters who voted no were largely in closely contested swing districts.

The ad writes itself: "Congresscritter _______ would like to tell you his vote against the plan to save our economy was made out of principle. Turns out, he's more prideful than patriotic."

Do Republicans hate government so much that they want a permanent ringside seat?