It's not just the rank and file who are carrying grudges from the past.
From the Miami Herald:
America suffering a crisis of political as well as financial leadership
By STEVEN THOMMA, McClatchy Newspapers
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The failure of a proposed Wall Street bailout Monday underscored that America is suffering not just from a financial crisis, but also from a crisis of political leadership.
"This has been a bad day for Washington and a bad day for American politics," said Harold Ford, a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee. "What happened today was an embarrassment for the country."
None of the country's political leaders, Republican or Democrat, has proved able to navigate the treacherous politics of the moment and secure an agreement to bail out the country's financial system and restore confidence in the marketplace.
President Bush is a largely discredited lame duck. He's not trusted by his own party and was unable to bend the Congress to his will even as he warned of a catastrophe if lawmakers rebelled.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his party's congressional leaders control the Congress and agreed with Bush's urgency, but they couldn't deliver a majority, either.
Still, they came closer than did Republican John McCain and his party's leaders in the House of Representatives, who delivered only 30 percent of the GOP votes for the compromise, while Democrats delivered some 60 percent of their members.
Leaders of both parties vowed to seek bipartisan cooperation toward drafting a compromise that could pass, but with their own elections five weeks away, they couldn't stop themselves from partisan attacks, which make the goal of bipartisan agreement even more difficult to reach.
Nowhere is the crisis more evident than it is in the White House.
Bush limps toward the end of his second term with among the lowest job-approval ratings in history - a recent Gallup poll found just 27 percent approving and 69 percent disapproving.
Worse, he's lost credibility in Congress, notably for leading the country into war in Iraq on false claims that Iraq had ties to al Qaida and weapons of mass destruction. When he dispatched Vice President Dick Cheney to lobby House Republicans to support the Wall Street bailout, the closed-door session grew heated, and some members reportedly reminded Cheney that they'd trusted him on Iraq.
Bush also is paying a price for years of strong-arming Congress, particularly when he counted on then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to "hammer" proposals such as a costly expansion of Medicare past skeptical conservatives.
"There's no question the rank-and-file are carrying some grudges from the past," said Dan Schnur, the director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.