I just had the opportunity to organize my thoughts on the bailout failure & the Pelosi speech, which I'm basically cutting-and-pasting from a comment over at Jason's blog.
Think of it this way: the Republican congressional fence-sitters were being asked to do something which violated their principles & their own understanding of their constituents' opinions. Then they were told by the individuals on the other side who were soliciting this marginal betrayal of their principles and their constituents "oh, yes, and by the way? we're going to use your aid as a club to beat you over the head with in the press."
Speaker Pelosi stood up & told the Republican waverers that there was *no* cover for them in voting for the bill. It was a violation of their principles, against the reported will of their constituents, and on top of that, the Democratic leadership was promising to use their aye votes against them in the coming campaign.
She changed the equation from '(claimed national interest + bipartisan cover) - (principles + constituent opinion) = 0' to 'claimed national interest - (principles + constituent opinion + partisan PR shitstorm)= LOSE' with that speech.
Hell, now that I've laid it out myself, I would have changed my vote, too. I wager the only reason Peterson voted 'aye' was that he's retiring, and he doesn't need to give a damn. The equation works out for him - his expected successor G.T. is running around yelling his opposition to the bailout as loud as his lungs will allow.