Monday, September 22, 2008

Are the Republicans Setting Up the Democrats on the Bailout?

The theory being put forth is that the GOP is going to get the Democrat-controlled house to cooperate with Bush on the "emergency, must-do-now" bailout, then have McCain use this as a cyncial wedge issue to demonstrate his "maverickitude":

Think of this as like one of those periodic votes on raising the public debt limit. It has to pass, of course, but there's zero percentage in supporting it for any one individual. The speculative costs of the legislation actually failing are completely intangible and ultimately irrelevant, while the costs it will impose are tangible and controversial from almost every point of view. For McCain and other Republicans, voting "no" on Paulson without accepting the consequences of that vote is the political equivalent of a bottomless crack pipe: it will please the conservative "base," distance them from both Bush and "Washington," and let them indulge in both anti-government and anti-corporate demagoguery, even as Democrats bail out their Wall Street friends and big investors generally. You simply can't imagine a better way for McCain to decisively reinforce his simultaneous efforts to pander to the "base" while posing as a "maverick."

Democrats are right to demand significant substantive concessions before offering their support for the Paulson Plan. But just as importantly, they need to demand Republican votes in Congress, including the vote of John McCain. If this is going to be a "bipartisan" relief plan, it has to be fully bipartisan, not an opportunity for McCain to count on Obama and other Democrats to save the economy while exploiting their sense of responsibility to win the election for the party that let this crisis occur in the first place.

The Democrats do have a history of being sufficiently politically inept as to fall for this sort of thing.


weav said...

Yeah, thats just the kind of underhanded trick I expect from them. Don't see a good way to avoid it and save the economy though. Vote No you destroyed the bailouts, Vote Yes and repubs get to claim they were against unpopular bailouts. Sigh...

rewinn said...

"Give me ONE TRILLION DOLLARS! or your economy DIES!

"And no oversight!


The Bush Crime Family thinks they've got us in a hostage situation. Anyway sheriff Obama plays it, they win something.

If we pay up, the Family has crippled our ability to fix our great nation: $10 Trillion in debt and counting!

If we don't pay up, the Family blames us for whatever happens next.