Monday, September 22, 2008

The Politics of Crisis (w/update)

Let me start off by saying that if you haven't read this over at Daily Kos-- you should. Not only does it brilliantly set the stage for a much larger debate, but it draws from the muck some important political realities all voters should be aware of. As such here's my take:

Giving the treasury secretary $700 billion in unfettered non-reviewable money is brash and irresponsible. Not only is the Bush administration taking advantage of "its a time of crisis we need to do something now" ideology, but they are doing so with clear partisan political intent. I mean this whole ordeal stinks of politics. And I am not referring to the past politics of deregulation, but more to the effect of an administration who has proven incapable of handling anything, and now insists on splitting ways with party faithful to push a lousy bailout through congress– all in the name of economic survival. This thing is going to come back to bite Democrats one way or another, and you can be sure Bush and his cronies will be in the background laughing when it does.

But as luck(?) would have it, its the Democratically controlled Congress that will have the final say on any bailout plan. And to say their leadership and backbone have been MIA thus far is a drastic understatement. As Devilstower reminds us:
This is enemy action. This is a bullet deliberately fired into the economy by men willing to exercise their ideology regardless of the cost to taxpayers. Men who have every expectation that they can plunder the system again and again, while the public picks up the tab. John McCain may not have had his finger directly on the trigger, but he was there. He assisted. These were his personal friends and philosophical comrades. He may not be the high priest, but he has been a loyal acolyte in the cult of deregulation.

It may come as a surprise to the champions of deregulation, but nobody likes regulation. The restrictions that were placed on banks, S&Ls, and other institutions in the 1930s weren't put there because someone thought it would be fun. They were put in place because they addressed problems that had just been clearly and painfully revealed. They were put in place because they were necessary.

It's bad enough if John McCain didn't know that. It's far worse if he did.
Its time for Democrats to stand up and lead. No more bipartisan press releases. No more ambiguous analogies expressing a shared desire to fix the problem. Its time for someone to step and offer up a responsible alternative to the Bush proposal.

Am I wrong or is this not the perfect opportunity for Barack Obama to deliver his knockout blow?

Update 1:12 am: This is the kind of initiative I am talking about. I knew there was a reason I liked Dodd so much during the primaries-- his consistency to lead from the left should be noted by the Obama campaign.

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