Partly, I have been watching this economic nightmare, as have, I am sure, most of you. My initial response was relief that the government was going to step in. I truly feared, with faith-based policies like we have seen in the past, some kind of Hooverian "the market will work itself out" response. I am pleasantly gratified that Bush recognizes the gravity of the situation. He still isn't willing to acknowledge his own participation in that situation, but after 8 years, I have come to expect that.
I am also gratified that Congress is at least talking about challenging the "blank check" portion of this bailout. As Paul Krugman noted, the rhetoric over the weekend resembled very closely how this administration approached the war in Iraq: "just trust us, or you will die." That is wearing thin.
This morning's NYTimes suggests that Democrats (and even some Republicans) are standing up. Harry Reid said that Senate Dems were ready to move quickly, but
“We’ll respond with the urgency of action that this situation demands, but after eight years of fiscal dereliction of duty, it’s time for accountability.
It is my hope that the outcome of this will be more than a restructuring of our banking system, but a fundamental shift from blaming government for all our ills. Reagan's charge that government was "the problem" is the juvenile rantings of the Republican party--kind of like the kid who blames all his problems on his parents or teachers. Grownups can (usually) see nuance and realize the benefits and potential of government to provide reasonable regulation and oversight. This attack on government fundamentally forgets our basic American political philosophy--that we ARE the government.
But Republicans will continue to be a problem, I am sure. Read the NY Times story and tell me that Mitch McConnell is not an idiot. The same people who gutted our regulations and proclaimed the magical genius of the free market are now demanding a blank check for the government and no questions.
Time for a change. Hell, long past time.