Monday, March 09, 2009
A Lesson in Politics
With John McCain prevaricating that Obama bailed out GM and Chrysler last December, rather than letting those companies fail, and now insisting that some of the nation's biggest banks should be permitted to fail, it's easy to see the future they anticipate:
They picture the nation, eighteen months from now, continuing to struggle with a recession while GM, Chrysler and the big banks continue to falter.
They intend to premise the Republican Party's 2010 Congressional and Senate campaigns on the theory that Obama's "big government bailout plans" have prolonged the recession, while frittering away hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on protecting companies from the realities of the marketplace.
Does it matter that G.W. did the same thing? That some of them supported the same ideas when they were coming from G.W.? Not one little bit, as should be more than evident from McCain's misrepresentations on the auto industry bailout.
Obama can take the ground out from under that strategy by... succeeding. If his team of financial wizards haven't implemented successful policies on the auto makers and financial industry by the end of 2010, it will be a fair criticism.
Update: David M. Smick explains why the current Geithner approach won't work and why, ultimately, this may cost taxpayers another $2 trillion or so, no doubt as bankers continue to snicker at us and take huge bonuses. Smick unnecessarily snipes, "Pity Barack Obama's economic advisers. The blogs are now demanding their scalps" - more correctly, bloggers (and I think here in a manner representative of the country) want to know Geithner's solution and how much he thinks the bailout will cost. His evasions are deserving of scorn. And even Atrios has noted that, although a lot of attention is presently directed at Geithner, nobody's forgotten who his boss is.