If the GOP supports this ridiculous bailout plan, so be it, but understand two things: Number One, I don’t give a d*mn how many 10 million dollar earmarks you oppose, there is no such thing as a fiscal conservative who supports throwing 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money down a rathole in a socialistic government bailout — especially after the other bailouts have failed. Don’t tell me that the same guys who said the other bailouts would fix our problems — and were one hundred percent wrong — probably aren’t entirely wrong yet again when they say the country is going down the tubes if this bailout doesn’t happen. They were egregiously wrong then, so why should we believe them now? Let me tell you straight out: I don’t believe them and I don’t support this bailout.
Number Two, let me make another prediction: if a bailout plan of that size is passed, the Democrats will turn on the plan five minutes after they vote for it and blame the Republicans for it. Since Bush is behind the plan, their attacks will resonate with the American people. Additionally, large chunks of the GOP’s base will be furious over the deal, too, with good reason — and it will likely wreck John McCain’s chances of winning the election.
In other words, if John McCain supports throwing away 700 billion dollars on this socialistic scheme, his credibility as a fiscal conservative is going to take a huge hit. Since that’s the key to his appeal with conservatives who don’t agree with him on a lot of other issues, I don’t see how he goes on to win the election if his hard earned rep is irreparably damaged by backing this bailout.
PS: Just as a side note, I actually had someone with ties to the GOP in Congress (Yes, I am being deliberately vague) ask me yesterday what the general reaction to the bailout is in the blogosphere and how it would play out if they went through with it.
I told that person it would be a political disaster and that they should protect the taxpayers (and themselves) by shooting for something much smaller and more tentative. After that, they should punt and allow the next Congress to step in and deal with it after a little more time has passed to reflect on the best way to deal with the situation.
Alternately, I suggested that they allow the Democrats, who are in charge in Congress and created this problem with their policies, to come up with their own plan. It makes no sense for the minority party, that didn’t cause this mess in the first place, to take the lead on fixing this issue when they are only going to get sandbagged by the Democrats and the media for their efforts. Let Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama come up with something and let’s go from there instead of having the Republicans lead with their chins once again.
Incidentally, I was happy that someone up there wanted my advice, but I find that they never, ever listen to any of it.
PS #2: If the history of government intervention in this country has taught us anything, it’s that we should be much more afraid of the long term ramifications of the government rushing through an emergency “solution” to a problem than the actual problem the government is trying to “solve” in the first place.
PS #3: Yesterday, I wrote a post called The Bailout Is In Big Trouble. That may turn out to be wrong for the reason I am usually wrong when I incorrectly evaluate political maneuvering: the Republicans may do something so mind blowingly stupid that goes completely against their best political interests.