Not Washington ... me. Just kidding. Most Americans intuitively know they don't need the feds to bail them out. They just need the feds to move "out the way".
Quick hits on the bailout:
My position: Opposed. Strongly so. We should pursue an an approach along the lines of that advocated by House Republicans (that is, where the government becomes lender, rather than owner, and the taxpayer can be paid back with interest from loans as they perform). This seems to be a sound approach. The Paulson plan is very troubling, and on many levels -- i.e., the rush to passage, the government confiscation of a huge sector of the American economy, and the demand that we minions accept the $700 billion approximation of the problem without question or amendment.
Republicans' and McCain's performance: Excellent, so far. I admit that I thought it was a bad idea for McCain to pull out of tonight's debate and go to Washington. In retrospect, that decision is looking better. Republicans (in particular in the House) pulled the rug out from the Demos yesterday. Demos pretended like they had a deal before McCain got to Washington. Then, all hell broke loose. Frankly, it was good to see. I am also taking some perverse pleasure in watching Congress have to do something substantive right on the eve of the election.
Their shock collars are on, and it's funny to watch them hit us voters at the fence.
Keep in mind, too, that a lot of these Demos -- Dodd, Frank, Obama, et al. -- are hip-deep in Fannie Mae money and mess. Indeed, you can trace a lot of this debacle back to the Demos' refusal to accept tighter controls on the loose money practices of Fannie/Freddie, and the reckless loans that were backed and spawned. As the dust settles, there will be likely be more focus here.
Outlook: Yesterday, before the Republicans turned this thing over, I was thinking we should just replace 90% of Congress every two years, regardless of person and party. Today, I am again reminded that there are indeed differences between the Republicans and Democrats, and these differences matter. This is especially so in the House, where Republican congressmen face the music every two years.
Here is all you need to know about what the country thinks and whether the Republicans are pursuing a wise strategy in demanding changes to the Paulson Plan: Demos have the votes to pass this. But they want Republicans to go along for political cover. I read that one Demo congressman in Pennsylvania reported that calls on the plan were running 50-50 -- 50% of constituents were saying "No!" and 50% were saying "Hell no!"
I hope you have noticed the exquisite irony of Demos begging Republicans to go along with Pres. Bush's Treasury Secretary, who is apparently begging Nancy Pelosi to go along with him.
McCain might have lost some ground in the short-run here, but he is setting himself (and Republicans in Congress) for a surprisingly-good Nov. 4. Demos need Republicans to vote with them on whatever plan is adopted, and Republicans are proposing changes that the public will support. In the meanwhile, Demos are aligned with Pres. Bush and Republicans are opposing him. Some weird Jedi mind trick must be at work. Has any one seen Karl Rove lately?
Barney Frank is apoplectic, so you know something good is happening.