As for the bailout ... I would still vote no, absent a serious move to make the bill more free-market oriented, i.e., loans to troubled financial institutions instead of government ownership of assets or an insurance plan.
I see the Senate has added tax breaks to their proposal to sweeten the deal. Expect the measure to make it through the Senate. Courage is in short supply there, rather, acting on the voters' wishes is in short supply because only one-third of them face the music every two years. But don't spending bills have to originate in the House? Never mind ... I forgot that's the irrelevant and arcane application of the Constitution.
In the House, the voters structurally have more say. All you need to know about the bailout is that basically every House member that is in a tight re-election race voted "No". Wait, there's one more thing -- Obama's for it ... now, he is. What he is for is getting political credit, and he thinks something will pass this week.
Obama is to respected, if only for the fact that he campaigns like the first black president -- who incidentally this week blamed Demos for refusing tighter regulations on Fannie and Freddie that led to the current mess. Interesting. Clinton appears to be increasing his "campaigning" in this race, now that O-Vapid has opened up a little lead. The Clintons will leave nothing to chance.
McCain, meanwhile, is for "bi-partisanship." Please. That begs the question about what we are committed to work on together. I haven't yet been persuaded that the Paulson Plan and its variations are going to prevent the sky from caving in, or even that it is a worthy endeavor in the first place. Aren't we about a week after D-Day, any way? In my world, people who are asking for $700B and a large stake in the American mortgage industry have the burden of proof, and it's a high one.
Here's what I suggest for McCain and Co.: Let the Senate and the House Demos pass what they are willing to pass. Pelosi has enough Demos to do the trick, so let her go for it. Chastise the hell out of her for not leading and getting her Demos in line. McCain should oppose the plan, on the principle that this bailout pretty much stands as an antithesis for all he has claimed to stake his political career on ... except for Blessed Bipartisanship.
Let the Demos take credit for this plan, thus, we'll have a coalition of Demos and Bush. The Candidate of Change sides with Bush and McCain sides with us. Now, there's a story. There's the election. Can you imagine the next two presidential debates as McCain hammers Obama for voting for the Bush bailout ... and then Obama tries to break out that 90%-with-Bush nonsense (McCain only sided with Bush when it wasn't a big deal)? McCain says, "There you go again. I oppose Pres. Bush on principle and on weighty matters, and you side with him for political purposes. The American people rightfully and deeply distrust this bailout, and we will reap the consequences for many years. You have shown you are not ready to be president."
But alas, it appears McCain has sided with Blessed Bi-Partisanship. Put your hand over your heart when you read that, understand? You ideological miscreants who put country ahead of getting along, you.
Speaking of the election and letting things happen ... Let Sarah be herself tomorrow night, and she'll likely wipe the floor with Biden. You know and I know that Sarah doesn't wake up in the a.m. filling her lungs with the fresh air of Blessed Bipartisanship and extolling the virtues of Democrats. She would field-dress 'em, if she could.
I pause for a moment for a quick word for the Washington-NY conservative intelligentsia set which is now expressing doubts about the Palin pick, arguing that she is "out of her league", "unprepared", "should withdraw", etc.
You want to know what the "Smart Set's" problem with Palin is? You ready? They don't think she's ready because she's a conservative Christian. They are uneasy with Palin's faith, which should make us uneasy with a lot of them. Funny, how these same people can put faith in the government bailout plan and chastise fellow conservatives for being skeptical of Paulson and Co., but are at the same time skeptical of people who place their faith in God.
Bottom line: McCain's Nervous Nellies who have been reining Sarah in need to let that girl run. Bail her out. Bail her out of this "bipartisan" straight jacket so she can speak freely call Obama-Biden on the carpet. If they free her, she'll run all over Joe like a herd of caribou, and she will filet Obama like a freshly-caught Alaskan salmon, all while the nation watches. And there will be a huge audience, too.
In all this talk of experience, many have lost sight of the fact that Palin's got something that Obama and Biden lack -- character. Thus, if she is free to speak her mind, this puts Biden in a perilous position.