I’m sure that many of my fellow New York Times readers shared my same level of confusion this morning when they opened to the op-ed page, and found that Paul Krugman and Bill Kristol had authored practically identical columns, both criticizing the Bush administration and its proposed bailout plan — a plan which I have yet to read a positive review of. It’s hard to imagine the two men ever seeing eye to eye on a single issue, even for half a sentence, and yet their columns are interchangeable. Neither man is happy with the bailout plan, and rightfully so. The plan seems almost comically Bushy, with the whole “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency,” part standing out as particularly farcical. Seriously, read the whole thing here. It couldn’t be designed to be disliked any better.
That makes me very suspicious. Bush is well aware of his unpopularity (his approval rating is currently 19%) and how it is seriously stifling Republican ambition during the current electoral cycle. He’s a weight that burdens every single Republican congressman and senator seeking re-election, and is especially burdensome to a certain senator who is working hard to get a big time promotion, but happened to vote with him over 90% of the time.
And so, quite predictably (and quite conveniently) that certain senator has said he is “deeply uncomfortable” with the bailout. Again, this seems reasonable enough. The bailout plan is apparently retarded… But is it retarded on purpose? Is it authored in such a way, and at such a convenient time of year, that it will give all Republicans an easy issue to cry fowl about and to buck their President over? One right-wing opportunist sees it as exactly that:
Republican incumbents in close races have the easiest vote of their lives coming up this week: No on the Bush-Pelosi Wall Street bailout.
God Himself couldn’t have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. That’s why I want to see 40 Republican No votes in the Senate, and 150+ in the House. If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say “No” and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress.
The fuckedest part is how easy a layup this will be for every single slimy, conscience lacking, worst-president-ever enabling jerk off with a side-part in Washington. The issue is waaaaay too complicated, even for educated, above average Americans to wrap their heads around. Just the same way that “Drill Here, Drill Now” has become a winning slogan for absolutely no logical reason, all these assholes have to do is keep saying Bush and Pelosi and NO WAY in the same angry breath, and we’ll eat that shit up like candy out of thier white, sweaty, cynical hands. Do they care about a solution? Of course not! They’re the problem! They only care about two things: winning and power. And they just cooked up a decadent recipe for success, and we might all be fucked because of it.