Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Democrats Must Pass The Bailout Plan, On Their Own If Necessary

John McCain has said before that he'd rather win a war than a Presidential election. And he's all but said that Barack Obama is willing to lose a war if it means being elected President. With House Republicans and Senator McCain killing any hope of saving this nation's economy from almost certain catastrophe (and after reading and listening to some of the smartest minds in the world discuss what might happen if this deal doesn't get done, catastrophe is no overstatement), the Democrats must save this country's financial system. There are enough votes in the Senate to pass a bailout plan. There are enough votes in the House to pass a bailout plan. And the President is prepared to sign a bailout plan. The only thing standing in the way other than John McCain? Politics.

See, Democrats want to pass the bailout and save the country's financial system from ruin. But, the plan, no thanks to an unpopular President with next to no credibility and no ability to convince the American people of anything, has been completely botched in its presentation to the American people. Is it bailing out Wall Street? Absolutely. But, that doesn't mean the plan is helping out risky executives while leaving American taxpayers out in the cold. It's bailing out Wall Street to get credit moving again and to get banks lending again and to stop businesses from failing, banks from closing, and people in their homes. And it's not "spending" $700 billion. It's investing it, in assets which should eventually turn a profit for the country. Is it a risk? Yes. But, unless we enter a second Great Depression, we won't lose everything. But the American people don't understand that, and they either don't understand the bailout or viscerally oppose it, in large part because they don't understand the consequences of not supporting it.

So why won't the Democrats pass the bailout and save the world? Because they are afraid it won't work. And because the plan has been so mis-sold, and is so unpopular, the Democrats are afraid to go it alone. Well, sometimes, you have to lose an election to win a war. Sometimes you have to make a decision you know is right even if it's unpopular.

Screw the House Republicans. They were never on board to begin with and they likely never were going to be. And don't you dare let John McCain, in a disgustingly partisan press release blame Senator Obama for the breakdown in negotiations. Had John McCain not shown up in Washington, this deal may have been done by now. Instead, it's a boondoggle threatening the world economy. Because John McCain wanted to look "Presidential" because his campaign was failing. Yeah, he really puts "Country First."

Pass the plan tomorrow without the House Republicans. Save the country worry about the politics later. If the Democrats have the votes, and they are afraid to exercise them because the Republicans won't give them cover, then everyone involved deserves blame. Saving our economy should come first, even if that means going it alone.

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