The Mother of All Excuses
Noted economist Paul Krugman, 10:44 a.m. today:
But putting myself in Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi’s shoes, I’d look at it this way: the Democrats could start over, with a bailout plan that is, say, centered on purchases of preferred stock and takeovers of failing firms — basically, a plan clearly focused on recapitalizing the financial sector, with nationalization where necessary. That’s what the plan should have looked like.
Maybe such a plan would have passed Congress; and maybe, just maybe Bush would have signed on; Paulson is certainly desperate for a deal.
But such a plan would have had next to no Republican votes — and the Republicans would have demagogued against it full tilt. And the Democratic leadership cannot, cannot, be seen to have sole ownership of this stuff.
So Republican demagoguery, in prospect, is sufficient for the majority Democrats to 1) to refuse to do something intelligent (at thought by Professor Krugman), and 2) to refuse to do something incredibly valuable for the country?
This beats the current record-holder, a student who had five grandmothers die in a ten day period, by a mile.