Rejection of a President
I’m not as positive as the majority of critics this morning that delaying the bailout is a seriously bad thing. But has there ever been a crisis in which a president was more irrelevant? As Dan Froomkin put it, you can ”put a fork” in George Bush now. I find that an ugly image, even for a politician I dislike, but the Republicans' rejection of their former master was even ruder.
Bush has earned this rejection. The bailout as originally proposed had the primary earmark of any major Bush Administration response to a crisis—the aggrandizement of presidential power with no pretense of restraint. Only this time, he failed to reckon with bi-partisan anger with his bumbling and scheming and with the Republican recognition—at last-- than Bush’s long-term efforts have been to strengthen the national government at the expense of Congress, the states, and the individual.
From the Democratic standpoint, Secretary Paulsen’s belated willingness to accept limitations on executive compensation got him some votes. But his original insistence that the only people who would not pay would be the people who did most to create the crisis helped spark the popular opposition that pushed a majority of Republicans and a significant number of Democrats to still just say no.
PS (10/1) An intrguing alternative approach to address the crisis.
Mike A Mainello - 10/1/2008
In 2003 President Bush requested that the congress pass regulation for increased regulation. See the New York Times article below.
It is easy to say he had control of the house and senate, but it was a very slim majority.
Also, why are both houses not holding hearings on Freddie and Fannie? Do you think that some of Senator Barry O's advisers would be called along with current members of the house - Rep Emmanuel - along with other former Clinton members.
Any person with an opinion could be called a partisan. Dr Sowell may be a conservative, but his thought process is consistent and not driven by blind partisanship, unlike Paul Krugman (former Enron adviser). He will take any stand he is asked to that supports the Democrat party.
Lastly this has become a crisis because of Democratic foot dragging and pandering to their base. If they would have approached this like adults even in the last 2 years (when they had control) then this would not be a crisis. The same thing will probably happen with Social Security and Medicare.
Oscar Chamberlain - 10/1/2008
I know of Sowell: he is deeply partisan. I would not expect him to be any more objective than, say, Sean Wilentz is.
George Bush had a Republican Congress at his beck and call for six years. You have shown me strong evidence that some Republican politicians and administrators would have tighted regulation, but I have seen little to suggest that Bush backed these people with any seriousness.
To say that Democrats are blameless is also absurd.
As for the vote against the proposal on Monday, I am more than a bit sympathetic toward it. It's not that I have a theoretical objection to a big government solutions (I am a Democrat after all), but I thought that many of the Reupblicans (and some Democrats) were right that the proposal was too broad and too shaky.
And if this is being closed minded, then I guess I am closed minded.
Mike A Mainello - 9/30/2008
Well, I guess it was too much to ask for a history teacher to be non-partisan or as a minimum, open minded.
Here is an article from a fellow academic, a PHD in Economics no less.
What you witnessed with the rejection of the bailout, was that republicans think more about the people than the politics.
This is a democrat caused problem and they need to pay politically for hurting out country.