Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Politics of the Bailout

If there's one thing the Republicans are good at, it's simplifying (read: dumbing down) very complex concepts in order to make their solutions seem as though they follow logically in the eyes of the average voter.

It doesn't take a genius to see that if the Democrats opposed the bailout, the John McCains and Sarah Palins of the world would talk about how the Democrats are playing partisan politics in a time of crisis.

Oh those Democrats, they want to surrender to the terrorists and want to make sure that the economy doesn't get better, so you have to pay higher gas prices, but we're not going to let them do that to you!

A lot of Democrats (especially the netroots) are taking the opportunity to point out the failure of Republican voo-doo economics, pointing out how this bailout betrays core conservative philosophies of government non-interference. Yes, it's true.

Here's the thing: calling Republicans hypocrites actually sort of works in their favor right about now. Republicans get to claim that they're putting their precious ideology on the back burner for the sake of the American people. Because, you know, they're such mavericks.

Politically, Democrats must support the bailout. Of course, I don't like the idea of giving Bush and Co. a blank check for a problem they helped create. However, explaining to the American people that the real underlying causes of this current crisis is due to deregulation and Alan Greenspan's reign, or that Iraq has weakened our capability (from a economic, political, and strategic standpoint) to fix our problems, isn't really a winning strategy.

It's not very forward looking, and the American people are looking for more leadership than a bunch of losers wagging their fingers, claiming "I told ya so."

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