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Hullabaloo


Thursday, September 25, 2008

 
Warrior Negotiator

by dday

It's very hard to get the lay of the land on this bailout, but this looks to me like what happened today.

• After several hours of talks, Democrats and Senate Republicans reached something approaching a deal on at least principles, without specifics. House Republicans, particularly the rank and file, were never on board.

• The deal met virtually every priority John McCain had been promoting all week, but once he got to Washington, he met with John Boehner, came out and changed his tune.

• The White House meeting was a disaster, as Boehner announced his caucus was not on board, McCain blathered away with some gibberish, floating a new plan, and no agreement was made.

• All of a sudden, House conservatives started passing along that new proposal McCain was touting, which amounted to a conservative wish list for, get this, even LESS regulation and lower taxes to spur private investment in the market. If there's anything that private investors want, it's to buy worthless securities and cross their fingers, hoping they'll somehow go up in the future, right?

• McCain hasn't said yes to anyone but he's clearly weighing the political pros and cons right now. If he goes against House Republicans he's stabbed the base in the back. If he goes with them he scuttles the deal and may get the blame for the economic pain to come. Country first. Chris Dodd basically said that McCain blew up the deal.

• Meanwhile, he's being hammered for the "suspending the campaign" gambit while his presence clearly helped push the Congress away from compromise today. Barbara Boxer said he's crawling into a corner with his blanket. Brad Woodhouse noted correctly that he hasn't actually suspended the campaign.

This has clearly been politicized by Republicans, and I don't see the endgame for them. McCain is trying to be at the forefront of history and thinks the world revolves around him, but clearly his presence was harmful to the process. But it's not like it would have been smooth sailing if he wasn't there, either. Stoller is right on this.

The end result of this should be that this is impossible to do in the current environment, and it always was, given that we're 40 days out from an election, and nothing more should be done than a temporary bridge loan to get us to Inauguration Day. The people can decide on the best practice after that.

...oh, and in case you want to play how did we get here...

President Bush chimed in, "If money isn't loosened, this sucker could go down" -- and by sucker he meant economy.


Yeah, I wonder how that could be?


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