Liberalism Demands Responsible, Accountable Governance

by tristero

Krugman, a moderate liberal, urges caution and reason, not panic. Unlike conservatives, who do nothing but panic, whether it's a terrorist attack, a financial crisis, an employee wishing them "Happy Holidays", or lipstick on a pig:
Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a “clean” plan. “Clean,” in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached — no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.

I’m aware that Congress is under enormous pressure to agree to the Paulson plan in the next few days, with at most a few modifications that make it slightly less bad. Basically, after having spent a year and a half telling everyone that things were under control, the Bush administration says that the sky is falling, and that to save the world we have to do exactly what it says now now now.

But I’d urge Congress to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to seriously rework the structure of the plan, making it a plan that addresses the real problem. Don’t let yourself be railroaded — if this plan goes through in anything like its current form, we’ll all be very sorry in the not-too-distant future.
Fortunately, it looks like Democratic congresscritters may actually agree. Today's the day to call your particular clutch of critters and demand, "No blank check for the Bush administration."

UPDATE: In comments, Doug makes an important, additional point. It is the Republicans that are loading this bill, not Democrats.
Paulson demands a 'clean' bill. Boehner carries the same water in warning that the American people will not stand for loading up this bill in this time of emergency.

Horse puckey. Over the weekend, foreign banks and others sent armies of lobbyists to Washington to ask for -- and they received -- an expanded list of assets purchasable by Paulson. Now, in addition to mortgage-related securities, Paulson's 'clean bill' would authorize him to use taxpayer money to acquire any security of any type.

This, Congressman Boehner, is what is called LOADING up a bill in a time of crisis. This Secretary Paulson is what is called 'dirtying up" a bill.

Every one of the bloggers in this network -- tristero, digby, atrios, josh marshall, kos and others -- and every single journalist like Krugman who actually cares about resolving this mess needs to IMMEDIATELY change the frame of this Republican assault on those who would refuse to give a blank check. The Republicans and their lobbyists from the capital markets are the ones LOADING up this bill in a time of crisis. They just can't help themselves. There's money to be made out of misery and they are darned sure they want to be first in line.
UPDATE: I'll add to Doug's remarks that it appears that the Republican loading is coming directly from Phil Gramm, a close economic adviser-in-all-but-name for St. John McCain.

UPDATE: Glenn notes that the right also has problems with Cash for Trash and that the Democrats can be reliably counted do absolutely nothing:
Right-wing opposition to the Paulson plan is vital for having any meaningful chance to stop it. Does anyone have any confidence at all in the Democrats' willingness and/or ability to impede this bailout train if the Bush administration and the Right were vigorously behind it, warning the nation of impending doom unless we submit to vast, unchecked government power of the type Henry Paulson is demanding? The instances of complete Democratic acquiescence under those circumstances -- including when they 'controlled' the Congress -- are far too numerous to allow any rational person to think Democrats, standing alone, would stop the Paulson plan. As sad as it is, meaningful right-wing opposition is critical for that to happen.