My initial thoughts were that this economic meltdown couldn't have come at a better time for Obama—or more precisely—a worse time for McCain. I read the unanimous rejection of the Bush Bailout Plan by anyone with a brain. I saw some more palatable plans suggested (see below). But the one post I read that is really sticking with me is this one at Hullaballo, wherein Digby directs us to a possible GOP jujitsu move:
Republican incumbents in close races have the easiest vote of their lives coming up this week: No on the Bush-Pelosi Wall Street bailout.
God Himself couldn't have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. ...Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say "No" and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress...
And it will work, too. These GOP cocksuckers threw open the vaults and let their buddies ransack the economy for eight years, and now, just as the scope of the theft is uncovered, and the Dems step in to re-lock the door, the GOP shouts "Look!" and pins it all on them.
And nobody is better poised to work this angle than McCain—he can demagogue the shit out of this: Pander to conservatives by "standing up to" the spending, play anti-government and anti-corporate "maverick" by bucking Bush on the issue, and at the same time he can blame the Democratic majority for passing the massive giveaway.
There is not a question in my mind that this could play out that way and not just cost Obama the election, but have an impact on the Congress.
Perfectly timed, no? And the last several years show that the Democrats are all to willing to try and kick the football every time Lucy tees it up.
There is a way around this...overwhelming opposition to Paulson's plan, and crafting one along the lines of Dodd's but with more than a five-man oversight panel. They need MAJOR regulatory reforms, and punitive measures. And as Ed Kilgore notes:
Democrats are right to demand significant substantive concessions before offering their support for the Paulson Plan. But just as importantly, they need to demand Republican votes in Congress, including the vote of John McCain. If this is going to be a "bipartisan" relief plan, it has to be fully bipartisan, not an opportunity for McCain to count on Obama and other Democrats to save the economy while exploiting their sense of responsibility to win the election for the party that let this crisis occur in the first place.
Kilgore's right, this plan only works if the Democrats inoculate themselves by making sure it's bipartisan. Bring it to the floor, and make the Republicans, starting with McCain, vote "yea" first.
UPDATE: Kleimann climbs onboard:
And — this is the part I didn't guess up front — the Democrats don't trust the Republicans not to double-cross them by allowing a bailout to pass (thus satisfying the Republicans' paymasters) while mostly voting against "the Bush-Pelosi bailout" and running as populists.
[...] At minimum, Harry Reid should announce right now that no bill will reach the Senate floor unless both Presidential candidates have signed on as sponsors.
Too bad Harry Reid has never shown the strategy or stones to pull that off.