The bottom line is it may be impossible for 150 Republicans in the House and 40 in the senate to vote "No" on this bizarre bailout bill.
Evidently Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are making clear: No bipartisan cover, no bailout.
As we learned from the 1995 government shutdown, the press can and will blame Republicans for bad consequences, and provide no credit at all for showing any principles. (indeed, a lack of principles is how a Republican tends to get good press).
It's still a miserable deal, since we can be damm sure the Democrats will hang this on any Republican "aye" vote for years, while their people skulk away. and why not--no one on their side took any responsibility for the mess
So, my suggestions is we ask for our own cover.
Some prominent Democrats must demonstrate a level of responsibility for this disaster before Republicans allow themselves to be roped into looking like die hard Dubya loyalists.
The quid: The chairman of the Senate and House Banking Committees---Chris Dodd and Barney Frank--must relinquish their chairmanships as a condition for Republican yes votes on the bailouts.
And there's a completely nonpartisan reason for demanding this. In 2009 we will have a new President and a new Secretary of the Treasury. The executive branch will have fresh blood who did not create this debacle (perhaps they ignored it, but...whatever)
The people who are hopelessly compromised by their roles in Congress must step aside as well to demonstrate to America that people on Capitol Hill get the same message
Everyone---both parties---both branches of government---is going out the door who "managed" the banking system.
For equity's sake, we can have the ranking Republicans on each committee quit too.
America needs a fresh set of folks who will have the responsiblity for getting ourselves out of this mess. It can;t be the same people who created the mess. They now have zero credibility.
And America deserves both parties accepting a share of the blame for what went wrong.
Are the egos of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank more important than our economy's future?
As Spike Lee said, Do the Right Thing