Chuck Schumer Makes Sense; Heads Explode
Ladies and Gentlemen, for your amazement, I present to you the rare and unusual sight of Chuck Schumer, making sense, refusing to grandstand, and offering pertinent, decent questions of Henry Paulson with regard to the proposed bailout. Yes, I was surprised, too.
It was something to see. Really. And more to the point, this seems like a damn fine question to me. Why isn’t this a viable option? As Matthew Yglesias notes, we are faced now with two options:
1. If we do absolutely nothing in response to the current situation, terrible things will happen.
2. Unless we do exactly what Hank Paulson proposed over the weekend, terrible things will happen.
These are, clearly, very different claims. And (1), while perhaps open to debate, is a lot more plausible than (2). But proponents of the Paulson Plan have an obligation to either make the case for (2), or else to canvass some alternative ways of doing (1) and explain in clear terms why the Paulson Plan is superior to other alternatives. Merely citing the urgent need for action is a transparent effort to foreclose debate.
No arguments from me on that point.