Conservatives and Bailouts
Regarding the TARP program, Matthew Yglesias makes a comment about conservatives that really isn’t fair:
But Romney aside, it’s striking to see the number of conservatives who’ve decided that an initiative proposed by George W. Bush and Hank Paulson and endorsed by the GOP congressional leadership was and is secretly some socialist plot. Similarly with the idea that Ben Bernanke, former Bush administration official, is running some sort of rogue left-wing operation at the Fed.
You know, October 2008 wasn’t that long ago and I remember that the biggest obstacles to TARP’s passage were the left-wing Democrats (Schumer and Dodd, particularly–I remember being absolutely stunned that Chuck Schumer met a government proposal that he didn’t like, and managed to ask pertinent questions of Paulson without grandstanding) and, of course, the most conservative GOP members of the House, who absolutely revolted over TARP. Sure, there weren’t huge protests against President Bush or anything, but TARP was pretty much always opposed by the mainstream conservative base.
I really do wish that Yglesias was back at The Atlantic–much of his content hasn’t changed since he moved over to ThinkProgress, but his analysis of the political facts on the ground (vs. policy discussion) has been lacking since his move.