Thursday, September 25, 2008

In a time of crisis, aren't we lucky to have a president who makes his "rescue" plan "sound less important than a Liquid-Plumr commerical"?


“Following Sept. 11, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now,” he said.

In deference to the current emergency, we will refrain from pointing out that when our national leaders came together following Sept. 11, the results were, all and all, worse than if they had stayed home.

-- Gail Collins, in her NYT column today, "Bring On the Rubber Chicken"

by Ken

Now that the handling of the financial mess has devolved into one of our periodic Federal Dog-and-Pony Shows, with a cast of the sorriest-ass dogs and ponies you'll see anywhere, I've been happy to leave the task of keeping up with it to Howie. It's been quite a spectacle, not least thanks to the Bush regime commandos threatening to drive us into disaster if we don't deliver the ransom money in exactly the way Commandant Paulson called for it)

As the dust settles, even though the Democratic congressional leadership, especially in the House, doesn't seem to get it (and this, I'm afraid, means you, Barney Frank), a consensus is forming among the smart people that the Paulson plan, which at three pages (with almost no detail except that famous Section 8 grant of uncheckable authority to the Hankster) is apparently too long for Young Johnny McCranky to have read before launching his one-geezer crusade to solve the problem) is pretty clear that this plan not only is unnecessary but in all likelihood isn't going to achieve its stated goals.

By "smart people," by the way, I mean the ones who saw this mess coming, not to be confused with the ones who didn't, and in their various ways helped ensure that it would happen, and yet are by some curious miracle the people designated to lead us out of it. At the same time, it seems clear that we're going to get some version of this monstrous boondoggle, a parting crony-to-cronies gift from the dying Bush regime.

At a moment like this, the special voice of Gail Collins can be the sweetest call to sanity -- of some queasy sort. If you haven't read her column today, you owe it to yourself. It's the closest you're going to get to comic relief.

Let me get you started:
How do you think the besieged financial community felt when the White House announced that George W. Bush was going to address the nation on television Wednesday night?

Hopeful? Terrified?

“We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” the president said, reading his lines flatly and stolidly, like an announcer delivering a long public-service message about new parking regulations for the holiday season. The whole event had a kind of unreality to it, since Bush has arrived at that unhappy point in American public life when a famous person begins to look like a celebrity impersonator.

There is, in a way, a kind of talent required to tell the nation that it’s teetering on the brink of disaster in a way that makes the viewers’ attention wander. Bush’s explanation about how the rescue bill would unclog the lines of credit made the whole thing sound less important than a Liquid-Plumr commercial.

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