Bush has located his WMDs. Turns out they were on Wall Street. To save the nation from the ticking timebombs, Worst President Ever is now playing chicken with a Dem congress in pursuit of extraordinary powers. Yglesias surveys the stakes:
The CrisisBarack Obama, prepare to be drowned in a bathtub.
I'm blogging under the influence, so perhaps things aren't quite as dramatic as they seem to me right now, but the bailout plan on the table right now seems to me like something of a crisis point for American liberalism. The plan is bad. But bad policies get enacted all the time. But we’re at a point now where congress is, allegedly, in the hands of progressive leadership. Simply put, if congressional Democrats manage to acquiesce in a plan that spends $700 billion on a bailout while doing nothing for average working people and giving the taxpayer virtually no upside in a way that guarantees that even electoral victory would give an Obama administration no resources with which to implement a progressive domestic agenda in 2009 then everyone's going to have to give serious consideration to becoming a pretty hard-core libertarian.
It'd be one thing for a bunch of conservative politicians to ram a terrible policy through. Then we could say "well, if some progressives win the next election things will be different." But if this comes through an allegedly progressive congress then the whole enterprise starts looking pretty hollow.
P.S. Of course, that's the optimistic scenario. As Delong and Krugman point out, John McCain could appoint a Sarah Palin or a Phil Gramm to Treasury.