GOP Looks to Capitalize on AIG Confusion

By Chris Good

While many are mad about the AIG bonuses, so far there's no consensus on who's to blame. Is it the much maligned Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, who, some say, should have alerted everyone to the bonuses long ago? Is it President Obama, for not simply saying "there will be no bonuses"? Is it Congress, for including a clause in the stimulus bill that ensures bonuses bound by a previous contract should still be paid?

Enter the Republicans, who are seeking to capitalize on the ire of the American public--and its lack of focus. According to the GOP's House campaign arm, blame should fall on its target list of vulnerable House Democrats.

Under the National Republican Congressional Committee's logic, the stimulus bill's bonus clause was a main culprit for the AIG bonuses. And, by the NRCC's logic, any House Democrat who supported the bill deserves a share of the political backlash. The NRCC sent a release today to the home districts of its target list members asking, "Did _____ Knowingly Back AIG Bonus Package?"

So, from the confusion (and from the stimulus conference committee's role in legislating how bonuses can and can't be restricted) springs attacks on some in the Democratic Caucus who probably didn't think they had anything to do with the situation.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/03/gop-looks-to-capitalize-on-aig-confusion/1624/