Ross Douthat has an evenhanded column up about the emergency measure and the voter backlash against it. I think he gets it exactly right myself: TARP was necessary, surprisingly successful and a horrible example of moral hazard. A political rebuke of it is, in some ways, salutary.

But one realizes that most of those rebuking it do not credit its success; while most of those defending it acknowledge its poisonous necessity and the awful precedent it set. That's the difference between an irrational party and a rational one. And it seems increasingly clear that the role of the few sane Republican commentators left like Ross and Chris Caldwell will be to find a rational meta-defense for a seethingly emotion-driven base. Still, from Ross's and Chris's point of view, they're not going to lack for material for the foreseeable future, are they?

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