Yglesias Award Nominee

"No economic analyst doubts that a final defeat of the Bush bailout would have produced a devastating wave of major failures in the financial world and a near total freeze of the banking system. When the House of Representatives narrowly turned down the TARP proposal in its first vote on September 29th, Wall Street responded the next day with the greatest one-time loss in Dow Jones history --- plummeting a gut-wrenching, unprecedented 777 points. That experience helped persuade additional Democrats, and 91 of 199 Republicans, to go along with both presidential candidates and to approve the package. And what if Obama had split with McCain and Bush, aligning himself with overwhelming public opposition to the bailout, and blocking its approval in Congress?

When the market collapsed and companies went under, there’s no chance the public would have blamed the candidate criticizing Bush and Paulson more than they blamed the candidate (McCain) who backed them. In fact, populist opposition to TARP, combined with the resulting financial catastrophe, would have produced an even greater margin of victory for Obama and the Democrats. Instead of winning by 7 percentage points, the Democratic nominee could have easily won by an historic landslide of 20 points or more," - Michael Medved, calmly dissecting and demolishing some of the more paranoid conspiracy theorists on the right. Since they really are his audience, this takes integrity, even though it's a sign of our completely crazy times that it does.