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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Deal or no deal?

Are House Republicans trying to manipulate the proposed Wall Street bailout to benefit John McCain's presidential campaign?

Gee, let me think. Did Republicans play politics with weapons of mass destruction and the "Global War on Terrorism"?

The now you see it, now you don't proposal appears to be a victim of politics, according to Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, who, to be fair, was running for president himself not so long ago.

“My hope is that we can get a deal,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, hours after House and Senate negotiators had announced that an accord was at hand. It had also been President Bush’s hope that an agreement could be announced after the late-afternoon meeting.

Looking tired and annoyed, Mr. Dodd complained that late complications were making the episode sound more like “a rescue plan for John McCain” ... than one for the country’s financial system.

It does no good, Mr. Dodd said, “to be distracted for two or three hours by political theater.”

What makes Dodd more credible is remarks hours earlier by Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett:
“I now expect we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate, be signed by the president, and bring a sense of certainty to this crisis that is still roiling in the markets.”

“That is our primary responsibility, he said, and I think we our now prepared to meet it.”

What changed? The staged White House meeting with McCain and Barack Obama at opposite far ends of a table at a meeting called by George Bush -- a meeting that likely was the face-saving measure for McCain's ill-advised decision to suspend his campaign so he could roll up his sleeves and solve the problem.

Call me skeptical about the reasons for the delay. Republicans long ago shed their concern for Main Street. Lining up to support a bill more palatable to Bush, Wall Street and McCain is just the sort of playing with the nation's future for political gains we have come to know and expect over these last eight years.

John McCain may be trying to distance himself from George Bush -- whether at a table or in general -- but this only makes the ties that bind tighter.

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