More of Ruffini being execrably wrong

October 30, 2008

Who else remembers this Ruffini gem written at the time of the bailout, in which he argued that House and Senate Republicans should vote against it:

God Himself couldn’t have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. That’s why I want to see 40 Republican No votes in the Senate, and 150+ in the House. If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say “No” and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress.

This creates pressure on the “change” message. If this issue is made controversial, and Obama is not the first to make it an issue, how exactly is a Washington deal backed by  Bush’s Treasury Secretary “change?”

A bailout may be inevitable, but so to can be the political benefit for Congressional Republicans if played correctly.

Leave aside the astonishing moral void at the core of his thinking.  Focus instead on just how beautifully wrong he was.  Recall that House Republicans did vote against the bailout bill and thus impeded it for a week.  Subsequent polling showed that by wide majorities Americans blamed the Republicans as responsible for the delay.  The result was a bailout bill passed with near unanimity by a triumphant Democratic party and a chastened Republican one.  Obama’s numbers improved throughout while McCain and the Republicans appeared heartless, erratic, and needlessly Machiavellian.  So, sweet job Ruffini!

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