I am going to ask what might be a stupid question, but why is it important to pass any bailout legislation at all before 12:30 p.m. eastern, January 20th, 2009? As I write this, that is less than 121 days away. Surely, if there is a bailout, it will take several weeks to pass it. In all likelihood, it will take more than a month.
My question is: why is there a big difference between passing the legislation in, say, 40 days, and passing it in 121 days? Will those eighty days somehow make all of the difference? Are the corporate executives involved living from paycheck to paycheck? Is there just no way that they can survive during the intervening 80 days?
It seems both smart and possible to just cut Bush out of the equation altogether. Members of Congress should just start directly negotiating with Obama and McCain, and work out a deal that can be signed into law a few minutes after the next President is inaugurated. Before that, the next six weeks can become a full-fledged debate about what sort of bill should be passed. During that time, Democrats can attempt to pass legislation of some sort that McCain will be forced to vote against.
Cut Bush out of the equation. Start negotiating with the candidates instead, thus forcing them to make this their first action as President. This will also have the positive result of making the election about the bailout and corporate malfeasance in general. Hell, it would also make every single congressional campaign about the same thing, since every candidate would be forced to work out the deal for two weeks before the next President is in office.
If there is any good bailout bill that Bush would actually sign, then I'll eat a lightbulb that has been soaked in the toilet. If Democrats would receive a political benefit from looking tough and forcing the election to turn on a discussion of corporate malfeasance, then I'll drink of a bottle of whisky and pee on a campfire. As such, there is no reason to deal with Bush whatsoever. Just start negotiating with the candidates, and force McCain to reveal just how much of a corporate suck up he really is. That feels not only like the way to solve the problem we face with the legislation, but also to solve the problem we face with the election. Or am I just stupid and missing something?