1) Market problems generally require market solutions; however, the current crisis is not a failure of a free market, it is the natural consequence of distorting a free market by encumbering it with economically unsound lending practices. If the Democrats were the only ones saying we need to “do something”, I’d discount their claims. If President Bush, alone, were saying that we’re facing an emergency, I’d take his statement with a grain of salt. But there are enough people out there whose opinions I respect saying that we have to take extraordinary action to make me believe that some kind of plan, resembling, if not identical to, the plan that was voted down today is probably necessary. There are no easy fixes, but a fix of some kind is now required. But the malefactors have to pay a price.
2) The only long-range solution to problems of this kind is to vote out the Democrats. Period. Republicans in the next few election cycles need to remember a lesson from history. Harry Truman won in 1948, not by running against Tom Dewey, but by running against the entire Republican Party and its “do-nothing” congress. Legitimate bipartisanship on a workaday basis, when it makes sense, is fine; but come election time, Republicans need to pull out all the stops and denounce the Democrats from the roof-tops. Name names, and marshal your facts, and be ever-mindful of the fact that any speech or press conference that doesn’t (a) trumpet your positive vision while simultaneously (b) damning the Democrats is a wasted opportunity. Unless the MSM decides to launch a total blackout of coverage, Republican talking points will eventually get into circulation and will have an impact.
3) Still sitting on the fence about the upcoming election? Think about the Democrats controlling the White House and both houses of congress; this would mean (a) an unfocused foreign policy marked by fundamental weakness, with sporadic outbursts of saber-rattling at the wrong time and in the wrong place; (b) a Supreme Court with a long-term liberal majority; (c) a Department of Justice in the hands of someone who is a friend of unrepentant “former” terrorists, and who has not been shy about using force to choke off debate during the presidential campaign; and (d) another shot in the arm for the intellectually moribund doctrine of socialism. God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses, and they are with us always; but the constitution was made by man, and like everything made by man, it can be destroyed overnight, or it can be so completely emptied of significance over time that it becomes a dead letter.
Vote like your future depended on it - because it does.
Update: A principled contrary view to my first item above (H/T to Captain Heinrichs). And after listening to Karl Rove's fascinating account of the vote, I'm again wondering exactly what, if anything, is really needed in the way of government assistance. The Democrats obviously aren't serious about the bailout. According to Rove, at least five Democratic committee chairmen were permitted to vote against the bill. I think maybe I smell the aroma of BS.