I had a long post on the bailout that was just waiting for its passage. I will hold off on it. I think the bailout is needed. As the smart guys (no snark) are saying on CNBC, it is important to watch the credit markets not the equity markets. The equity markets are tanking, as the constant Dow Jones ticker on CNBC reminds, but the yields on Treasuries show the real stress in the financial markets.
I am hearing commentators on CNBC state that congressmen (Democrats and Republicans both) voted against the bill to keep their "careers" in politics. A career in politics is like a career as a professional athlete, and should be an oxymoron. A career in government, yes, but a career in politics, no. There should be term limits for all politicians.
Update: This post from Andrew Sullivan's website confirms my suspicions:
It's all about getting re-elected. Me first, country second. When Main Street realizes this is not a Wall Street bailout these feckless congressmen will wish they had voted for the plan.
Nate Silver plucks out this data point:
Among 38 incumbent congressmen in races rated as "toss-up" or "lean" by Swing State Project, just 8 voted for the bailout as opposed to 30 against: a batting average of .211.
By comparison, the vote among congressmen who don't have as much to worry about was essentially even: 197 for, 198 against.
In the end, they were worried about re-election.