Confused about the 2008 financial meltdown? Conor Friedersdorf of Culture 11 has a run down on the bailout legislation, why so many members of Congress were against it, and what the big plunge in the stock market meant. For example:
2) Why did its Congressional critics -- especially House Republicans -- vote against it?
Daniel Larison dissents from the conventional wisdom:
"The failure of politics that culminated in the defeat of the bill was the failure of the proponents of the legislation to make an argument that did not rely very heavily on prophecies of disaster.
There was no real attempt at persuasion, and the haste in which everything was done generated far more intense opposition than was necessary. The supporters of the bill wanted to ram it through with as little deliberation and scrutiny as possible. On any other issue, on any other bill, this would be seen as outrageous and you would hear about the wisdom of having a lower chamber that was more responsive to the people.
Now opposition to this hasty adoption of a bad plan is derided as irresponsible? Let me break it down for you: if things are indeed as bad as the proponents say, and if they are the responsible, sober voices of wisdom that they pretend to be, the truly irresponsible thing was to wait up until the last weeks before the recess, rush out a terrible plan, demand immediate adoption of this terrible plan (which they were happy to admit in public was a terrible plan) and then not even correctly gauge the level of support for the legislation before bringing it to a vote."