Judging by the flat-out anger and how-could-you-do-this wonderment yesterday from the cable news likes of Wolf Blitzer, I had a hunch that today's Washington Post would be a testament to flaming establishmentarian contempt. The paper did not disappoint. From the lead editorial, with the stale-as-Gibbon headline of "Congressional Neroes: Republicans and Democrats fiddle as the economy burns":
Given the poor marketing of a proposal whose advertised $700 billion price tag will probably never materialize in full, and given the fact that the rapidly developing credit crisis has not quite been felt on Main Street, we are not surprised at the angry correspondence from voters -- or, rather, from certain self-selected voters. But among the 133 Republicans and 95 Democrats who voted no yesterday, there are certainly some who know better, and their lack of political courage is stunning.
Love those "self-selected" and "know better" bits. Then on page 3, Dana Milbank uses the insanity non-defense:
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 778 points, the largest one-day point drop in history. And no wonder: In the Congress of the United States, the insane are now running the asylum.
After the shocking vote of 228 to 205, party leaders did their usual rounds of partisan finger-pointing, but it really wasn't a partisan issue at all. The center had collapsed in favor of a coalition of far-right and far-left zealots. What was once the lunatic fringe was now a majority: 40 percent of House Democrats, going by yesterday's vote, and fully two-thirds of Republicans. [...]
On the floor, the usual partisan splits gave way to two new coalitions: pragmatists and wing nuts.
Everybody knows this bailout is the right thing to do, it seems, except for the American people, the House of Representatives, and others among us who are predisposed against trillion-dollar takeovers of the financial industry's bad bets.