I've been calling around to the offices of conservative Republican members of Congress, the sort of people who've spent the decade crusading against "big spending" and are now being asked to give Louis XIV-sized powers to Hank Paulson. There's a bit of radio silence.
"I don't think he'll be commenting right away," said a spokesperson for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. "He wants some time to dig in and digest this stuff first." I got a hint of where a fellow conservative might end up from Vartan Djihanian, spokesman for Rep. John Campbell (whom I profiled in 2007). "He's in favor of the package," Djihanian said, "and he thinks not doing anything would lead to enormous problems. He wants to keep ideology out of this and do the right thing."
But there's opposition come from other Hill conservatives. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint says it will "make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy."
Most Americans are paying their bills on time and investing responsibly and should not be forced to pay for the reckless actions of some on Wall Street, especially when no one can guarantee this will solve our current problems. This plan will not only cause our nation to fall off the debt cliff, it could send the value of the dollar into a free-fall as investors around the world question our ability to repay our debts.
Much more from the Politico's "Crypt" bloggers here. Read between the lines and you see a White House weakly pleading for a "clean" bill (i.e. without Democratic caps on CEO salaries, etc) and Republican leaders sniping at the bailout without exactly promising to kill it.