The Republican Party Platform, September 2, 2008-September 22, 2008


The Politico's Ben Smith has a great catch from the Republican Party platform of… let me check the year… yes, of 2008.

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself.

Laugh so you don't cry. I've been talking to Republican congressfolk this week and there's absolutely no chance of the entire conference opposing the bailout. Rep. John Campbell (profiled here) told me that he'll support a bailout (and favors the unaltered Henry Paulson version) because "markets have participants. The participants in this market are human beings. And right now they are not acting rationally. Fear has set in." A bailout is the way he sees toward restoring confidence and preventing a disaster. He didn't back down from comparing the crisis to 1929.

Earlier today I heard a group of members of the Republican Study Committee discuss the bailout: Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), former chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), co-founder Dan Burton (R-IN), and a dozen others. Only Pence declared he would absolutely vote against a bailout. The rest of the members proposed various, politically safe conservative policy proposals that could mitigate the harm. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) suggested defraying the cost of a Wall Street rescue by opening drilling in ANWR and offshore areas. "The oil revenues that we could get from ANWR have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office at around $200 billion," Barton said. That's if you nationalized those profits, of course.