The Corner

A Reader Response

The bailout was atrocious, and the responsible thing to do was to vote against it. Its defeat is a victory for liberty.

Anyway, the Republicans delivered plenty of votes. They’re not in charge of running the House.  The Democrats are. If you want to blame anybody, blame them.

Thanks for your note, which is representative of quite a few I have gotten. It seems to me, though, that your two points are in some tension with each other. You can say the bill was terrible and applaud conservatives for killing it, or say that it should have passed and that it’s the Democrats’ fault it didn’t–but putting these two positions in a blender is odd.

I hope that it was “a victory for liberty”–there certainly were reasonable concerns about the bill; nobody was enthusiastic about it. I sure wasn’t. But it is possible that the defeat will merely mean that the bailout bill that eventually passes includes all of the objectionable provisions that the Republican leadership stripped out of it, and then some. It is also possible that we get a deep downturn that pulls the country further to the left. So I’ll count my “victory for liberty” only when it hatches. 

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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