Perhaps the most fascinating political conundrum of the 2010 election is one faced by GOP senators, almost all of whom voted for TARP and supported some of the other bailouts in the thick of the financial crisis. The good news is that, for all their shortcomings, the bailouts did the trick, preventing a deeper economic crisis. The bad news is those bailouts are now considered political poison by the tea partying conservative base.The jest of the TPM BS is that GOP incumbents just need to sell their voters on the idea that by voting for TARP and other slush funds sponsored by the collective, they really, truly saved America.
That puts Republicans in a strange position: unable to say the legislation failed, but at pains to distance themselves from their vote nonetheless. Over the past couple days, I've asked a number of GOP senators whether, nearly two years later, they think the bailout bill was effective. Their answers were revealing.
Beware of free advice from people who have a vested interest in destroying you.
Americans are not stupid. Not all the time. And conservative Americans are not stupid or ignorant. If my senators come to me and try to tell me the slush funds worked, when I know empirically that we are a LONGGGGGG way from out of the woods, and that TARP is being abused EVERY STINKING DAY, TOTALLY OUTSIDE THE LAW, and that the Obami and Deemocrats have been spending, are spending, and will continue to spend that money as a means to their ends... Well, it won't be pretty. And it SURE won't translate into electoral victory.
TPM is, naturally, playing rope-a-dope with its advice. TARP can't have "succeeded". Not any more than Porkulus has created millions of jobs. That is simply a lie. GOP candidates BETTER not buy into it.