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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Wild Ride

Today will be another crazy day in Washington and on Wall Street, as the House prepares for what everyone expects to be a close vote on the financial bailout deal put together over the weekend.
The bailout legislation survived a close procedural vote in the House this morning, but that may not be a true measure of how many Members will ultimately vote “no.” The bill remains vulnerable among Democrats on grounds that it represents armed-robbery-by-extortion; among Republicans who are hearing from conservative activists that it’s all socialism; and among politically vulnerable incumbents in both parties who naturally want to vote against it without actually suffering the consequences of finding out what would happen if it fails.
Prospects for the passage of the legislation aren’t being helped by the negative reactions of the market this morning, which seem to be less about fears that it will be defeated than about disappointment that the bailout won’t be as fast and as large as originally advertised by Paulson. Why rush to the rescue when the rescuee is already complaining?

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