I predict that if this bailout plan passes as expected, the relief will only be temporary, and that a new crisis will emerge when even more capital flees the US markets because the dollar isn’t strong enough to make the investments worthwhile. If John McCain had any sense, what he would do is endorse one of the conservative plans (McCotter, Gingrich, Hensarling) and bend Paulson and company to HIS will. Because here’s what’s gonna happen if he doesn’t: Obama will find some reason to vote against it (a Clintonesque hairs-splitting sort of reason, making clear that he likes the overall concept but that it just doesn’t “protect” some important victim group or other). The plan will pass anyway, and if it works, he’s actually no worse off, because his vote didn’t make a difference — but if something else goes wrong, he can point to his vote against it as a sign of wise forethought and willingness to think for himself.
This is not a good plan. It should not be adopted. And conservatives hungry for leadership from McCain will again be disappointed — unless, in a surprise, he actually does do something dramatic to re-emphasize free-market principles.