Phil, the basic politics of the bailout resembles nothing so much as the immigration reform measures that Crazy Cousin John twice tried to shove through the Senate. It was one of those “elite consensus” deals, fiercely opposed by ordinary Americans.
It’s eat-your-broccoli politics — the condescending Washington-knows-best message that seeks to impose top-down solutions and treats voters as an obstacle to progress. You cannot win elections by campaigning against the people.
UPDATE: I see that while I was composing this response, Jim Antle made the same comparison. Great minds, etc.