Grappling with Geithner, Tussling with Treasury, Trying to Understand This Shit:
The let's-save-Humpty-Dumpty quality of the efforts to mitigate the long-term effects of the financial meltdown has been almost beautifully haphazard, like watching a pair of tweaking, toothless methheads trying to put back together the exploded corpse of an old woman who they hit with their car going at 90 on a rural back road late one night, not even sure if they have all the pieces, thinking that if they can scrape the innards off the grill and find the far-flung limbs, they can just shove it all back inside and tape the pieces into one and eventually she'll just get up and walk, when, really, what anyone watching would know is true: the woman's dead and the more you deny that, the worse you're gonna make it when the police finally arrive and find you covered in blood and gore trying to hide a mangled body.
The Rude Pundit understands quantum mechanics more than he understands the bank rescue/bailout/toxic asset buying proposals now on the table, but it doesn't take a Friedman or an Einstein to see that the whole damn thing is predicated on rescuing a patient that's dead and using the killers to bring it back to life. He's dead, Jim; it's time to send his corpse out into the comforting blackness of space.
The very notion, put forward by today's Wall Street Journal (tip o' the rude hat to Talking Points Memo), that the only way out of this mess is by not pissing off the bags of shit who fucked us in the first place, sounds like the plot of some kind of bullshit spy movie: you sometimes have to learn to trust your enemies to get what you want. Fuck that.
The first bailout under Bush was a gift to the financial institutions, like giving flowers to your rapist. In as simplistic an explanation as possible, the Obama plan is to keep playing the same hand, with a bit more oversight, a little more in the way of loans, and some cash tossed at homeowners, and that's a failure to recognize that the game has changed from poker to Go Fish. It seems like Obama wants to get only to second base with nationalization, but abstinence never works, man, never.
Out here, in this corner of Left Blogsylvania, the Rude Pundit doesn't know non-recourse loans from a glory hole. But he knows who's worth loaning money to at the dog track. And you stay away from the guy who keeps telling you that not only will he get you back your stake, but he'll get your drinks comped for the day. That bastard's gonna keep making deferred promise upon deferred promise until he either disappears or finally comes clean that it was all a scam. If you didn't know it in the first place, you deserve to leave with your pockets empty.
But, hey, maybe Obama and Geithner and Summers know something we don't. Maybe they know how to put a corpse back together and use lightning to reanimate it. The problem will be making sure they didn't use a criminal's brain in there.
That's it - the Rude Pundit's metaphored out.
Back tonight with Obama news conference live whiskey-blogging.