While I was very happy with Obama’s words against the Paulson plan, he needs to make it clear and unequivocal. Krugman explains why:
As I read what’s happening now, John McCain is denouncing the Paulson plan, while Barack Obama — out of a sense of responsibility for the financial system — is only offering cautious criticism.
The Obama people — and the Congressional Democrats — do know that the Republicans will run a populist campaign against them on the basis that they voted for a horrible big-government program, don’t they?
My stomach churns at the thought, but if McCain stands firm against this, he can say: "My friends, I stood against giving away 700 billion dollars of your money to the rich. I may have voted for deregulation and free markets, but I also was willing to let Wall Street absorb it’s own losses. Barack Obama and the Democrats just let Hank Paulson steal 700 billion of your dollars. Say what you will, but I didn’t bail out Wall Street with Main Street’s money."
Again, Obama did the right thing, but he needs to do it in plainer language. His principles are not compatible with Paulson’s bill, he needs to come out against it in plain "Hell No" language. It is the responsible thing to do, because it is not "Hank’s plan or the highway", Congress, of which Obama is a member, can pass its own bill meant to deal with this crisis.
Indeed, let me suggest that Obama needs to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to propose his own Market Stabilization bill. As president he’ll have to execute any bill, as Senator he should step up and do his duty by crafting and leading the fight to put through a bill that meets his principles.
Your country needs you, Barack. Not today as President, but as a Senator. It’s time for Mr. Obama to go back to Washington.