I listened in on a media conference call the McCain campaign did about an hour ago. Jack Kemp spoke on behalf of the campaign (and in a couple of instances just for himself). Ed Morrisey has a really good summary of the call including the following, which I thought was interesting:
Cincinnati Enquirer: Only one-third of House Republicans voted for this package. How did this fail, and who gets the blame? Kemp was surprised that they didn’t get the votes counted beforehand. He thinks the problem started with the characterization of the bill as a “bailout”, when the taxpayers would purchase tangible assets and could profit from their resale when the market stabilizes. He objected strongly to the idea that this bill would socialize the credit markets. Instead, it allowed the only player with enough liquidity to trade it for real assets.
Update: I have said before that I don’t know much about banking and the market, and that is definitely true, but I worked as a paralegal for a law firm that represented the FSLIC, FDIC and RTC during the Savings and Loan crisis from 1988 to around 1998. From what I saw of that situation it seems to me something similar where institutions would be dealt with individually, with those in the most trouble getting attention first, would be preferable to writing one big check. There may be lots of reasons beyond my comprehension of finance that this approach would not be sufficient to deal with the current situation. I really wish I was better educated about the issue. What is sad is that so many of those in Congress and the media appear to know even less than I do and it is a shame this is being dealt with a month prior to a presidential election.