donkey stomps elephantIs the best solution to this financial mess a Democratic solution or a Republican solution, or is it some from column A and some from column B? Obama thinks it is some from A and some from B, or that’s certainly how I read this:

This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem – this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution," said Senator Barack Obama.

Now, first of all, what caused this problem was primarily deregulation. That isn’t just a Repubican thing or just a Democratic thing, no, but I think we can all agree that of the two parties the one that loved deregulation most was the Republican party. Certainly at the end of the day, the problem is one for all Americans, but the party that is most responsible is the party of deregulation and trickle down economics—the Republican party.

The Republicans have offered two solutions – the Paulson plan, which was a complete power and money grab, and now the House Republican plan which is that the solution is to do more of what caused the problem—deregulate Wall Street and hey, presto, deregulation will fix what’s wrong!

So, is the correct solution to compromise the Frank or Dodd bills with more deregulation and more power and money for Paulson and Bush to use however they see fit with no real oversight?

But wait, you say. The Dodd bill and the Frank bill are pretty sucky themselves. That’s true, still both are better than Paulson’s plan or the absurd House plan of "deregulation will fix the problems caused by deregulation!"

And why are they sucky? Because they started with the Paulson bill and because Frank and Dodd compromised with Paulson all through negotiations.

When put that way it’s, I hope, self evident, that the more partisan the solution – the more things like bankruptcy protection and help for people to keep their houses, and serious taking pieces of companies which are helped out – all things not in the original Paulson plan and as far as I can tell not in the House Republican plan, are better.

They are partisan ideas. They are democratic ideas. They are in fact progressive ideas.

They are not bipartisan ideas. Republicans don’t want people to get bankruptcy protection. They don’t want judges to be able to let them keep their houses. They don’t want the government to get 10% preferred shares like Buffett got when he bailed out Goldman, whenever the government bails out a company.

Bipartisanship means compromise and compromise with the Republicans on this means a lousy bill. In fact, starting with the Paulson bill is what made the Frank bill so awful, and the Dodd bill is better than the Frank bill because it departs further from Paulson. But because it’s still based on Paulson, it still isn’t actually a good bill, just a better bill than Frank’s or Paulson’s.

If Dodd or Frank had just put together a bill to do the job without any reference to Paulson’s power and money grab, either of them would have come up with a bill that would do a much better job than either of the bills they actually proposed. A fully Dem bill would be better than ANY bill which is compromised with either of the Republican bills.

So yes, what Americans NEED is a Democratic solution that saves them their jobs and life savings. Because no compromise bill with Republicans is going to do that.

And that’s what Obama should be selling—a bill which would actually work. A Democratic bill, because when you want to fix the economy you go to Democrats, not to Republicans, the people who caused this crisis.

This is in his interest because if he signs off on a bad bill, he is the one who, as President, will get blamed for it not working. And you can take my word for it and a huge list of economis’s, the Republican bills won’t work.

What AMERICA needs is a DEMOCRATIC solution to a REPUBLICAN problem. Not another "bipartisan" compromise that solves nothing. Not another Iraq war "compromise" or Patriot Act "compromise". Enough compromising with immorality and stupidity. That’s what got the US into this mess.

Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh was the Managing Editor of FireDogLake and the Agonist. His work has also appeared at Huffington Post, Alternet, and Truthout, as well as the now defunct Blogging of the President (BOPNews). In Canada his work has appeared in and BlogsCanada. He is also a social media strategy consultant and currently lives in Toronto.

His homeblog is at