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Why Does Obama Want To Be A One-Term President?

McCain swung and missed so badly that Obama wants a turn at bat now:

For the rest of today and as long as it takes, I will continue to reach out to leaders in both parties and do whatever I can to help pass a rescue plan. To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say – step up to the plate and do what’s right for this country.

Obama is remarkably comfortable with the nigh-inconceivable $700 billion figure that Paulson asked for, although he does talk up oversight, homeowner relief, restricting wealthfare, and somehow, somehow trying to recoup that ginormous* "investment."

Here’s what I don’t get.  Even if we forget about the political impact of backing a hugely expensive bailout plan of dubious popularity, what about the governance impact?

If Senator Obama somehow gets this plan passed (probably by watering down or eliminating its redeeming qualities), then President Obama will have his hands tied from the day he takes office.  No money for middle class tax cuts, healthcare reform, alternative energy, infrastructure repair, or anything else that costs money.  The Republicans will wave the flag of Fiscal Responsibility, the Blue Dogs will happily join them, and nothing constructive will get done.

Obama will be left holding Dubya’s bag, and he’ll be ridiculed as a "do-nothing" president who talked big about Change and couldn’t deliver it.  All because he had to give the Worst President Ever $700 billion of our money to fix the economy like he fixed Iraq.

(Speaking of Iraq, that might be the only positive outcome of the bailout: President Obama would have one hell of an incentive to get us out of that bottomless pit of Fail.)

I absolutely agree that we need to do something.  I just don’t believe that buying up $700 billion worth of crap from imprudent scoundrels is the way to go.

*"Ginormous" is a venerable and respected economics term.  Economists still argue over whether it was coined by Malthus or Adam Smith.

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