John Thune now says TARP vote was a mistake
Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) is apparently warm to the whispers about him running for President. So much so that he is now disavowing his vote on TARP.
While Thune voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program — probably his biggest liability among conservatives and tea party activists — he has since switched positions and tried to end the program.
A source close to Thune said the senator now believes the bank bailout vote “was a bad vote,” an acknowledgment aimed at limiting the political fallout with the anti-government-spending faction of the GOP.
Sen. Thune is boldly saying he wouldn’t now vote for the Troubled Assets Relief Program AFTER credit markets have stabilized and the economy is growing, albeit at much slower rate than needed. What a profile in courage.
Provided that the economy is still stable, TARP back-peddling will be a hallmark of Republican campaigns in 2012.
TARP was never intended to be an economic silver bullet. It was meant to send a message to the credit markets that the U.S. government wasn’t going to let the financial sector go into mass insolvency.
To paraphrase Warren Buffet’s comments about TARP and other stabilization actions taken during the Fall 2008 credit crisis: “It was more important to be fast than perfect.”
But in the new Tea Party reality, making a grown-up, courageous vote to help stabilize the market economy that we actually have — as opposed to the pure free market economy that has never existed and that Tea Partiers are suddenly interested in — is a huge black mark.
There is probably no better way to advertise that you or your party shouldn’t be handed back the reigns of power than proclaiming that, if facing the same dire circumstances, you wouldn’t do what is necessary for the U.S. economy because you can’t stand up to an economically illiterate fringe.
Maybe Thune just needs a little refresher on what he and other Members of Congress were being told at the time. Rep. Paul Kanjorski does the honors at 1:55 into this clip: