Amid paeans to "new politics," we're watching old-school paybacks from a politician who raised more Wall Street dough than any other -- a president-to-be whose inauguration festivities are being underwritten by the very bankers who are benefiting from the bailout largesse. Safely distanced from electoral pressure, Obama has appointed conservative economists to top White House positions; floated a tax cut for banks; and is now trying to preserve corporate welfare that almost exclusively benefits the political donor class.
This isn't much-ballyhooed "change" -- it's money politics by a different name. How do we know? Because neither Obama nor anyone else is genuinely trying to justify the bailout on its merits -- and understandably so. Even the most basic queries prove such merits don't exist.
There's a strange coalition being built here, or a strange confluence of voices -- the far left and the burgeoning libertarians are now the opponents of "business as usual," and that's interesting.