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"Change" may be the word on everyone's lips these days, but as Colin pointed out yesterday, "change" will likely come in theory faster than in practice. To demonstrate that point, we need look no further than the US capitol, where Republican senators are playing partisan politics yet again.
You may recall that when congress approved a $700 billion dollar bailout package for the crumbling financial industry, it was agreed that the funds would be disbursed in two rounds. Well, it's time for the second $350 billion to go out, but the GOP is balking. They're not really worried about the financiers of America, though; they're more concerned that a portion of the $350 billion would make its way into the coffers of the Big 3. Again.
Headlining the GOP brigade is, of course, none other than disgraced
john Louisiana senator David Vitter, who's essentially called the bailout irresponsible. (You can insert your own ironic pun here.) That's not to say that Vitter and his Republican pals don't have the right to disagree. In fact, there's something laudable about the fact that they're insisting on accountability. Unfortunately, their positioning is mostly for show, and I'm pretty sure that if the tables were turned and the GOP held a Senate majority, I'd be writing about a Democratic blockade today.
Of course, we all know that everyone will eventually figure out a way to save face. The posturing will end, and the funds will be disbursed. Putting a complete stop to the bailout dollars would spell disaster for not only American automakers, but also the financial industry and the country as a whole. Vitter & Co. are just doing this long enough to make their point. Which sounds less like "change" and more like the political system we've been living with for a good long while.
UPDATE: Crisis averted.