So here's the situation: the economy is facing its worst slump in decades. The usual response to an economic downturn, cutting interest rates, isn't working. Large-scale government aid looks like the only way to end the economic nosedive.
But there's a problem: conservative politicians, clinging to an out-of-date ideology -- and, perhaps, betting (wrongly) that their constituents are relatively well positioned to ride out the storm -- are standing in the way of action.
No, I'm not talking about Bob Corker, the Senator from Nissan -- I mean Tennessee -- and his fellow Republicans, who torpedoed last week's attempt to buy some time for the U.S. auto industry. (Why was the plan blocked? An e-mail message circulated among Senate Republicans declared that denying the auto industry a loan was an opportunity for Republicans to "take their first shot against organized labor.")