01/31/2009 12:10 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Big Disappointment

Cross-posted at OpenLeft

Those of you who are regular readers know that I am an Obama loyalist. I volunteered to help out during the transition; I think it's desperately important that he succeed; I am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; I have consistently defended him when some of my progressive friends have been critical; and I generally swallow my tongue when I don't agree with something because I want to be able to work quietly and constructively with his administration whenever I can. I so much believe in his transformational agenda that I have even made the decision to give all of the money I get from sales of my new book, The Progressive Revolution: How The Best In America Came To Be, to help get the big progressive pieces of that agenda on the economy, health care, and climate change passed. Sometimes, though, I just have to say something publicly, and when I read this morning's paper and learned that the Obama economic team's bank rescue plan will include no more restrictions on executive salaries and bonuses than are in the ineffectual TARP bill because these banks might not take our billions of dollars if there were more restrictions, I knew that I had to protest.

This is exactly the kind of crap thinking that had Paulson give away $350 billion with no strings attached, and resulted in our tax dollars going not for an easing of credit, but for shareholder dividends, exec bonuses, corporate jets, and mergers- none of which has done bupkis to actually help the economy. We need some new thinking to save our economy, not this kind of rehashed Bushism. If these bastards don't want our money because we keep them from giving themselves extra tens of millions of dollars, LET THEM FAIL, LET THEM FAIL, LET THEM FAIL. I suspect most of them will take our money, because that's really their only option, and if they don't there are plenty of places that need shoring up that might actually help the real economy, so LET THEM FAIL.

President Obama, I am so happy with most of what I've seen so far: the Lily Ledbetter act, S-CHIP expansion, great new executive orders, reaching out constructively on Middle East peace, and an economic recovery bill that is great in many ways. But don't disappoint those of us who believe so strongly in you by giving into this Bush-like thinking about needing to coddle the big bank execs. If they don't want our money, fine: give it to the sectors of the economy that really need our help.