David Brooks is right that the failure to pass the bailout represents a massive failure of American governance and leadership, most of all at the Congressional level. That’s true even if you think, for other reasons, that the bailout was a bad idea. (Can any hero be cited in this debacle?) Andrew Sullivan (and others, including myself) was right that early versions of the Paulson plan bypassed checks and balances and gave far too much power to the Executive Branch. So Congressional oversight was needed.
That’s the problem, namely that both of these views are right. And this is just one reason, of many to come, why the Paulson plan (whether or not we need it) will not work as promised.