Both candidates now running against President Bush

For the better part of this campaign, it was the Democratic candidates running against the policies of the Bush administration, however, some of those feelings are now spilling to the McCain campaign, and other congressional Republicans, concerning the most recent news about the $700 billion proposed Wall Street bailout.

Here’s a report from the LA Times:

MEDIA, PA. — With Congress considering a bailout plan for Wall Street, John McCain cast Barack Obama as indecisive in the face of the financial crisis, accusing him of resorting to partisan attacks rather than proposing concrete ideas for stabilizing the economy.

“Today, instead of offering a single solution, he just gave a political speech full of political attacks,” McCain said here Monday. “One week after this crisis began, Sen. Obama has still not offered any plan of any kind.”

McCain issued the outlines of a possible approach Friday, five days after the crisis erupted. That followed an awkward period for McCain, who has made conflicting statements about whether the government should bail out major financial institutions.

In Green Bay, Wis., Obama steered clear of a detailed critique of the Bush administration’s bailout proposal, but called for more vigorous oversight of the financial markets to restore public confidence in Washington and Wall Street.

Speaking before 6,000 people at a sports arena, Obama said, “We cannot give a blank check to Washington with no oversight and accountability when no oversight and accountability is what got us into this mess in the first place.”

McCain voiced reservations about the Bush administration’s plan at a town hall in Scranton, Pa., saying he was “deeply uncomfortable” with it because the secretary of the Treasury would have virtually unbridled authority to determine which companies are eligible and under what circumstances. “Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person,” he said.

It seems to me that this issue is so complex that neither campaign knows how to reasonably respond to it. Furthermore, the McCain campaign appears to be leveling criticism against the proposed bailout but seems to be stopping short of trying to badmouth President Bush.

Obama is having an easier time criticizing Bush’s policies but seems both McCain and Obama now have an issue to run against which they sort of agree on.

With regard to congress, here’s a story from Yahoo News:

There was a time when Dick Cheney could turn back a Republican revolt on Capitol Hill.

That time is gone.

House Republicans rose up en masse against their vice president on Tuesday morning to blast an administration proposal that would grant Treasury historic authority to start buying hundreds of billions of dollars in devalued mortgage-related assets, according to members present.

The lines to speak were long, the questions many and sentiment in the Cannon Caucus Room Tuesday swayed heavily against the Treasury proposal.

Afterward, Texas Rep. Joe Barton took the unusual step of telling reporters that he had politely given Cheney a piece of his mind – the sort of dissent Republicans considered unthinkable during much of the Bush administration’s reign.

A full-throated Republican revolt could create huge problems for the administration and congressional Democrats scrambling to assemble a package to reassure jittery markets. It could also preserve the Republicans’ options after the fact – if the bailout doesn’t work or proves deeply unpopular with voters, they can say they opposed it.

The most interesting aspect of this issue is how congressional Democrats are responding. Government spending usually isn’t an issue for Democrats with regard to social programs, however, the American people seem to be opposed to this $700 billion bailout which means Democrats and Republicans are opposing the issue together, it’s fascinating to watch.

More as it develops along with McCain’s news conference on the issue, his first in six weeks.