Felix Salmon Is Unhappy with George W. Bush

Bruce Bartlett Is Blogging at the Arena

I think that his ought to be an important public voice on economic policy over the next four years--diversified intellectual portfolio, you know:

The Arena: Palin: Before the Palin thing is completely forgotten, I just want to throw in my two cents. I think she was a disaster for McCain because she destroyed the logic of his candidacy. His best argument was that we live in perilous times and can’t afford to have a president with no experience in foreign policy and national security. But McCain destroyed this argument by appointing as his vice president someone with even less experience than Obama. In a stroke, McCain took off the table not only his best argument for being president but really his only argument. He should have picked Lieberman and run on a campaign of bipartisan national unity. It might not have worked, but at least McCain would have lost with some dignity.

Autos: I think it would be a terrible mistake to simply write a check to the auto industry without demanding major, major restructuring of its labor contracts. Without that the money will simply go down a rat hole and the automakers will just be back again in a year or two asking for more money. Obama has a strong hand to play here and I hope he uses his leverage. With bankruptcy as the only alternative to federal aid, he can drive a very hard bargain with the auto workers. If he caves and just writes a blank check, everyone will know he can be rolled and he will pay a heavy political price for it. If Obama shows toughness on this issue, I think it will pay enormous dividends for him down the road.