This week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers asked the Right-leaning bloggers “Is it in Republicans’ interest to work with Democrats on Wall Street reform?” Left bloggers were asked the same question about Democrats. Seventy-one percent of the Right and 67 percent of the Left opposed bipartisan cooperation.
In the minority, I imagined the possibility that a bipartisan final bill might be constructive: “Sure, if the reform means less taxpayer support for short-sighted and reckless Wall Street firms. No, if the reform means extending the Bush-Obama TARP principle of making taxpayers even more likely to be stuck with the bill for future bailouts.”
The other question was “On balance, do you think Obama will help or hurt Democrats in competitive races?” Eightythree percent of the Right thought he would hurt, but 81 percent of the Left thought he would help.
My view was that he would hurt: “Any district that is competitive will have a lot of independents, and Obama has done a great deal to ruin his reputation among them.” The effect could be partially mitigated in statewide races, since Obama might help with turnout from Democrat strongholds that are never in themselves competitive.