Bailouts Are Fatal
TARP means doom for many Republican incumbents, notes TAC contributing editor James Antle. But will grassroots activists continue to hold the elephants’ feet to the fire if the GOP retakes one or both houses of Congress?
By W. James Antle III
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) has served six terms during two stints in Congress. When South Carolina Republicans held their runoff Tuesday, he managed to win just 29 percent of the vote.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Inglis’ colleague Rep. Gresham Barrett didn’t fare much better. Once the front-runner in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Barrett lost to upstart Nikki Haley by an eye-popping 30-point margin.
Still, Inglis and Barrett were the lucky ones, relatively speaking. In Utah’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate that same day, three-term GOP Sen. Bob Bennett didn’t even make it on the ballot. He was eliminated in the voting at the Republican state convention earlier this year.
What do these three defeated Republicans all have in common, besides their impending unemployment? All three of them voted for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), which is Washington-speak for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout that was rushed into law when the panicky political class decided to “do something” about the financial meltdown.