The Real Problem: Not Enough Political Legitimacy in DC

The failure of Thursday’s bailout talks points out a big problem: Solving this crisis is going to require a leader in Washington with the political clout to enforce unpopular measures—to divvy up the looming trillion-dollar losses. Unfortunately, George Bush no longer has the ability to keep his own party in line. Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke are not elected, so they don’t have political legitimacy either. And the presidential election is still more than a month away, so neither Obama or McCain has legitimacy yet either.

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