A cry of rage from Wall Street

Betrayed by the GOP, a "rock-ribbed" Republican money manager turns his back on his party; Plus, can we blame Newt Gingrich?

Published September 26, 2008 8:09PM (EDT)

How devastating it must feel to be betrayed by your own flesh and blood. Andrew Sullivan informs us that U.S. News & World Report's James Pethokoukis received a distraught e-mail from a money manager last night:

I am a lifelong ( 51 years old) "rock-ribbed" conservative.... What an eye opener this week has been! I now realize what a blowhard Newt truly is by advocating the GOP bail on the Paulson Plan. As a professional money manager I can tell you I am shocked, dismayed and depressed that the Speaker would excoriate the GOP to abandon this plan which is URGENT and necessary to avoid a financial catastrophe that once commenced may be irreversible. The level of ignorance of financial and economic reality displayed by the Speaker , Rep. Boehner, Sen. Shelby , et al, has been frightening and sad. I thought the GOP had a better grasp of such matters than the Dems. Apparently not. And if this has been pure election gamesmanship as I suspect? The willingness to play politics with the U.S. financial markets is appalling and disgusting.

The angry Wall Streeter goes on to say he wants his McCain campaign contributions back and he will "not be voting GOP this year" for the first time since 1976.

Let us put aside for the moment the disconcerting fact that there are people managing large sums of money on Wall Street who are only now realizing what a blowhard Newt Gingrich is. Instead, let's make sure Newt gets the credit he deserves for the current mess. In this week's edition of his newsletter, Winning The Future, Gingrich does recommend that Republicans bail on the bailout plan. Because they'd just be repeating the mistakes made by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In the 1930s, faced with an immediate crisis of bad debt, the government adopted a series of bad ideas -- tax increases and regulatory interventions that allowed the Depression to extend until World War II.

If we're not careful we're going to allow bad politics in Washington to lead to bad policies and the result is going to be a long period of weak growth and massive indebtedness.

Huh. Weird. I thought the last eight years had resulted in weak growth and massive indebtedness. And while once upon a time I might have bristled at the attempt by triumphalist Gingrich-era Republicans to trash the New Deal, right now, it just looks pretty silly.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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