I’ve seen some attempts to brand the failed bailout bill as a Republican attempt to grind the gears, but it ain’t necessarily so. When Kos, Mark Kirk, Bill Foster, Tom Udall, Jesse Jr., Dan Lipinski, and many others (Update: netroots heroine Darcy Burner, too) line up broadly on the same issue in opposition to their parties’ powers that be, the truth is a lot more complicated. House members, with smaller, more ideologically pure/radical beliefs and constituencies, are going to be less likely to play along with Establishment consensus, which is right now unenthusiastically for the bailout bill. If anything is grinding the gears, it’s the rush to act on a crisis that the experts themselves are at odds on the magnitude of. The Incredible Disappearing President, obviously, can’t do much.

Update: This is clearly your fault, peons. You should listen to the experts and do what you’re told. No, the experts who are telling you to vote for the bill. Wait, where are you going…?

One of my commenters expressed disappointment that Obama would embrace the current, desultory bailout bill, but I’m not terribly surprised–I’d expect him to govern towards a consensus center, which after two Bush administrations is an instinct that I think helps him generally, but isn’t going to play well in a scenario when people are looking for someone to lead a boat-rocking consensus instead of a hold-your-nose-and-vote consensus. He just doesn’t seem to have that instinct. This might really hurt him in the presidential election if he wasn’t running against McChaos‘s worst campaign ever, which is going to run laps around satire later today.