Remember: the Republicans started the ball rolling down hill last September with the TARP program. Enthusiastically endorsed by President Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, the TARP program made politically acceptable the idea of ramming hundreds of billions of dollars of bailout money through Congress without anyone really asking any serious questions. Both Bush and McCain and the entire Republican Congressional leadership supported this rush to catastrophe.
Now, the Republican leadership has joined in the demagoguery surrounding the AIG bonuses. These bonuses, whether you like them or not, were: 1) contractually agreed to; 2) well known both to the president and to the Congressional oversight committees. They learned nothing new in the last two weeks, except that the public did not like the bonuses. The public, of course, was in the dark, which I presume was what the president and the Congress intended.
90 Republicans, including the Republican House leadership supported tossing the Constitution overboard and punishing AIG executives who earned and were owed under contract their bonuses. So much for contract law, so much for the Constitution, so much for Republican Party leadership. How are these folks any better than the Democrats? The truth is they aren't.
Only Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has maintained his composure in this Republican race to me-too the Democrats.