Here is one way to define the concept. Lead our country to the brink of economic disaster. Have the very administration which brought us there propose an emergency $700 billion “fix” to provide liquidity so our economic circulatory system does not seize up, the plan proposed by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, with our President finally making a speech to the nation in which he warns of the dire consequences of congress not acting immediately. Congressional hearings immediately ensue, with the Democratic majority buying into the need for action. Both sides of the isle agree to the basic principles, including oversight protection, and we are told a deal is imminent. But wait, the Republican presidential candidate returns to Washington, on his white horse, his pearl handle pistol at his side and suddenly there is no agreement. A dangerous game of chicken unfolds: “If the Democrats and the President want the plan, let them pass it” the Republican choir sings. Heads we win, tails you lose. America or politics first?
PS Washington Mutual was just closed by the US Government, the largest failure of a US bank.