New York, Oct 1 : The failure of the House of Representatives to pass the 700 billion dollar plan to unclog the credit markets represented a colossal failure of American leadership -- not just by President Bush and the congressional leadership but also by the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees.
John McCain and Barack Obama each tried to use the crisis to their political advantage last week while stopping short of giving their unqualified support to the legislative package worked out over the weekend.
When the bailout was voted down, they quickly joined the pointless and puerile finger pointing of House Republicans and Democrats, the New York Times reported.
In the aftermath of Monday's political collapse, the facts are these: The country is now threatened with a devastating economic unraveling if action is not taken to allow government intervention in the financial markets.
President Bush and the House leaders have already demonstrated that they are unable to muster the votes necessary to pass the legislation they crafted with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.
Either Obama or McCain will inherit this crisis in less than four months. They should both be using every means of persuasion they possess to get members of their parties to support a rescue bill.
Fortunately, both candidates took some productive steps on Tuesday. Obama acted first, issuing a statement that stressed the necessity for quick congressional reconsideration of the Paulson plan.
McCain also endorsed the increased insurance limit in an interview with Fox Television. He also proposed that the Treasury use funds already at its disposal to shore up banks and to begin buying up the distressed mortgage-backed securities.