Chris Dodd knows how to play Chicken

by Ken Houghton

I had the same reaction to his “we have to do something” comments on Sunday as Dr. Black. But we both, clearly, forgot the game that was being played.

Monday is a day of work, and Dodd has clearly prepared well:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Authority to purchase troubled assets.
Sec. 3. Considerations.
Sec. 4. Oversight.
Sec. 5. Rights; management; sale of troubled assets.
Sec. 6. Maximum amount of authorized purchases.
Sec. 7. Funding.
Sec. 8. Limits on review.
Sec. 9. Assistance to homeowners and localities.
Sec. 10. Maintaining insurance parity.
Sec. 11. Minimizing foreclosures.
Sec. 12. Termination of authority.
Sec. 13. Increase in statutory limit on the public debt.
Sec. 14. Credit reform.
Sec. 15. Annual financial reports and audits.
Sec. 16. Conflicts of interest.
Sec. 17. Executive compensation.
Sec. 18. Studies and reports.
Sec. 19. Disclosures on exercise of loan authority.
Sec. 20. Special inspector general for the troubled asset program.
Sec. 21. Definitions.

Dodd, having played along with the “this is urgent” call has now presented the “if this is so urgent, show us what it’s really worth to you” card.

All the players may not yet be ready to go all-in, but the stakes are getting higher, and the planned abstention from the McCain campaign may soon look as if it is lack of leadership.

So I’ll end on a sad note. As Brad DeLong said in an earlier post:

Dodd looks like a plan I can get behind–a serious attempt to solve the problem, preserve accountability, and balance the equities. Too bad he isn’t the VP nominee.

But someone who opposed the bastardisation of FISA would have energized the base, and we can’t have that in Democratic politics.