It's pretty good theater watching the right recoil in horror at efforts by Sen. Bob Corker to attempt something very rare in GOP land: actually do his job as a legislator on a complex policy issue. Corker's felony is engaging in reasonably good faith negotiations with Democrats on financial market reform. For this egregious offense some on the right have labeled him Bailout Bob, and a Tea Party Nation email lambastes Corker for "signaling his willingness to work with Chris Dodd" on a bill that "does nothing for the American people." Yes indeed, there's a special place in hell reserved for those who would signal a willingness to work with someone else on a tough problem.
Much of the outrage on Corker's right flank has been aimed at the Democrats' proposal to create a $50 billion resolution fund that would be financed by financial institutions (not the government) and used to wind down troubled banks. Many Republicans want to frame this as a ticket to more government bailouts, even as those unreconstructed Marxists at The Economist and National Review Online point out how feckless a claim it really is.
For his part, Corker responds that the debate is being framed in a way that is "very low level and very silly." For our part, although Corker is still doing much more of Wall Street's bidding than Main Street's, it's refreshing to see at least one GOP lawmaker who understands that his job is to confront issues constructively, not just confrontationally and polemically.