After some more give and ake, Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, presents a five-page list of 192 economists and business school professors who oppose the plan. Bush isn't impressed. "I don't care what somebody on some college campus says," Bush says. Instead, he says he trusts Hank Paulson, who, he says, has more than 35 years of experience and access to more information than those academics on Shelby's list. [Boldface imine.--gs]Adam Smith? J.M. Keynes? Friedrich Hayek? Milton Friedman?
There's a hint here about what went wrong with the Republican party: the lack of an intellectual foundation. Not just the lack, but the belief that it is unnecessary and even contemptible.
 The stupidity of addressing a political ally this way during a bipartisan conference is beside the point I'm driving at.
 Gingrich may have one, but it's annulled by his being such an obvious opportunist jerk.