Josh Marshall makes the obvious point that in relative terms $25 (or even $34 billion)billion just ain't that much money. We gave Hank Paulson 25+ times that without anywhere near the amount of kvetching, hand-wringing and Congressional hearings that we're subjecting Detroit too.
That's not to say that there shouldn't be Congressional oversight before taking such a plunge but the difference in the process from the financial bailout to the auto debate is striking. What accounts for it? I don't think it's simply learning from the botched job that Paulson has done thus far. Congress-critters like a good whipping boy and Detroit makes an easy target. There's also ideology driving much of the outcry from the right, they see an opportunity to further weaken the institutions that provide for a viable middle-class. As usual many Democrats see an opportunity to draw a distinction between themselves and the perception of old Democratic (read labor) politics and are eager to discard their constituents at the first opportunity all in the hopes of appearing "independent" or "bipartisan." It's a mugs game but they fall into the trap every time.
That capital interests are not subjected to the same preening and posturing demonstrates where Congress' loyalties actually lie.