I make no bones about my political affiliations, but let me toss the skeptics a bone here:
1. I thought McCain was right that, to solve the underlying economic problem we are having, we need to stabilize home-ownership. I even thought he had a good idea when proposing that the government take direct steps to buy mortgages - at least in a vacuum.
The current bailout plan allows the goverment to buy both mortgage backed securities (the CDOs, RMBS, and CMBS that caused this mess) as well as to force lenders to write down mortgages (i.e. take a "haircut"). What the bailout did not do was set up a mechanism for the government to go from the first step to the second - i.e., to buy MBS, unpackage them to get at the underlying mortgages, and then have lenders write those down.
McCain's idea could have gone there. Instead, in the 2 weeks since the second debate, the plan turned out to be a $300B plan to replace Fannie and Freddie with a new federal home-loan lender. I liked the original sentiment, more than I like this, but this is not a terrible idea. (Note, many have argued that the idea was actually part of Hillary's campaign first.)
2. Sticking with our two themes: crossing over and Hillary - I didn't like Obama's recent statement on the campaign trail that he would call for a three-month moratorium on home foreclosures. This was a bad idea when Hillary and McCain were for it last year, and it is a bad idea now. At best, it is a stopgap. At worst, it artificially delays a lot of foreclosures that will happen anyway regardless of the bailout.
If Obama wants a moratorium, lets use the scalpel he talks about. Identify those properties that will clearly be foreclosed on (i.e. those having lost 30% or where the reset payment is well beyond the person's ability to pay) and let those continue, holding the rest at bay. Something like that.