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Naomi Wolf is an author and essayist whose works have appeared in The New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She[…]

The sheer size of the bailout made it impossible to adequately review before its passage, Naomi Wolf says.

Wolf: I’m not an economist so I’m not able to assess is it the best package ever.  What I am alert to as a writer is the language that was used around the process of rushing it through.  Certainly, we’ve seen over the last 8 years when the White House says, “You have to pass this complex, ill-defined legislation immediately,” and it’s got language about no oversight, that doesn’t bode well.  I mean, that’s what they did with the Patriot Act, they rushed it through in a matter of hours.   They told legislators that they were unpatriotic if they didn’t pass it.  Now, as someone who studied history, this is exactly what the National Socialists did with Enabling Act [in Clause 2] in the wake of the Reichstag fire.  The city have got to pass these laws, making it legal for us to spy on people and open their mail and listen to their phone calls or else we’re unpatriotic.  And, you know, the Parliament rushed that legislation through and that was the beginning of everything that followed.  They also rushed through legislation to diminish their own power in a Constitution to give more power to the executive.  So, that’s, it doesn’t have good historical precedents, but the Patriot Act, you know, I’ve held it, it’s very heavy.  It’s like hundreds of pages of legislation, very dense, and there’s no way anyone can absorb it, you know, between 3:00 AM and 11:00 AM, you know, the next day when they passed it.  So, I was aware of this time pressure and that there’s not a good precedent for that.