Matthew Yglesias calls it "striking" that Mitt Romney and so many other conservatives are engaging in opportunistic position-taking against TARP:
Dave Weigel points out that Mitt Romney is now slamming the TARP bill that he once favored. Shocking to see that guy change his position on something.
But Romney aside, it’s striking to see the number of conservatives who’ve decided that an initiative proposed by George W. Bush and Hank Paulson and endorsed by the GOP congressional leadership was and is secretly some socialist plot. Similarly with the idea that Ben Bernanke, former Bush administration official, is running some sort of rogue left-wing operation at the Fed. Obviously the economy’s still in a bad position today, but the evidence really does indicate that the whole suite of recovery measures (stimulus, TARP, Fed programs) are having the desired effect and things are turning around. I think this strategy of opportunistically pretending to have opposed this stuff could really come around to bite the right in the butt if things are looking better in 12 months and I think it’s very likely that things will be looking better in 12 months.
While it's true that "opportunistically pretending to have opposed this stuff could really come around to bite the right in the butt if things are looking better in 12 months," that's a rational calculation that politicians often make. If TARP and the stimulus work and the economy is in great shape in 2012, it's extremely likely that President Obama will be re-elected regardless of what Romney does. So he has every incentive to put his chips down on the side of predicting TARP's failure, which could help position him to defeat Obama in 2012 if the economy is doing poorly. The same reasoning applies for the GOP more generally in 2010 and 2012.