Dave Ramsey, whom I respect, hated the deal but assumed it would (and should) pass. Here's a post I just found at FR, which I think states the case pretty well:
"Iím a conservative and big free market advocate and practitioner. Iím also a pragmatist. The failure to pass this bill and stop what it tried to do was bad for America. This is not about saving Wall St. The damage there has already been done and you canít take stocks below zero. This was about the rest of us. We are absolutely staring into the abyss of a 1929 Herbert Hoover type banking collapse that will have serious bad consequences for all of us. If you donít use a bank, donít have a pension or other investments and donít buy food, you are probably not affected. For the rest of us, this is bad.
This problem was created by Washington and its hard to see a solution that doesnít come from there as well. There are literally thousands of banks that are on the brink of failure right now and the several thousand others are in a cloud that doesnít allow them to act. Without capital, capital-ism doesnít work. That is what we are facing right now.
My fear is that the conservatives have won this battle but have lost the war. Sadly, the cost to fix this later will be much more and will result in significantly more government control over our lives. From what I read, we had a decent but not perfect solution. We didnít go the European way, where they nationalized three banks today (we may have to go that way later as it gets worse). Our route looked like an investment in the banking system, not an expense. In all likelihood, that investment would have resulted in a nice return over the next few years as the markets stabilize. "
We'll never know.