Salon’s Andrew Leonard provided a forceful rebuttal to the conservative stance.

McMorris Rodgers and the rest of the House Republicans may be guilty of a severe misreading of what’s truly at stake. The euro is not plunging in value, along with stock markets across the world, because investors are upset at the prospect of a Greek bailout. What terrifies them is a rerun of the recent financial crisis with Greece playing the role of Lehman Bros. “Contagion” is the nightmare of the day — the possibility that Grecian instability will lead to sovereign debt crises, bank runs, and a new global economic slump that undoes whatever faltering progress has been made recovering from the Great Recession. That’s the real gathering storm and it is freaking out everybody who is paying attention.

There are some real policy questions here, and in the ratings agency rage, that readers need to understand. This is one of those times where fact-gathering should lead and opinion should follow, not the other way around.

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at holly.yeager@gmail.com.