I think the Obama administration was genuinely intimidated by Santelli's rant. After TARP, the stimulus and the auto bailout, any more help for the economy from Washington was just too much for people like Rick and the tea party to bear. And the president and his people knew it.
Just imagine how much faster things might have recovered if we'd bailed out individuals like we did Wall Street and Detroit. Who knows? The economy could be humming along today at three percent GDP growth with unemployment under seven percent. Oh well.