Posted by Peter Lawler
...and delay the debate until a decision is made about how to address the crisis. Obama is inclined to let both go forward.
A clever stunt, McCain's proposal.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) blasted McCain's move. "It's the longest 'Hail Mary' in the history of either football or Marys,"
What would a Barney Frank possibly know about football, ----------------------------------------------- or women.
Well, clever stunt is ungenerous, because it's not altogether a bad idea. Still, it goes without saying that Mac would like to suspend politics until people think this worst economic mess since the Great Depression really does get resolved or at least less messy. I will admit that Barney does know his football and his Marys.
I have to be honest. Its a stunt, its bold, but I don't think it is that clever. Does McCain think people will fail to notice that his speech on the crisis did not mention any specific policy to address the crisis but did mention September 11? The speech seemed designed to get McCain pack the his Bipartisanship and Patriotism for Country First cliches (which are getting just as tired as Obama's Hope and Change for the Future) and away from all those economic specifics that make him so uncomfortable.
I sympathize with McCain. This finance crisis hits the Republicans really hard. It scares people, its going to cost the taxpayer, and the eventual bailout will probably increase government influence over the economy. It would hurt the incumbent party anyway, but its especially bad when the incumbent party is also the more free market oriented party. It kills their whole credibility. Add to it that their candidate has no reputation for economic expertise and is visibly uncomfortable talking abour the economy.
Two more points,
1. McCain can't fake his way through economics and hope to be President. Making vague threats against unnamed Wall Street crooks is not a policy. Saying he would fire the SEC chair is not a policy. Offering to name the first Democrat that comes to mind as a top regulater is not a policy. And neither is calling for a meeting of the senior Washington leadership.
2. How senatorial (in the worst sense) is McCain's call for a big meeting in order to hash out a bail out? McCain does not offer any principles or policies. He just says that a bunch of smart Washington worthies get together and ... something will come out it. Thats not the kind of leadership people look for in a President or a President to be.
Straight Talk Express Pete be thy name!
pete, i gotta agree too. it'll take a miracle to save the election.
Pete, are you serious? Can't fake it on economics? Every President fakes it on economics. They don't know squat. We might debate the cleverness or lack thereof of the gimmick, but lets not pretend that Americans demand that the President pass an econ test or have any knowledge of the balance sheet, equity market, capitalization, or even how government affects business.
Look, I think the move is stupid. I think half of what McCain does is stupid. But it seems to have worked so far. Even now he has a better chance than most anticipated in June. In a way this stupid plays into his forte. Who doesn't remember "I'd rather lose the election than the war"? Well now after people say how gimmicky and fake this move was, he can say "I'd rather save the economy, than win the election."
So it appears that Obama believes words speak louder than actions.
If you actually believe that this attempt to dodge the debates is really McCain trying to "suspend politics", well, I've got a great deal on some subprime mortgages for ya!
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