Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Only minutes ago, Sen. John McCain suspended his campaign and asked that Friday night’s presidential debate be postponed. Claiming that it was crucial that he return to Washington to participate in the nation’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout, McCain called on Obama to do the same.

McCain has a point. He is a sitting senator who hasn’t exactly been doing his elected duties for some time now. In fact, he has not made a roll call vote in more than five months. (Obama has also been absent for the past two months). And yet what can either man really do?

This is the height of political theater. As with the campaign cessation during Hurricane Gustav, there is little more McCain or Obama can do other than stand around and look concerned. This latest move by McCain is nothing more than a photo-op stunt.

For his part, Sen. Obama has indicated his desire to move ahead with the debate, claiming, “It’s my belief that this is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible with dealing with this mess. Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It’s not necessary for us to think that we can do only one thing, and suspend everything else.”

It’s a bit of a risky move. Rejecting McCain could allow the Republican to take a counterfeit high ground and appear to be the only one above politics, the only one who “puts country first.” But agreeing to it could make Obama appear like a follower, rather than a leader, just at the time when the current financial crisis has become the turning point in his numbers.

The reason for McCain’s plea is all too clear.

The faltering economy is proving to be a disaster to McCain, whose strong suit is national security and who has said repeatedly that he is no expert on the economy. Sarah Palin, McCain’s not-so-secret weapon, is watching her numbers plummet around the nation, including a 20 point deficit in her home state of Alaska. According to today’s brand new Wall St. Journal/ABC poll, John McCain’s 49-47 point edge has been transformed to a 52 percent to 43 percent lead for Obama. Since 1948, no candidate with 50 percent or higher in September has ever lost the White House.

McCain is gambling everything with this audacious move. Only the next few days and weeks will reveal whether or not this was the beginning of the end for team McCain.


Blogger Grinth said...

Oh but this is so much more than a move to garner votes, although there is more than enough of that going on:

"And Rep. Roy Blunt, the Republicans' House whip, said McCain's decision to return to Washington "is a testament to the fact that [he] is a guy who would rather be part of the solution than run away from the fight."

The typical sickening swill that is spewed by the current administration.

The bigger issue at hand, to me, is Bush and Co are desperate to get the $700 billion "bail-out" rammed through Congress as is. That is about the worst thing that could happen and they know it. You know, we need to get that bill passed by friday before more people notice such clauses as:

"Section 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary [Henry Paulson] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

The fact of the matter is Bush and this current administration are asking the American public to accept the fact they are increasing the national debt of our country by 700 billion thus bringing the amount our national debt has increased this year alone by 1.6 trillion dollars. A massive percentage of this has come from repeated "bail-outs" of companies poorly run by the rich:
• $29 billion to bail out Bear Stearns.

• $40 billion in the first mortgage-holder bailout.

• $80 billion for an additional year of Iraq war operations. (Another $150-$200 billion in war costs such as future veterans' disability benefits were incurred but not funded.)

• Up to $85 billion to bail out AIG.

• $153 billion to households for "economic stimulus."

• $200 billion, and possibly more, to bail out Fannie and Freddie.

• $290 billion in farm subsidies, despite agricultural prices and grains profits being at record highs.

• $700 billion general bailout of securities backed by bad debt. (The International Monetary Fund estimates this figure will rise to at least $1 trillion.)

And, as one astute journalist points out, "in 2007, George W. Bush vetoed an increase of $7 billion per year in health care spending for the poor, saying the country couldn't afford it".

I for one am mad. Republicans and Democrats be damned. Things need to get fixed, and things of this nature don't get fixed in three days with a carte blanche check that is completely unregulated and impervious to any scrutiny. That's bullshit. Which is why it comes as no shock that Bush is trying to get it passed now and McCain is saying he will participate in the debates if the pass the bill.

Today McCain said he was going to go to Washington to help fix the problem. Today Obama outlined stipulations that he felt HAD to be in whatever plan is enacted.

Personally I prefer actual details to pr posturing, but hey to each there own.

What it boils down to is that this is a huge crisis, the American public should be pissed off, and even more angry our President is looking us right in the face and saying "These guys screwed up, but the economy will fix itself if we give them even more money."

I'd rather deal with the economic shit-storm for a while longer and come out with a well thought out plan, then go with a knee-jerk "you'll never know exactly what you got, but you know you're paying for it" plan that exists now.

Some good articles, in my opinion, about this whole wonderful mess:

(Scroll down to the Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! section)

9:16 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

9:22 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

More directly to your original post Brandon:

Evidently McCain wasn't exactly truthful when he called Letterman to tell him that he wasn't able to make an appearance tonight because he was getting on a plane to go to Washington yadda yadda...:

Any lingering doubts about the nature of McCain's motives have been cleared up

9:36 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

This might be the best yet:

7:18 PM  

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