So, it's been nearly a month since John McCain's surprise announcement regarding his running mate. Like a bolt out of the blue, Sarah Palin arrived on the scene: underqualified, under-informed, and under-vetted. The last item became pretty clear when the McCain campaign refused to admit that they knew nothing about Palin's pregnant daughter, or to release any information regarding the VP-vetting process in general. ("Are you secretly gay? Do you have an affinity for airport bathrooms? No? Great, you're in.") And, now that Palin's dead-cat bounce is fading, and the Walmart moms are getting to the bottom of things with her -- and finding her a little lacking -- McCain brings out another whopper: He's going to suspend his campaign, step into a phone booth, and re-emerge in Washington as the Superman of credit crises. Yes, Mr. McCain is going to Washington to solve all our problems. And Obama, he says, should be following in his footsteps. Oh, BTW, can we call off Friday's debate, while we're at it?
Who took McWalnuts off his meds? Are we really looking for a President who, in every pressure-filled situation, has this kind of a knee-jerk reaction? I admit a certain level of admiration for his political advisors, who know how to stir the pot, but over the long haul, the outcomes are not good. Every situation seems to be assessed in terms of short-term gains (meaning: What will give me a leg up in the battleground states?), rather than longer-term positives (meaning: I really am putting my Country First™).
Everyone I have polled in my admittedly-small and definitely Obama-leaning circle of cronies has had the same reaction to McCain's announcement: He's afraid of the debate. And whether or not this is true, we're all amazed that a man who last week announced that the economy is fine, and who has wrapped himself in a couple of financial debacles in the past, now deems himself necessary in a negotiating process that started, and has proceeded, without him.
I watched Obama's town hall today, and he echoed what I've been feeling for over a year: This crisis has been affecting the middle class for quite some time. Inflationary pressure, declining home values, a deteriorating job market-- it's folks like my nephew, who couldn't even find a job at McDonald's when he came home from college for the summer -- who've been pummeled already. All they're saying to Wall Street is this: "Welcome to the party, y'all. And BTW, we're not interested in funding your golden parachutes in return for all the trouble you've caused us."
So much for our 30+ years of trickle-down economics (yes, we got a bit of a respite with Clinton, but Dubya trashed those achievements, didn't he?). We've trickled ourselves right into a New New Deal. We might as well put a guy with the political DNA to manage it into office. FDR Version 2.0, if you will. I don't think that's McCain. He seems to put about 30 seconds of time into the planning process: rather than decision-making capability, he seems to have some kind of cartoonishly-large hero complex that causes him to leap before he looks. Great for the headlines, murder on the bottom line.
Thanks, but no thanks. I'm voting for the guy who calls Paul Volcker for advice, not the one who calls Carly Fiorina, who got bounced out of her own job for knee-jerk reactions. Birds of a feather ... If you buy McCain's story today, I got a Bridge to Nowhere and some AIG stock to sell you.
(Art adapted from a cartoon by Olle, with my apologies. Here's a link to the original: politicalhumor.about.com/.../