Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Campaign: Much Ado About Nothing-- Manufactured Hysteria & Confusion Leads To McCain Backing Down And Agreeing To Debate


Yesterday was a confusing day for Americans. (Everyday is a confusing day for John McCain.) There was a bailout plan-- a version of the one the Bush Regime was asking for but with safeguards for working families inserted by Democrats-- and then there wasn't a bailout plan. McCain suspended his campaign-- but nothing changed except that he completely politicized the bailout process and wrecked any chance of coming up with a plan in the time frame Bush and Paulson said was essential. And as for "suspending" his campaign... no attack ads against Barack Obama have been pulled, none of the grisly array of lobbyists and special interests political hacks who serve as his surrogates have been pulled from the cable TV shows, none of his headquarters have stopped campaigning-- or were even aware that there's a "suspension"...

Although the irresponsible extremists on the far right ideological fringes of the Republican Party decided to let the whole system collapse rather than rescue it, McCain didn't make common ground with these people; he scurried to the head of their parade for maneuverability in making the entire process about himself-- or rather about his campaign. His is the most cynical manipulation of the political process ever witnessed. Although McCain is sure to sell the extremists and their misplaced ideals out at the first opportunity he has to make himself look like a hero, crazed fanatics like Eric Cantor (R-VA), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who blamed Clinton for trying to help minorities for the problems, Mike Pence (R-IN) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) are willing to make themselves into props in his drama.

McCain's latest desperate ploy to turn around his cascading poll numbers has confirmed his status as a political cancer on the body politic. His cynical plan to dissassociate himself from Bush-- after 8 years of unabated rubber stamping of every single policy initiative that has caused the catastrophe-- is nothing short of breathtaking. His contempt for the intelligence of the American voter is unprecedented.
President Bush scrambled Friday to bring rebellious members of his own party behind a multibillion-dollar government bailout of the financial system amid bitter political recriminations from both Democrats and Republicans over collapsed negotiations.

Bush delivered a terse statement from outside the Oval Office of the White House, acknowledging that lawmakers have a right to express their doubts and work through disagreements, but declaring they must "rise to the occasion" and approve a plan to avert an economic meltdown.

...Earlier Friday, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank declared that an agreement depends on House Republicans "dropping this revolt" against the Bush-requested plan.

The Massachusetts Democrat said leading Democrats on Capitol Hill were shocked by the level of divisiveness that surfaced at Thursday's extraordinary White House meeting, leaving six days of intensive efforts to agree on a bailout plan in tatters only hours after key congressional players of both parties had declared they were in accord on the outlines of a $700 billion bill.

Sounding very much like a Democrat-- which he used to be before he jumped the fence-- Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that "Basically, I believe the Paulson proposal is badly structured. It does nothing basically for the stressed mortgage payer. It does a lot for three or four or five banks." The Republicans in Congress seem to have decided to hold their own leadership's plan-- and perhaps the entire economy-- hostage to McCain's Gallup poll ratings-- and more tax cuts for the wealthy!
Even for a party whose president suffers dismal approval ratings, whose legislative wing lost control of Congress and whose presidential nominee trails in the polls, Thursday was a remarkably bad day for Republicans.

The White House summit meeting had been called for the purpose of sealing the deal that Bush has argued is indispensable to stabilizing frenzied markets and reassuring the nervous American public. But it quickly revealed that Bush's proposal had been suddenly sidetracked by fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to embrace a plan that appeared close to acceptance by the Senate and most House Democrats.

Paulson begged Democratic participants not to disclose how badly the meeting had gone, dropping to one knee in a teasing way to make his point according to witnesses.

And when Paulson hastily tried to revive talks in a nighttime meeting near the Senate chamber, the House's top Republican refused to send a negotiator.

"This is the president's own party," Frank said at the time. "I don't think a president has been repudiated so strongly by the congressional wing of his own party in a long time."

This morning Mike Huckabee seemed appalled by McCain's cynical ploys and he called his strategy of avoiding the debate a huge mistake. "Huckabee said Thursday in Mobile that the people need to hear both candidates. He said that's 'far better than heading to Washington' to huddle with senators. He said the candidates should level with the people about the financial crisis and say the 'heart of this is greed.' [Maybe he should discus that with Bachmann.] Huckabee said he still backs McCain's candidacy, but said the Arizona senator should not have put his campaign on hold to deal with the financial crisis on Wall Street. He said a president must be prepared to 'deal with the unexpected... You can't just say, "World stop for a moment. I'm going to cancel everything."'"

Nor is Huckabee the only person dismayed at how erratic, partisan and reckless McCain has been behaving. Scores of newspapers across the ideological spectrum-- and across the battleground states-- have echoed his sentiments and demanded that McCain stop politicizing the bailout and get his old white ass down to Mississippi today for the debate.

The Miami Herald, in an editorial entitled Let Debate Happen says that "McCain wants to postpone the presidential debate scheduled for Friday evening in Oxford, Miss., because, he says, the economic crisis facing the country must take precedence over politics. That's a bad call... This is no time for political stunts. By calling a halt to his campaign and flying to Washington, Sen. McCain hopes to project himself as an involved leader. President Bush invited both candidates to Thursday's White House meeting on the financial crisis. If this helps to come up with a solution, fine, but the best way for Sens. McCain and Obama to tell America how they would lead the country out of this mess is for them to engage in a nationally televised debate." The Roanoke Times has a similar perspective:
More than John McCain's poll numbers are slipping. So is his grip on leadership qualities Americans expect in their next president.

McCain must have thought he'd look maverickishly presidential when he announced he would suspend his campaign in order to rescue the economy. This, from the same man who last week was so detached from Wall Street's meltdown that he claimed "the fundamentals of the economy are sound." His actions this week confirm he remains out of touch.

McCain claims finally to get it. He said Wednesday he would cancel his ads and appearances, wriggle out of tonight's presidential debate, put his personal ambitions behind duty to country and rush to Washington, D.C. to ... what? ... save the economy?
On the way, though, he dropped by CBS to do damage control after his running mate bombed an interview with Katie Couric on his economic record, of all things, and to meet with a deep-pocket campaign supporter.

As events unfolded, McCain's arrival in D.C. was too late for him to emerge the savior. Hours before he and Barack Obama were to have a sit-down Thursday afternoon with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., congressional leaders appeared to have struck a deal on the $700 billion bailout.
They did this by pulling an all-nighter that eclipsed a week of grueling hearings with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

McCain missed that boat. Americans need to know if he's capable of boarding any on time.

The debate that matters most today is the presidential debate scheduled for tonight. McCain can ill afford to snub Americans' interest in weighing the candidates.

The Raleigh News & Observer places the blame for the confusion directly on McCain's doorstep. "The Democratic nominee makes convincing points when he notes that presidents often must deal with multiple crises at the same time, and that the American people would benefit from hearing the next president-- either him or Republican John McCain-- discuss the nation's serious financial troubles. Thus, he says, let's proceed with the first of three scheduled debates, this one slated for 9 p.m. tonight at the University of Mississippi.
McCain, in seeking to postpone the debate, was not so convincing. It's more important, he said, for members of Congress to be in Washington working to craft a solution to the economic meltdown.

Both McCain and Obama indeed were in the capital yesterday, even attending a White House meeting at President Bush's invitation. The upshot of the day's negotiations seemed to be significant progress toward agreement on a bill bailing out financial institutions that hold bad debt, thus helping to free the economy from a potentially disastrous credit crunch. McCain may believe that he'd be at a disadvantage if he must face Obama in debate without more time to prepare, but his stated reason for a delay-- even if it might have made a certain amount of sense at first-- no longer holds up.

I was going to transcribe a dozen... from Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire... from every battleground state. But then the "suspended campaign" started placing ads (like the one above) claiming that McCain won the debate. Chris Cillizza and Michael Shear at the Washington Post broke the story about McCain backing down. "The news that John McCain will debate Barack Obama tonight in Mississippi is a concession by the Arizona Senator that his attempt to score a quick political victory on legislation to bail out the financial sector did not pan out as he had hoped." Cillizza calls McCain's decision to buckle under public pressure, as his gimmicky ploy went down in flames, an "attempt to make lemonade out of lemons."

And while the extremist ideologues in safe Republican seats are demanding lower taxes for the rich as the solution to... well to everything, garden variety Bush rubber stamps are mostly hiding under rocks and hoping this all blows over and no one notices them. Electorally vulnerable fake moderates in swing districts, like Charlie Dent (R-PA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Chris Shays (R-CT), Randy Kuhl (R-NY), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are laying low, keeping quiet... and trembling-- passive and confused victims of a developing situation that has engulfed their political careers. Progressive Democratic candidate and small businesswoman Annette Taddeo blasted Ros-Lehtinen today for her "silence" and glaring lack of leadership, pointing out that she has received more than $800,000 in contributions from the financial services industry during her 19 years in Congress and that she "votes consistently with President Bush to reward Wall Street and remove accountability." Ros-Lehtinen is starting to run to radio stations in her district and read Taddeo's press releases about how to handle the crisis, claiming them as her own! It will be hilarious if Annette ever gets her to agree to debate-- which is very unlikely.

Harry Reid and John McCain came to Washington at the same time-- 1982. Reid's assessment of McCain is absolutely devastating. "I know John McCain. John McCain does not have the temperament to be president of the United States and he has proven that in the last week. He’s wrong on the war, wrong on the economy, he’s wrong on many issues that are so important to the American people. And he is erratic." And that isn't even the worst of it. He called his interference in the bailout process worse than a distraction. It was a photo-op and it derailed the process for the sake of his floundering campaign:

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At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have worked for and around people like this all my life. These are the types that seem to rise to the top. The sad truth is that they are nuts. And, the best way to survive them is to stay out of their way.

This suits Obama's style as a calm cool and collected guy. I can see why McCain wanted no part of standing next to Obama to be compared to him.

The difficulty is in trying to respond to the chaos that is John McCain.

Tonight should be interesting.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain must have known yesterday, but didn't admit it til today, that he was going to be in Oxford tonight, as there was a big to-do for Cindy in Oxford very early this morning. One of my closest friends was there.

Just one more example of what to expect of him if he happens to be elected.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain getting back into the debate is a purely political move, like everything else he does... it's not that he wants to inform Americans or demonstrate his know-how, he just thought thought not showing up to the debates would make him look bad

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about your "manufactured hysteria and confusion"--how about manufactured paranoia and scaremongering in the form of fake al-Qaeda "messages" designed solely to manipulate and pervert the elections?!

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Republican "crisis" politics. He's only undermining himself in the long run. I am so tired of this, every day something new and shocking from the McCain Camp that has more to do with his posturing than about conserving time and energy to actually do something constructive. It's just unprofessional, unproductive, unreasonable, and unpresidential. Calm and reason will win the day. --Julia in Silicon Valley, CA

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Cooking With Turf said...

McCain has become a walking disaster:

More from the Washington Post:

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Hello again DWT,

There's much more to this unfolding story. Be a little patient to understand the truth and then hold their feet to the fire!

Money Karma comes home to roost !!!

This is the long awaited opportunity to finally "kill the beast" and kick all the bums out, forever. Read what I have been saying for insights into another way to manage this civilization, without money and without evil cabals running this world. The keys to a "New Earth" are wisdom and cooperation, not the fears and follies of the past.

It will soon become painfully obvious, to even the most clueless, that it will be far easier to step away from the deceptions of the past (money, religion, and politics) and finally fix our civilization so it works for everyone, not just for a self-chosen and abominably greedy few. Why should humanity struggle and suffer any longer to repay massive debts and endure great debacles created by amazingly greedy and deceptive monetary and political leaders? Are you familiar with the ancient concept of a Jubilee? It's time has come, and the power of the rich and arrogant is about to be blown away on the winds of long-overdue and irresistible change.

Here is Wisdom...



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