McCain suspends his campaign
Start with an examination of McCain's latest political gimmick: a "suspension" of his campaign so he can go to Washington to convene with the administration and congressional leaders to produce legislation addressing the threat of a collapse of the nation's financial system.
McCain's announcement, as it turns out, was a hastily constructed effort to beat Barack Obama to the punch, since the Obama campaign actually initiated contact with McCain on Wednesday morning, calling for a joint statement on the need to work together to solve the crisis. McCain apparently smelled a political opportunity and tried to turn the effort to his advantage. He also called for a delay of Friday's scheduled presidential foreign policy debate, then went even further, to try and save Sarah Palin's bacon (heh) by suggesting a postponement of the vice-presidential debate to a yet-to-be-determined date.
If that's not a sign of weakness, then you're reading this blog on a stone tablet.
The problem for McCain is that he really is not instrumental to the negotiations going on between congress and the administration. As a senator, he can cast a vote for or against the proposal when it comes to the Senate floor, but he will not be involved in crafting the actual legislation. He does not sit on the Senate Banking Committee where the real action is taking place.
His lack of leverage in the high stakes negotiations exposes his call for a suspension of politics as a stunt, no doubt in response to the latest polls that show him falling behind in a significant way.
Palin stumbles and stammers
Sarah Palin, for her part, seems to be unable to keep pace with the rapid learning curve that has been imposed on her. Last night in an interview with CBS, Katie Couric asked Palin to name some specific examples from McCain's congressional career where he had pushed for more regulation of Wall Street. Palin's response? "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you."
Earlier in the week, the McCain campaign trotted Palin up to the United Nations, where she got to sit down and have her picture taken with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, and with the hideous corpse that houses the wraith that is Henry Kissinger. At first, the campaign tried to allow only photographers and camera persons to attend, but the media (even Fox News) raised hell until the campaign relented and allowed reporters in for a full 29 seconds. (They were not allowed to ask questions.)
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Rick Davis
Mad Johnny had only recently seemed to find his footing regarding the financial crisis by criticizing Barack Obama for having donors tied to the two mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that are now being bailed out by the federal government. The allegation was that Obama was partly responsible for the current crisis because he had fought against greater regulation of these entities while in the senate.
Of course, Obama did no such thing. But to make matters worse for McCain, it now turns out that McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis was paid nearly $2 million by Fannie and Freddie as a consultant.
According to Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, “The value that [Davis] brought to the relationship was the closeness to Senator McCain and the possibility that Senator McCain was going to run for president again.”
McCain's reaction to the financial crisis, his desperate machinations to keep his running mate insulated from reporters, and his uncanny knack for putting his foot in his mouth in new and different ways each and every day are symptoms so obvious that even the most dense of Republican yahoos cannot fail to recognize them. Never mind his campaign....the old guy is losing it.
As conservative columnist George Will wrote in his column of September 23, McCain "because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency."
If the cretinous red state voters do elect McCain, it will not be because they imagine him to be the better candidate. Even they are not that stupid. It will be because their fears, bigotry, and hatred, and their ludicrous pride are more important to them, more comforting to them than their country or their humanity.
"Country First," indeed!