McWaffling Through the Bailout

McCain the action figure

At a political rally in Florida on 9-15-2008 McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Maybe his pal Joe Lieberman, ever ready to help John get through another gaffe called him later that day when McCain also declared that the U.S. was facing its worse crisis since WW II. This past Monday 9-22-08 McCain admits that he hasn’t read a three page summary of the bailout proposal. Wednesday 9-25-08 McCain declares that his campaign must be suspended in order to return to Washington D.C. to personally intercede in the financial crisis. There wasn’t time to read a summary of the bailout because he was busy campaigning, but like one of those light bulbs that goes on over a cartoon figures head he decides to race back to D.C. where he hasn’t placed a vote since this past April. He isn’t sinking like a lead balloon in the polls, but the downward spiral seems to be a trend. McWaffle wouldn’t be grandstanding with some relatively meaningless gesture to refocus media attention to something else or would he. Getting back to D.C. pronto was important enough to cancel his Late Nite appearance, but not important enough to miss a press op with Katie Couric,

But it’s later when Keith Olbermann is in the chair when things get really interesting. It’s then that Letterman is informed that McCain was not in fact flying to Washington at all, but rather was at that very minute taping an interview with Katie Couric, his fellow CBS-mate. They then proceeded to show a bit of what appeared to be a live feed of the interview, as Letterman shouted at the screen “Hey, Senator, you need a ride to the airport?”

McCain’s rudder is broke or he’s rigged his sails wacky, or heck, maybe he really thinks this is how a leader acts in a crisis. There’s another possibility. he’s trying disparately to deflect attention away from the Couric interview with Governor Palin, What McCain was trying to bury

Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie – that, that’s paramount. That’s more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he’s been in Congress for 26 years. He’s been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He’s also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he’s been talking about – the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you’ve said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time – not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

Rather then answer a question a politician or anyone for that matter reaches for inexplicable generalizations and quirky nosequitars you’re listening to someone out of their depth. At this point it is not only clear that she is not prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, but many Alaskans are probably wondering what kind of governor they’re stuck with. Was McCain’s Stunt an Attempt at Palin Damage Control? – The Anonymous Liberal mentions that Palin thinks that a failure to pass bailout legislation would, in her words, lead to another Great Depression. Add up the McCain Financial Crisis Timeline divided by the corner that Palin backed McCain into and its difficult to gloat. Its like watching a train wreck in progress and its not over yet. McCain and/or Palin are going to have to explain at some point, the Great Depression remark in addition to dealing with more scrutiny of McCain’s nonreformist reform record. McCain’s Record On Economic Reform: ‘Zero’ and Flashback: McCain Debated While Gramm Negotiated Deregulation

“The deal was announced about 2 A.M. after a compromise was reached over the measure’s effect on lending rules for the disadvantaged, the source of months of partisan bickering between the White House and Senator Phil Gramm, the Texas Republican who heads the banking committee. … For more than 20 years, Congress has tried unsuccessfully to rewrite the nation’s financial services laws and repeal Glass-Steagall… That all changed in recent years as the lines between the industries began to blur and it became more broadly acknowledged that a deregulation of financial services could be beneficial to insurers, bankers and securities firms alike. Once the three industries rallied around the legislation, they became a formidable political force, raising millions of dollars for lawmakers and pressing both Republican leaders in Congress and the White House for new legislation.”

Those negotiations took place on October 22. And where was McCain at the time? At a presidential debate in New Hampshire, praising deregulation.

I meant to post this yesterday, The Paulson Plan Bad News For The Bailout

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

Wow. If it wants to see a bailout bill passed soon, the administration’s going to have to come up with some hard answers to hard questions. Public support for it already seems to be waning. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Tuesday, 44% of those surveyed oppose the administration’s plan, up from 37% Monday.

As funy as that “really large number” is maybe they did us all a favor by freaking everyone out and slowing things down a bit. I went over to Senator Dodds site and the latest release says they will continue to work on a solution today so its not too late to send your reps your thoughts.

McCain as of this writing is refusing to debate unless a bailout deal is reached. Getting a handle on mutiple priorities is pretty much the rule for working class Americans, but not so much for the guy that wants to be leader of the free world. Senator Barack Obama released this statement late yesterday,

I believe that several core principles should guide this legislation.

First, there must be oversight. We should not hand over a blank check to the discretion of one man. We support an independent, bipartisan board to ensure accountability and complete transparency.

Second, we need to protect taxpayers. There should be a path for taxpayers to recover their money, and to turn a profit if Wall Street prospers.

Third, no Wall Street executive should profit from taxpayer dollars. This plan cannot be a welfare program for CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility has contributed to this crisis.

Fourth, we must help families who are struggling to stay in their homes. We cannot bail out Wall Street without helping millions of families facing foreclosure on Main Street.

Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.

This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. This is not a Democratic problem or a Republican problem – this is an American problem. Now, we must find an American solution.