September 24, 2008
John McCain Chooses Sarah Palin... Again
Today, John S. McCain announced that he will suspend his presidential campaign for a few days, so he can return to Washington D.C. and -- funnily enough -- work on the people's business; to wit, participate in the negotiations on the Paulson-Bernanke rescue proposal.
The announcement knocked the Barack H. Obama campaign, the Democrats, the congressional leadership, and the elite news media (to the extent that those are not simply synonyms) back on their heels... like walking up an unlit stairway and taking that last step that isn't there. They scrambled around like prats, denounced McCain, called it a "political stunt," contradicted each other (and themselves two minutes later), and in general, ran around like chickens with their legs cut off.
In other words, just exactly what they did when McCain named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.
The decision by Sen. McCain to return to the Senate and worry about the country before his own political interests is the same bold, maverick move as the Palin choice... and it tells us once again, if more proof were needed, who the real "change agent" is in this campaign: Consistently, from the moment the Democratic primary was settled, John McCain has been the leader and Barack Obama the reactionary, either following or angrily denouncing. Today was a "denouncing" day:
Some Democrats reacted skeptically to Mr. McCain’s surprise announcement, charging that it seemed like a political ploy to try to gain the confidence of voters concerned about the economy.
“What, does McCain think the Senate will still be working at 9 p.m. Friday?” Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania said in an interview, referring to the scheduled start time of the debate.
Yes, actually, I think he does. Or they should, for God's sake.
“I think this is all political -- I wish McCain had shown the same concern when he didn’t show up in the Senate to vote on the extension of the renewable energy tax credit.”
Oh yeah. That was certainly a comparable emergency.
Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who is leading House Democrats in negotiating the bailout deal with the administration, was dismissive of Senator McCain’s announcement. “It’s the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys,” Mr. Frank told a group of reporters outside the House chamber.
Great leaping horny toads. Is Barney Frank, of all people, calling John McCain a Mary?
Meanwhile, Obama at his presser was reduced to hemming and hawing that he didn't know whether he would go to D.C. even for the vote; he allowed as how he might go... if his own party thought he was "needed" and wouldn't be a superfluous bump on a log.
This is a truly bizarre response: We know with certainty that the next President of the United States will be either John S. McCain or some fellow named Barack H. Obama; I think we also know to a fare-thee-well that it will fall to the 44th POTUS to implement this legislation, considering how close we are to the next term. So of course both presidential nominees are "needed" -- even the One -- because it does no good for Congress to enact legislation that the One or the Other rejects, because then it will just be slow-rolled into oblivion.
All parties to the final implementation must be represented: congressional Democrats and Republicans, Obama, McCain, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and of course, financiers and banking executives, consultants, and other experts. And none should be allowed to vote "present."
I believe this will be another turning point in the election; it will take a few days to sink in (Palin's effect was immediate), but it may be more long-lasting: The shock of Sarah Palin's investiture was electrifying, but the amour was soon damped out under the relentless resistance of the elite media, probing, poking, prying (and preening at their own perspicacity). I believe Palin will continue to lift the campaign; but we no longer hear so many hosannas (to Mrs. Palin's probable relief) as we settle into the daily grind of the final days.
But McCain's simple ode to the country, his country, will resonate more quietly but echo longer and deeper into the campaign. I don't recall any other candidate suspending his campaign so close to the finish line, just for a few days, and just to do the people's business.
You remember the people, don't you? Us, the living, the demanding, the voting?
But in the clutch, Barack Obama was not so gallant. When the spotlight suddenly shone on the One, he froze, like a -- like a young actor on stage in his first improv, lips moving but mind a blank. Like a beach bum watching in horrified fascination as the eight-story tidal wave washes up to engulf him. Like a hobo sleeping on the railroad tracks, waking up to the fearsome scream of the Midnight Special, too hypnotized even to roll to one side.
Obama baubled, fumbled, stumbled; he stood aloof, so painfully befuddled... until the president personally summoned him to join Bush and McCain in the White House. Reluctantly, like a young wastrel ordered home from wanderjahr, scuffing his feet, Obama slinks back to the ringing of the klaxton, the tumble of the drum. And much of the pixie dust is scraped from his butterfly wings.
John McCain demonstrates himself not only to be the man of change in this race, but the man in this race. Planned or not -- and everything in a presidential race is planned -- it was a brilliant political chess move, not least because it shines the light of reality on the shadowplay of Obama's silver-screen candidacy.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 24, 2008, at the time of 11:58 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3257
The following hissed in response by: thumper
And when Obama says, as he is sure to, we need to debate, it's important for the country, McCain simply says, be glad to. Let's have some town meetings so the country can ask us questions and we can answer them. To which Obama replies, Uh, well uh, I'm uh...
The following hissed in response by: hunter
IS that the same Barney Franks who derailed Bush Administration legislation proposals to put FNMA and FMAC under proper controls and to stop their bad lending practices?
The following hissed in response by: Neo
KROFT: Why you? I mean, why do you think you would be a good president?
OBAMA: Well, I was going to get to that.
KROFT: Go ahead.
OBAMA: You know, I’m a, I’m a practical person. One of the things I’m good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction. And that’s the kind of approach that I think prevents you from making some of the enormous mistakes that we’ve seen over the last eight years.
Isn't this exactly what John McCain is doing ?
So it now takes an invitation from the President to get Obama to join in the discussions .. LOL
The following hissed in response by: Pam
So Dafydd, I take it you now feel like McCain's found his footing and will in the end win the DAY?
The following hissed in response by: AMR
And it may be a political stunt on McCain’s part (but I doubt it since this has been part and parcel of his history), but damn it, it is his and Obama’s job first and foremost and that is what they are NOW getting paid so handsomely to do. And our citizens and everyone in the media should just face the fact that McCain has pushed his own party to agree to bills successfully before and reached across the aisle to the chagrin of conservatives. Gee, wasn’t that what the media and the Democrats used to like about him.
The above hissed in response by: AMR at September 25, 2008 8:04 AM
The following hissed in response by: MTF
Sadly, this political stunt fell flat, and McCain is up against the election ropes right now. Hopefully, Sarah Palin can find another way to save him.
McCain's just a weak politician, comparatively. He has these weird populist instincts, almost demagogic, and he is frequently betrayed by those instincts. Blasting Chris Cox and Wall Street execs, instead of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, fits this disturbing McCain pattern but was a strange election strategy.
Suspending the campaign, and then getting Bush to force Obama to join him, was a completely unsuccessful move, and made him appear half-hearted to the voters. This campaign is floundering anyway, and instead of stepping up his campaign he announces he's needed in the Senate! Well, OK, if you really want to be in the Senate, John, why have you wasted our time so far (think the voters quietly to themselves)?
It's hard to believe we are about to elect an empty suit, a child of communists, a political cipher, a friend and colleague of terrorists, and a devotee of Saul Alinsky as president. A "second-hand man", if anyone remembers Ayn Rand these days, par excellance.
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
Unfortunately, people don't even recognize true courage and leadership when they see it. We get told Obama has great judgement, we get told he has great leadership. He get told he can reach across the aisle. Let's see some of that in action, bub.
Send Sarah Palin to debate him.
The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr
Is Barney Frank, of all people, calling John McCain a Mary?
I'm sure you were joking about Frank, and it's funny, but I don't want a funny joke to be mistaken for mock-outrage at an alleged insult to McCain, which it wasn't. Please tell me you were only kidding...
On a different topic, I think Letterman's reaction is utterly fascinating. Drudge quotes him as saying, "What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"
What's interesting is that if things flare up, we DO want the president to suspend campaigning and appearing on Letterman.
OTOH, I do NOT understand why McCain ditched Letterman and instead interviewed with Couric. That seems sheerly insulting to Letterman, and frankly, stupid. He could have said the same things on Letterman, and he would have kept his appointment.
The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr
Oh... and furthermore, it appears that McCain didn't even head into Washington in any kind of hurry. Kinda odd. Perhaps he was only suggesting it to Obama, not actually unilaterally doing it.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
I shall quote from perhaps my favorite philosopher:
First of all, I would like to make one thing quite clear: I never explain anything.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at September 25, 2008 3:33 PM
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
The part that drops my jaw is Barack Obama telling the Country that he doesn't have enough political sway in his own Party to be useful in crafting a solution to this problem. One hell of an admission to make during a campaign, no?
The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr
Thanks, Dafydd. Good policy, and if I may say so, practically perfect in every way.
Interesting bailout plan, though. The more I study it the more I'm thinking that it's a huge risk for a huge potential return. The amount of profit potential actually shows up against the scale of the federal debt. On the other hand, the political machinations involved seem to me to increase the difficulty of avoiding the actual risk, especially considering that the upcoming election makes it impossible to predict the upcoming political climate.
It seems to me that a more prudent "bailout" would not directly involve any taxpayer money, but would instead create a special type of corporation that is legally empowered to do the sort of deep mortgage investigation that this government commission would have to do in order to render the mortgage-backed securities and derivatives transparent (we don't want just ANY bank to be able to investigate!). Any bank or investment firm that TRULY believes this bailout could be profitable would therefore create one of those firms, and they'd be able to compete against each other to buy those distressed securities, probably doing a better job of it than the feds could ever do.
Of course, the feds would lose that huge potential profit -- but I'm cynical enough to be suspicious of promises of huge huge huge benefits that just MIGHT happen, and anyhow I think if it DID happen the feds wouldn't stop there.
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