Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Stops Progress

Over a week ago the financial health of the country went Code Blue. Emergency measures were needed.

George Bush's administration proposed a $700 billion bailout. The Senate and House held immediate hearings with Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke. The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Christopher Dodd worked almost around the clock with the ranking Republicans on his committee to forge a framework for going forward, as did the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank who worked tirelessly with Republicans on his committee to forge a compromise. A consensus was being hammered out, things were going forward until.....

John McCain, sensing a stage-center moment, said he was going to swoop into D.C. and save the day. Suspend his campaign. Call off Friday's debate. All of this while the last big test of his judgment, Sarah Palin, continued her take-your-daughter-to-work UN photo-ops and tour of New York City complete with ditsy "U.S. Has Achieved 'Victory' in Iraq" (WaPo) interviews CBS's Katie Couric.

Even though McCain said only ten days ago that the fundamentals of our economy are strong.... even though he has allowed that he doesn't know much about the economy.... even though he admitted to WKYC-TV in Ohio just this Tuesday that "I have not had a chance to see [the Bush administration bailout proposal] in writing. I have to examine it.".... and, even though when ranking GOP Senate Banking Committee member Richard Shelby was asked this morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if McCain had called him before arriving in D.C..... Shelby had to admit he had not heard from McCain but did "spend a couple of minutes with him yesterday."

So far what has McCain accomplished by his grandstand play? He didn't have much to say in the White House meeting of leaders of both parties yesterday, he has no role in negotiations today. But, he stopped progress and created a climate where bipartisan agreement is even more difficult.

Good job, Johnnie.


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