McCain Mimicks Bush and Wall Street Bankruptcies …

by on September 23, 2008

To the Editor:

What’s noteworthy is just as Barack Obama is again rolling — emotionally fierce, presidential during economic crisis, focusing on key states and voter registration, the McCain campaign looks angry, incompetent and bankrupt, running out of ideas, personalities, slogans, gimmicks like Sarah Palin, even effective negative smears. Obama shows grace under pressure while McCain fumes and blunders, then compounds misstatements with utter nonsense (like absurd threats to “fire” the S.E.C. commissioner beyond his power).

In this perfect storm for Republicans, what’s left in their tank but personal attacks, contradictions, and more petty Low Road Express? Has McCain not for two decades been a stalwart de-regulator — just when massive oversight failures align him with Wall Street “malefactors of great wealth” (in Teddy Roosevelt’s apt phrase) even less popular and as incompetent as George Bush? I foresee the next wave of scurrilous Swiftboating — having so far failed to dislodge Obama’s key poll leads — boomerang, disgracing the smearers pushing tired scare-tactics.

I’m not sure what gimmicks remain in the GOP tank: certainly not much more Sarah Palin, not more McCain saber-rattling (as diplomacy wins favor), not more Hanoi war nostalgia, certainly not more economic blunders. Will calls to McCain’s vacuous patriotism not flap in the winds? I see little from McCain on domestic programs (health care, energy independence, tax relief, immigration) that wins over moderates. All Obama has to do is hold firm and look presidential at the debates while reminding voters McCain was wrong as a knee-jerk de-regulator, wrong as military belligerent (in Iraq for decades), wrong on taxes, wrong on big oil subsidies, and wrong when repeatedly declaring “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.”

Further, how can McCain benefit from the next week or two when the Bush administration commits one trillion dollars to patch over its own discredited stewardship — while opposing real oversight, transparency, support for all home mortgages, and budgetary responsibility? If Republicans can’t oversee its own favored big businesses from bankruptcy and desperation, how can it address energy or health care or infrastructure or domestic reform? If McCain supports the bailout intervention, he’ll again be aligned with Bush blunders; if he quibbles, he’ll be socked as indecisive, a blocking figure, or shielding the worst anti-regulation ideological dinosaurs.

Inevitably, will not the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the McCain campaign mirror (and illumine) both the now full bankruptcy of the Bush years (foreign and domestic) and the shocking bankruptcy of Wall Street investment banks that, alas, represent a bankrupt American business model? Rarely has such a confluence of disasters, a month before a national election, dramatized the historic imperative for new leaders and mindsets in one full sweep.

Robert Becker
Mendocino CA


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