Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain: Flailing First

John McCain wants to suspend Friday night's debate with Barack Obama so he can work on the financial crisis or whatever -- definitely, totally, completely, absolutely not because he'd prefer to disappear at this moment when the economy is in such vivid focus for voters.

Barack Obama replies that this is actually a good time for would-be leaders to be standing up in front of the country, so the debate should go forward as planned.

Question: what, precisely, would John McCain do on Friday evening to contribute to resolving the financial crisis? This begs the larger question of what McCain offers on this financial crisis at any hour of any day, and the even larger question of what he offers on economic policy aside from four more years of Bush-Cheney mimicry.

Is McCain urgently needed in the Senate on Friday night? For what? If he's urgently needed in the Senate, why wasn't he there today? Or yesterday? McCain is not a member of the Senate Banking committee, nor is Barack Obama. McCain has repeatedly said he doesn't know much about economics -- evinced clearly last week when he pronounced "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" -- and the platform of his party condemns the sort of bailout that his party's leader is now advocating.

I really don't know what McCain thinks he can contribute, either Friday evening or any other time. It's probably to the national good that he stay as far as possible from the work of the Senate -- and this he can handle, as he's very accomplished at treating his Senate seat as a much-neglected hobby.

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