[Maybe that’s a little unfair to President Bush?].
Anyway, McCain is now suspending his campaign (except that it’s now all the news right? edit: plus he still had time for his interview with Katie Couric) and wants the debate postponed. So he can….go to the Senate???…and work on this bailout bill.
Now if I actually believed McCain were doing this in good faith instead of trying to undo all the damage this crisis is causing to his candidacy, trying to shore up his theme of fixing Washington in a bipartisan fashion/country first, I I would point out that there are (last time I checked) 98 other Senators. Including Chairpersons (from both parties!!!) of Finance & Banking Committees, as well as Majority/Minority Leaders. Presumably Sens. McCain and Obama know some of these other Senators. Presumably also greater than or equal to one each of these Senators more or less agree with McCain and Obama’s views on this bill. Hence both Senators could simply be in contact if need be with their go to guy(s)/gal(s) in the Senate and have them doing their speaking/advocating for them. And if there are absolutely needed in a vote, they’ll be notified in time to fly to D.C.
They could do all this simultaneous debating this issue during a PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. [I know this debate is scheduled to be on foreign policy, but there is no way this isn’t coming up and McCain knows it.]
Since I don’t believe McCain is here putting his country first/personal politics last that argument isn’t worth much I suppose. On the flip side, this is just (imb, def.#1) another instance of McCain being totally undisciplined, reckless, and having no idea what in God’s name he is doing. Or should be doing at least. This guy’s temper and (I’m sorry to say this) his forgetfulness/lack of coherence is really problematic. It’s only made worse when his less than ideal VP candidate says publicly that if the bill isn’t passed we may be facing another Great Depression.
Andrew Sullivan is right–that current president guy talking in public re: financial meltdown doesn’t help either.
Update I: For what it’s worth, it’s not as if Obama’s decision to want to have the debates is unconnected from his own political ambition. i.e. CW would suggest it benefits Obama to have the debate, hurts McCain. [CW could be wrong. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which the debate happens and Obama blows something or McCain pulls an upset]. But clearly McCain seems a little (alot?) spooked and hence this move. The fact that Obama’s decision involves politics (or is political if you want to put it that way) in my mind doesn’t change my calculus. I’m not naive and stupid enough to believe Obama is putting the needs of the country first over his politics. I just think that in this case I happen to agree with him that the debate should go on and that it is better for the political campaign to have the debates. I can honestly think that and still be aware that Obama agrees in part because it helps him.
iow, I realize that helps Obama’s campaign (again in Conventional Wisdom terms–subject to being proven wrong). It’s also true that I’ve endorsed Obama, so one could just as easily turn my own logic on my analysis and point out (correctly though I think superficially) that my interpretation is not disconnected from my own political biases. There’s no way around that charge, so I’ll just put that out on the table. If someone wants to dismiss what I’ve said because of that, I disagree but I understand.