It’s so completely difficult to stop shaking my head in amazement at the tripe being pushed out of the Bush and McCain sausage factory. Here’s a government and party that got us into the worst economic crisis since 1929 and they want to take a break until they’re feeling better.
Instead of venting further personal anger and disgust, here are more sane, intelligent voices from the past day’s news cycle:
Crash, Timothy Egan
Today, with more than 90 percent of all homeowners paying their mortgages on time and on budget, the parallel question arises: how could this minority of bad loans drag down Western capitalism? It may be news to Joe Biden — with three gaffes this week, he’s approaching a record, even for him – but Franklin Roosevelt was not yet president during the crash. Herbert Hoover was, and there we have the reason why so many people cringed when John McCain said last week that the fundamentals of the economy were sound.
In his first days in office, Hoover said, “Americans are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of the land.” Oops. And just before he was swept to the dunce corner of history, Hoover said, “No one has yet starved.” At the time, people in rural America were eating brined tumbleweed and road-kill rabbits; the unemployment rate was 25 percent.
Palin’s American Exceptionalism, Roger Cohen
I’m going to try to make this simple. On the Democratic side you have a guy whose campaign has been based on the Internet, who believes America may have something to learn from other countries (like universal health care) and who’s unafraid in 2008 to say he’s a “proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.”
On the Republican side, you have a guy who, in 2008, is just discovering the Net and Google and whose No. 2 is a woman who got a passport last year and believes she understands Russia because Alaska is closer to Siberia than Alabama.
Would You Believe, John Marshall
One of the advantages of running a presidential campaign is that roughly half the country is deeply committed to believing or at least saying that virtually anything you do or say makes sense. And so it is here. But, look, if you were living in the real world, if you were some hotshot young executive at a Fortune 500 company trying to rise in the ranks, and you pulled some whacked crap like this, it would probably get you blackballed permanently. People would think you were either deeply unreliable or maybe just had a screw loose. And yet here he is — is he kidding? He can’t debate Barack Obama because he’s got to go to Washington and save the economy? It’s like the biggest ‘dog at my homework’ in history.
Where is the Outrage?, Garrison Keillor
Poor Larry Craig got a truckload of moral condemnation for tapping his wingtips in the men’s john, but his party proposes to spend 5 percent of the GDP to buy up bad loans made by men who walk away with their fortunes intact while retirees see their 401K go pffffffff like a defunct air mattress, and it’s business as usual. Mr. McCain is a lifelong deregulator and believer in letting brokers and bankers do as they please — remember Lincoln Savings and Loan and his intervention with federal regulators on behalf of his friend Charles Keating, who then went to prison? Remember Neil Bush, the brother of the C.O., who, as a director of Silverado S&L, bestowed enormous loans on his friends without telling fellow directors that the friends were friends and who, when the loans failed, paid a small fine and went skipping off to other things? Mr. McCain now decries greed on Wall Street and suggests a commission be formed to look into the problem. This is like Casanova coming out for chastity.
When you’re Commander in Chief, I don’t think there’d be a worse signal to send to our troops in harm’s way than to say, “Hey, hold on guys. I know you’re getting killed over there, but I have to get a time-out here to deal with Wall Street.”
If troops need to multi-task without a break, is it so wrong that we demand that a potential President-in-waiting prove that he can manage a financial crisis, and still address crises around the world for 90 minutes? And, if a potential President-to-be can’t manage that, is it wrong to think that maybe he ought not just suspend a debate and the campaign, but move aside and get out of the race?