Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Faux Statesmanship

As many of you know by now, John McCain is "suspending" his campaign and asking that this Friday's debate be postponed due to the financial crisis. As reported in the Washington Post the McCain campaign released the following statement:
"It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration's proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.''
Hence, McCain is urging President Bush to,
"to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem."
This is nothing more than faux statesmanship. Recent polls obviously have the McCain campaign at Defcon One and they needed a stunt. As political tactics are concerned it's very clever. It distracts from the the New York Times reporting about the firm of McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis still being paid by Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, McCain is hoping Obama will be in a box. If Obama plays along he's following the leader. If Obama doesn't play along McCain will claim he's putting the welfare of the country ahead of politics.

As long as there will be spin going against him either way, I think Obama should tell it like it is. The right position is to say that now more than ever we need to debate economic policy in front of the voters. Hence I would propose postponing the foreign policy debate and instead making this Friday's debate about the economy. If McCain refuses than Obama should appear anyway and address the country himself and present the direction he wants to go.

Republicans as well as financial industry insiders are like bank robbers with nitro-glycerine. They're hoping to coerce Congress into passing legislation that provides them billions in corporate welfare with minimal oversight to review the details. The Federal Reserve Board and Treasury Department are complicit in our economic debacle and don't want any sunlight on their accountability for this mess. So they're also pushing for this legislation with minimal oversight before too many people hold them accountable for their incestuous relationship with Wall Street.

I readily acknowledge we have a calamity on our hands. Liberals like me have seen this coming for years and we were ridiculed as being alarmists. Yet even as the Dow drops we're not going to fix this by nationalizing the banking industry in haste.

This should be a deliberate process that is transparent and openly debated. That is what campaigns are for. FDR and Herbert Hoover didn't suspend their presidential campaigns in 1932 when this country's economy was tottering on the abys. FDR and Thomas Dewey didn't suspend their presidential campaigns during World War Two in 1944.

More recently New York City still held a mayoral election in November 2001 nearly two months after 9/11. Back then Democratic Party candidates took a brief pause because 9/11 coincided with their primary. But the pause was shortlived and vigorous campaigning resumed.

And Spain held an election following a terrorist attack a couple years ago with no suspension of campaigning.

That's what democracies do. Even in emergencies and this economic crisis is no different. Senator Obama please don't allow your opponent to get away with faux statesmanship. This a nothing more than a stunt to help facilitate corporate welfare for the financial services industry while maintaining the fiction that John McCain is a maverick instead of a corporatist champion. Many of these people are hoping that you will give cover to a plan designed to hinder your administration if you're elected from spending on health care and other domestic initiatives.

McCain's political stunt, backed by these very same people is also designed to prevent your election so these money lending corporatists can continue to steal from wage earners and small business entrepreneurs.

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