THE best thing to happen to John McCain was for the three network anchors to leave him in the dust this week while they chase Barack Obama on his global Lollapalooza tour. Were voters forced to actually focus on Mr. McCain’s response to our spiraling economic crisis at home, the prospect of his ascension to the Oval Office could set off a panic that would make the IndyMac Bank bust in Pasadena look as merry as the Rose Bowl.
Or at least Pasadena’s annual Dooh Dah Parade. With the Rethuglicans‘ economic legacy in mind, I’m expecting a gaggle of gay guys to compete in a yanked-from-the-wall, ATM drag race down Colorado Blvd. But I digress.
In 2000, he told an interviewer that he would make up for his lack of attention to “those issues.” As he entered the 2008 campaign, Mr. McCain was still saying the same, vowing to read “Greenspan’s book” as a tutorial.
Consulting former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan for advice on the economy is like reading a book on military tactics by General George Custer. Greenspan as much as anyone is responsible for the present economic catastrophe, which promises to be the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression.
Last weekend, the resolutely analog candidate told The New York Times he is at last starting to learn how “to get online myself.” Perhaps he’ll retire his abacus by Election Day.
[See image and caption above.]
Mr. McCain’s fiscal ineptitude has received so little scrutiny in some press quarters that his chief economic adviser, the former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, got a free pass until the moment he self-immolated on video by whining about “a nation of whiners.”
Only a couple of weeks have passed since The Wall Street Journal speculated that Gramm would be McSame’s Treasury Secretary (should the Rethuglicans hit the electoral trifecta and steal yet another presidential election).
Gramm certainly has the support of McSame’s best boy, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Lindsey once called Phil: “A legend in terms of fiscal discipline.” A legend also known for engineering the Enron Loophole that has enabled unregulated hedge funds to help rocket energy prices into the stratosfear. And who as vice chairman of the UBS investment bank helped usher in the era of sub-prime mortgage loans, collateral damage evident in the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the whole Bush-damned housing market.
[Meanwhile, Phil seems to have taken a page from Rudi Guiliani’s book. He was last seen dressed as a platter toting Marie Antoinette haranguing people in line at the Austin unemployment office: “Ya’ll want some nice soft, squishy brie to go with that whiiine?”]
Frank proceeds to point out McSame’s multiple-economic flip flops on everything from tax cuts for the rich, to social security reform, mortgage bailouts, and off-shore oil drilling. The latter is supposed to lower gas prices a couple of pennies a gallon before the sun goes nova.
Then there are the self-defeating pander plays like his summer gas tax “holiday” that would in many communities suspend road maintenance, costing consumers more at the repair shop than they would save at the pump. Senator Pothole is probably unaware that the $40 billion federal highway trust fund already expects a $3.2 billion deficit
next this year as a result of people driving less and using more fuel efficient cars. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), head of the Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee, says that we are now less than a year from total bankruptcy!
And in a perfect fusion of flip flopping pandering, McSame promised in February of this year to balance the budget by the end of his first term, then in April said he’d do it by the end of his second term, and then just this month went back to predicting economic nirvana by his first term. No wonders his intended base is suffering from cognitive whiplash.
Rich puts the capstone atop McSame’s pyramid of absurdities by pointing out what has to be a record– a mere 24 hour interval between him saying that “great economic progress” has been made under Bush to saying that “Americans are not better off than they were eight years ago.”
The only way to make sense of McSame’s economic policies is to follow the advice he himself gave when asked how he would go about choosing a vice president:
Well, basically, it’s a Google.
[Image credit to Marc Luscher @luscher.org]