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McCain & Republicans Further Trash the Economy

September 30th, 2008

For the past eight years, George W. Bush and the Republicans have trashed the economy with massive giveaways to corporations and the wealthy, deregulation of critical industries, and encouragement for companies to move production overseas. They also starved the lower and middle classes–weakening unions, refusing to raise the minimum wage, allowing pensions to fail, attempting to sabotage medicare and social security, reducing federal services, and ballooning costs for education, medical care and insurance–an equation which drains the flow of the economy by making it difficult for people to spend money, which is what fuels the economy in the first place. The economy is an engine where money has to flow, but instead the right-wingers have succeeded in hoarding all the fuel into one part of the engine and have refused to allow it to cycle through. (This is one reason the Democrats don’t want to just flood the engine in the part where the fuel is currently amassed.)

Now we have a banking crisis based upon deregulation and predation on the poorest members of our society collapsing into a stinking, heaving mass of greed. All part of the problem, but distressingly, only one fetid corner of it–which may be why the markets are reacting the way they are, because they know full well that McCain’s claim of the economy being “fundamentally sound” is complete and utter horseshit. If the economy were sound, then the markets would have more confidence in the banking crisis being cushioned and contained. They don’t.

So, here we have McCain “suspending” his campaign (while not really stopping very much) for a few days, charging into D.C. to manage the crisis. A petty show of impotent grandstanding, but he made a huge deal out of it. “I’m doing something!” he cried, but when it came to action, he didn’t stand up. And when it came to a vote, he failed to get even his own party–much less Washington D.C. as a bipartisan whole–to toe the line. 60% of Democrats voted for the bill, but only 33% of Republicans did so–the major reason why the bill failed. So if McCain really was the leader here, he failed miserably, and stocks plummeted. I didn’t even want to look at Apple stock, but I did, and regretted it. Thanks a bunch, John.

But at least McCain was not partisan about it, right? Hell, of course he was. Despite saying “Now is not the time to fix the blame, it’s time to fix the problem,” blame from McCain and Republicans was effusive. Immediately before talking about not fixing the blame, McCain said that Obama “and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process.” Har! McCain’s grandstanding was the partisan pillar of this entire mess, and probably was just as responsible, if not more, for the eventual failure than anything else. Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, are surging to blame Nancy Pelosi for the bill’s failure. McCain blames Obama for just “watching from the sidelines.”

News flash John: Leadership means actually leading, not failing pathetically and then blaming the opposition.

This failure is owned by John McCain; he claimed the mantle, he broke it, he bought it. Now he’s trying to palm it off while boasting that he’s not palming it off.


  1. Jon
    October 1st, 2008 at 09:02 | #1

    It is interesting to see how completely partisan this whole issue really is.
    Democrats blame this purely on the Republicans, and vice-versa. There is apparently no middle ground to be found.
    Coming from a middle-right sort of position myself, I find the Republican position more convincing (big surprise, huh?). While I think the problem is coming from many sources, I think the primary causes are the CRA and Clinton’s pushing the housing industry into unsustainable growth in his second term. To a large extent, the reason I see it this way is that I saw it coming back in the late 90’s. There was no other ending to be had by that combination. When and how bad were a question, but a crash seemed inevitable. (Interesting that Clinton himself recently said something similar.)

    I accept that Bush made things worse in ways, especially with military spending.

    What I really don’t understand is the apparent refusal on the part of the Left to even acknowledge the attempts made by the Republicans to head this off. It may be that what the right was proposing was a bad idea, or would not have worked, but this apparent pretense that they never even tried just strikes me as dishonest.

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