McCain's Behavior Raises Big Questions
As America's failing economy takes center stage, Sen. John McCain, self-styled straight-talking maverick, has delivered a performance nothing short of a theatrical pratfall.
In a series of near-hysterical, rapid-fire, constantly changing proclamations, the real McCain is unveiled.
He promises to clean up both Washington and Wall Street, conveniently ignoring that he has been residing at the intersection of politics and business for nearly three decades. He deplores any and all government bailouts of Wall Street, including one for the insurance behemoth, American International Group, but a day later supports government intervention to save the same AIG.
He declares "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" in the midst of the worst economic crisis of a generation and then is forced to backtrack immediately in the face of unfolding realities. He indignantly rails against links by the Obama campaign to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when it is clear that both campaigns have substantial links to numerous financial institutions at the heart of the crisis.
He was a conspicuous champion of massive deregulation at a time when more government oversight would have helped, but now advo-cates using government to rescue us from those failures.
Instead of sharing the blame, in view of his long service in the Senate (including years as chairman of the influential Commerce Committee), he now calls for the head of a former Republican colleague who chairs the Securities and Exchange Commission (a temperamental reflex The Wall Street Journal characterizes as "unpresidential").
Apparently, in McCain's world, the SEC chairman has betrayed "the public's trust," and he, McCain, has not.
It is worth asking how McCain's impulsive, unusually personal reactions to people and events in the current crisis would translate to other volatile and dangerous situations he would face as president.
Carl R. Ramey
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