Friday, September 26, 2008

A Week To Remember

As a certified (and probably certifiably insane at this point) member of the news addict crowd in the U.S., I've been cycling through moments of horror and disbelief over the past few days. This has certainly been a week for the books in the annals of U.S. presidential politics.

The horror comes as George W. Bush performs one of the signature moves of his non-governance: raise a valid problem affecting the country and suggest such a ridiculous solution that hardly anyone takes the time to remove their jaw from the floor to stop what he and his murdurous, greedy band of criminal cronies intend to inflict on the world.

It's almost predictable. Junior Caligula swoops in with his proverbial big stick, reprises his role as The Decider, and makes horrible situations worse (often acting a few days later than a real leader would begin showing, you know, competent leadership). Exhibit A: Attacking Iraq as a response to 9/11; Exhibit B: the 2004 tsunami that devastated coastal communities of the Indian Ocean; Exhibit C: Hurricane Katrina.

This week we collectively watched in disbelief as a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street muckity-mucks was proposed to the nation in a prime-time address complete with dilated pupils and vacant expressions of a man who had absolutely no clue what he was talkin' about. $700 billion? Really? Which orifice did they pull that number from? Here's a clue:

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
My friends, this is your brain country on drugs. Or is it lunacy?

I've come to the conclusion that John McCain, for example, has completely lost his mind. I almost feel sorry for him but the schadenfreude is too succulent to pass up. A consensus seems to be building that the abrupt "suspension" of his campaign to fly back to Washington was a total disaster.
If McCain believed he could be a constructive force by busting his way into the center of the delicate negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans and the White House, he was not able to show it Thursday. The objective evidence is that things got worse, not better, in Washington after McCain arrived. There was a tentative deal, announced by congressional leaders, when McCain landed in Washington. Hours later, there was chaos and recriminations.
The quote marks are used above because in this case "suspension" equals "surge". Instead of truly putting the breaks on their campaign, the Palin-McCain ticket had surrogates all over the place peddling spin, both nominees gabbed with Katie Couric (but not David Letterman, which may prove to be a fatal mistake to their bid for the White House), ads continued to run across numerous media markets, and the donate button was kept live on the website.

Can anyone tell me how that all equals a suspension?

Suspension of belief, perhaps. It makes me nearly speechless to see McCain's campaign engage in blunder after blunder after blunder.

Make the focus of the campaign on experience? Pick Sarah Palin, who has little to none.

Make the focus of the campaign on McCain's Mavericky Jedi Skills to bring about change? Use the Karl Rove Handbook to attack the media, lie repeatedly about your opponent's positions, and shut down any investigations with an army of lawyers that could lead to embarrasment.

Make the focus of the campaign on McCain's steady hand in crises? Allow him to behave batshit loony by suspending his campaign, swooping in to Washington to attend a meeting he allegedly called for, saying very little at aforementioned meeting, threatening to pull out of the first debate, and then claim to have won the thing before it even occurs.

...all while there are legitimate problems that need to be solved with the financial system.

Yup, the behavior pattern definitely rings a dissonant chord that we've all been hearing for the past eightish years.

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