15 September, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I'm glad we have people trained in emergency medicine at this call center, because one more news item like this and my heart will stop:
On Fox News today, host Megyn Kelly called out McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds for the campaign’s lies about Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) tax proposals. “I want to hold you accountable for what McCain is doing,” said Kelly. “Has your candidate gone too far, has he stretched the truth with the voters?”

Bounds initially attempted to dismiss her question, claiming that McCain has simply “gone to great lengths to discuss Barack Obama’s record.” “It is true that during a struggling economy, he proposes raising taxes,” declared Bounds.

“Not on the middle class,” shot back Kelly, noting that “virtually every independent analyst” has said that the McCain campaign is lying:

KELLY: But you guys have suggested he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class and virtually every independent analyst who took a look at that claim said that’s not true. He’ll raise it on people making $200,000 or $250,000, but not the middle class.

Bounds tried to push back by saying that Obama had voted to raise taxes in the past, but Kelly kept pushing Bounds to admit the McCain campaign was lying. “If that’s false, why would John McCain do that, Tucker? Why wouldn’t he just level with the voters?”

Dear. Fucking. Gods. Was that a Faux News babbling head just saying, "I want to hold you accountable for what McCain is doing"? Going after a lying sack of shit from the McCain campaign and actually using objective facts to contradict the party line?

I knew McCain had gone too far, but wow. Just... wow.

Maybe it's the financial news from today that's got reporters actually reporting. Our banking system is in full nuclear meltdown, and people know it. Jobs are melting away, big prestigious banks are failing, and does McCain seem to be aware of this?

That would be a big ol' no:

In "The Princess Bride," after Vizzini uses the word "inconceivable" once too many times, Inigo Montoya says, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

The same clearly applies to John McCain and the word "fundamentals."

This morning, campaigning in Florida, in the midst of a crisis on Wall Street, McCain repeated his argument that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." Not surprisingly, the Obama campaign wasted no time in bringing attention to McCain's odd remarks.

This afternoon, carefully reading from a prepared text, McCain insisted that the fundamentals of the economy really are strong, just so long as he gets to redefine the word "fundamentals."

"My opponents may disagree, but those fundamentals of America are strong," McCain said this afternoon in Orlando. "No one can match an American worker. Our workers sell more goods to
more markets than any other on earth. Our workers have always been the strength of our economy, and they remain the strength of our economy today."

Fascinating. Most policy makers would look at "fundamentals" like economic growth, wages, unemployment, inflation, trade imbalance, value of the dollar, budget deficit, interest rates, etc. But not McCain, who believes the "fundamentals" of the economy are the American people. I see.

You know, that's going to become a classic in the feel-good, totally fucking worthless rhetoric category. Arguing, on today of all days, that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," and then trying to weasel out by redefining the meaning of "fundamentals," that's quite the redefining of reality, there.

I don't think it's going to fly with people who are losing their homes and their life savings.

His campaign quickly tried to show themselves as still tentatively married to reality, although they're not living in the same house. It's too bad McCain's record and actions don't back them up:
A new ad released this morning by the McCain campaign states, “Our economy in crisis. Only proven reformers John McCain and Sarah Palin can fix it.” In a statement today, McCain said he will “replace the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington” and bring “accountability to Wall Street.” That promise rings hollow considering he has the former lobbyists of AIG, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Bank of America on his campaign staff.

On Bloomberg Television this weekend, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank noted that, as a leader in the Senate Republican caucus, McCain did nothing for years to deliver reform in the face an impending credit crisis:

So here’s the record – 12 years of Republicans, including John McCain being a committee chairman for much of that period. Zero – zero enactment of any reform. Democrats take power, and in a year and a half, we have passed a bill that did everything the administration asked for, in terms of enhancing the regulatory structure.


Years of right-wing economic policies have created this moment of financial crisis. The mortgage bubble resulted when Fed chief Alan Greenspan kept interest rates at historic lows, and the government failed to regulate questionable practices in the financial sector.

And here comes McCain, galloping in promising to fix the hinges on the barn door, long after the cows have fled. Not to mention, there's a gaping hole in the back of the barn.

Let's not forget McCain's horrific record on bank reform, shall we?

Major bank failures? Financial fraud and greed? Political ineptitude? We're seeing these factors play out now in the financial industry, but we saw the same thing 20 years ago, in the biggest scandal of McCain's career. Time's Joe Klein has the audacity to bring up McCain's record during the presidential campaign.

[T]he mortgage crisis was a perfect metaphor for Republican financial governance: investment banks like Lehman -- R.I.P. -- took loans to invest money in ... bad loans. In this case, the loans were bad mortgages. This is called throwing good money after bad.

Actually, John McCain has excellent experience -- a ringside seat -- in the vagaries of this experiment in greed and anarchy. He was a member of the Keating Five. This was the signature scandal of the Savings and Loan crisis, twenty years ago. It concerned the insider help that five Senators gave Charles Keating and his Lincoln Savings and Loan, in return for contributions and gifts. The deregulation of S&Ls -- community banks dedicated to local mortgages (like George Bailey's bank in "It's A Wonderful Life") -- enabled slick operators like Keating to make reckless loans in new areas where they had no expertise. The final tab to the taxpayers was $165 billion.

Looks like McCain was ready for an encore. America wasn't.

Three words if you want to hang on to a viable economic future: Don't vote McCain.


george.w said...

If McCain lived in Galveston he would have said on 12 September "The fundamentals of the weather are strong".

Cujo359 said...

Yep, it was sure startling to start reading the news this morning and discovering that two more financial institutions are biting the dust. BofA bought out Lehman for a lousy $50 billion. That's not all that much in that world. They must have been completely screwed.

Cujo359 said...

Err, almost right. BofA bought Merrill Lynch for $50B.

Brian said...

In "The Princess Bride," after Vizzini uses the word "inconceivable" once too many times, Inigo Montoya says, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

The same clearly applies to John McCain and the word "fundamentals."


Dana, that's the biggest laugh I've had all day. Thank you. :)

Beatrice M said...

Over on my LJ account, I have a funny icon that I use sometimes for political posts. I think it's relevant here...