I just want to make an observation here. McCain is reminding me of my former German shepherd.
She would come bounding into a quiet, peaceful house, rouse the cats from their reveries by pouncing on them, unleash untold chaos and anger, and then come prancing over to me with a bleeding muzzle and a sparkle in her eyes that said she thought she'd done a power of good. The cats, meanwhile, plotted her demise.
McCain is exactly like my dog, galloping back to Washington, sticking his nose where it didn't belong, disrupting a delicate balance of power, and then proclaiming a job well done as he prances down to Mississippi, leaving chaos in his wake. Like my dog, he doesn't seem to realize he's bleeding, much less that what he's done was about as fucking far from helpful as it's possible to get:
Brilliant. If America elects this fuckwit, they're effectively electing the dumbest dog I ever owned. A guard dog, I'll have you know, that allowed herself to be stolen.
Let me get this straight -- John McCain left the campaign trail to "help" wrap up a bailout deal in response to the crisis on Wall Street. When a compromise was reached that included everything McCain said he wanted, he decided not to take "yes" for an answer, and sided with far-right House Republicans, who have their own ridiculous plan, and who've never liked McCain anyway.
A few phrases come to mind to describe this madness, but "country first" isn't one of them.
There's no shortage of angles to this, of course, but the one thing I've been trying to wrap my head around is what McCain is doing in D.C. in the first place. Before he arrived, negotiators were making progress. After he arrived, talks broke down. Before he arrived, McCain and his campaign indicated that the bailout was a necessary evil. After he arrived, no one seems clear on exactly what McCain wants.
There was one participant at the White House who took on the role of "the old hand at consensus building, and as the real face of bipartisan politics," but his name was Barack Obama.
For his part, McCain "rarely came close to the Capitol suites and committee rooms where the talks were taking place." He showed up for a meeting at the White House -- which, according to the Bush gang, was McCain's idea -- but while Obama pressed Henry Paulson on policy details, McCain sat silently. At one point, McCain briefly touted the House GOP "plan," which Bush immediately rejected. After the meeting, McCain did some interviews, and was back in one of his homes by 6 p.m.
His day of destructive grandstanding and substance-free work was complete. For McCain, who obviously couldn't care less about the economy or the nation, it was "mission accomplished" -- nothing got done, it was at least partially his fault, and there's now a chance he can pick up the pieces of a process he helped break and pat himself on the back.
You know it's gotten beyond the level of farce when it's a Republicon saying things like this:
So. We have the biggest fucking joke ever to win the nomination for president running around like a subnormal German Shepherd, both Republicons and Democrats in Washington are telling him to get the fuck out of the way and let the adults handle the crisis, and even his own party is busy poking fun at him while trying not to get splashed with the stupid. I have a feeling what conventional wisdom is on Bush will go triple for McLame should he be elected:
According to a pool report, John McCain boarded his plane earlier this afternoon with his wife, top aides, and Rudy and Judith Giuliani, all headed for Mississippi. What was the atmosphere like on McCain's plane? According to the report: "utter confusion."
Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain's presidential campaign earlier in the cycle, noted the bizarre developments. "It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology," Shirley said. "In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The 'steady hand in a storm' argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain."
Shirley added, "My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff."
Paul Begala, the television commentator and Democratic strategist who with James Carville propelled Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992, knew he was about to get into trouble on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" show Thursday night with his description of President Bush.
He said as much as soon as he opened his mouth.
Still, with a panel that included Ed Rollins, the Republican strategist who ran Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign, he blurted it out:
I'm going to get in trouble. He's a high-functioning moron, and that's what Congress treats him as. Both parties.
We can't even really say McCain's a high-functioning moron. Not after this week. A high-functioning moron would at least give the illusion of having his shit together. McCain can't even manage that.
And this is the man who's supposed to be the perfect leader for situations like this:
While Americans wait to see if our financial systems are going to melt down, a story that is getting far too little attention is the dangerously deteriorating situation in Pakistan, an important U.S. ally in the war against terrorism. Specifically, real questions now exist as to whether Pakistan can still be considered a U.S. ally in the war against terrorism. This is a critical issue for tonight’s debate and may be the most important national security item for the next president.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that “Pakistani troops and a U.S.-Afghan ground patrol exchanged fire near a frontier checkpoint… in a new heightening of armed tension between allies in the war against Taliban insurgents”:
According to the U.S. Central Command, the incident began when Pakistani troops at the checkpoint opened fire on two small American helicopters that were providing air support to the U.S.-Afghan unit while it was on patrol near the border. In response, Americans in the patrol fired shots into a hillside on which the checkpoint stood. Pakistani forces then fired on the patrol.
In an excellent article on the current situation, Dexter Filkins described a similar firefight in which U.S. forces out hunting the Taliban called in airstrikes after taking fire near the Pakistan border, resulting in the deaths of 11 Pakistani border guards.
This is a situation that could go from really fucking bad to beyond horrific in an instant. And what's McCain going to do, knock some heads together and tell Pakistan to cut the bullshit? We saw how well that worked in Washington, where supposedly he's known and respected. I can only imagine how a lot of pissed-off Pakistanis would react.