One Week in the Flipping and Flopping and General Cluelessness of John McCain

The USA Today published a useful editorial on Friday recapping McCain’s “many gyrations” in response to the financial crisis.

You know, first the economy is fundamentally strong, then there’s a crisis, then he’s a Reaganite deregulator, then he’s some would-be Teddy Roosevelt reformer.

What’s the truth? Well, who knows? But he’s certainly not TR.

Throughout his political career, in fact, behind the faux maverick facade and fawning media coverage, McCain has been whatever he’s needed to be at any given time, a shameless, money-grubbing opportunist. If anything, his history, with respect to the economy, has been to cozy up to big-time lobbyists and play quid pro quo with Big Telecom, Big Alcohol, Big Gaming, and any other Big Industry that will support his political aspirations. (For more on this, see Free Ride: John McCain and the Media, by David Brock and Paul Waldman.)

And now, with the financial crisis deepening (even with Wall Street rebounding somewhat), he doesn’t quite know what to do or what to say or what to be. Hence the “gyrations.”

“The Republican candidate’s erratic performance this week was far from reassuring,” concluded the editors of the USA Today.

Can you say… massive understatement?

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