Sep 29 2008
Bill Kristol nailed the current situation of the country and how McCain can take control of all domestic issues from Obama and the Dems (who have been screwing up our domestic policies for decades):
McCainâ€™s impetuous decision to return to Washington was right. The agreement announced early Sunday morning is better than Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsonâ€™s original proposal, and better than the deal the Democrats claimed was close on Thursday. Assuming the legislation passes soon, and assuming it reassures financial markets, McCain will be able to take some credit.
But the goal shouldnâ€™t be to return to â€œa normal campaign.â€ For these arenâ€™t normal times.
We face a real financial crisis. Usually the candidate of the incumbentâ€™s party minimizes the severity of the nationâ€™s problems. McCain should break the mold and acknowledge, even emphasize the crisis. He can explain that dealing with it requires candor and leadership of the sort heâ€™s shown in his career. McCain can tell voters weâ€™re almost certainly in a recession, and things will likely get worse before they get better.
And McCain can note that the financial crisis isnâ€™t going to be solved by any one piece of legislation. There are serious economists, for example, who think we could be on the verge of a huge bank run. Congress may have to act to authorize the F.D.I.C. to provide far greater deposit insurance, and the secretary of the Treasury to protect money market funds. McCain can call for Congress to stand ready to pass such legislation. He can say more generally that in the tough times ahead, weâ€™ll need a tough president willing to make tough decisions.
Actually, the conventional wisdom is wrong here that Obama and the Dems have a natural advantage. All they have is a fantasy world built on media spin that gives the impression of an advantage. But any advantage that can be torn apart with ease and be turned into a liability is clearly not a real advantage.
The truth is the current shakey economy cannot handle any large and risky policy jolts. Obama is going to have to forget his tax hikes on corporations and small companies (those making more than 250K a year, which means all small companies with more than two people in them). McCain already started to hammer Obama on this and can continue to do so with ease. Obama’s idea of taxing oil companies is a joke – because we all know who pays the taxes at the pump.
Obama’s plans to grow the government are also now highly suspect. While the verdict is out for many Americans on who is truly responsible for the current crisis, everyone agrees the culprits are in DC and on Wall Street. It is the Political Industrial Complex of Pols, Cronies, Consultants, Lobbyists and the News Media who failed this country – again. Any plan that hands power and responsibility into the hands of the inept and the corrupt will be met with a resounding “hell no” from outside the beltway. McCain can tap into this feeling and beart Obama over the head with it.
Kritsol is right. McCain needs to take Obama head on and this financial mess has given him the beachhead he needs to take the domestic issues away from Obama. The mantra should be “no new government responsibilities until the current messes are fixed”. Â Trust me, that one will sell.