Ladies and gentlemen, the last three days should contain more than enough evidence to show you exactly how well John McCain's temperament is suited for the highest office in the land. The last three days should contain more than enough evidence to show you that he has next to zero interest in the nuts and bolts of policy, the nuances of crafting legislation, and actually working with all interested parties. The man doesn't even understand his own proposals. He also doesn't seem to have a functional grasp of the scope, definition, and importance of earmarks, as his answer to a question about what he would cut in the face of a $700 billion bailout proved. "Well Jim, I'd cut $18 billion in earmark spending and freeze non mil/vet spending." Fantastic. This wouldn't be the first time he has shown he doesn't know the first thing about earmarks. I'm also sure that DHS, the FBI, CIA, INS, and numerous other agencies vital to the day-to-day operation of our national security were thrilled to hear this proposal. (Does anyone know if he made that up on the spot in a fit of know-nothing maverickeyness?)
The man's entire approach to politics is to buzz the tower and then act as if his insane gamble is some sort of grand example of leadership and intelligence. No, no, no, and more no. The man literally tried to pull off a "dog ate my homework" trick this week after lying to the entire country that he was going to suspend his campaign until the crisis was resolved:
- First he says that the fundamentals of the economy are fine.
- Then he changes his position on the crisis 5 times within the course of the week.
- Then he "suspends" his campaign, which, in reality, was nothing more than walking out on David Letterman
- Then he says that the debates should be put off until the crisis is resolved.
- Then he flies into DC and the bi-partisan talks fall apart.
- The deal becomes decidedly unresolved.
- He shows up at the debate.
UPDATE: It wasn't just at the debate that he couldn't look his colleagues in the eyes:
Bush turned to McCain, who joked, "The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority." McCain then turned to Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to speak first.
Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.
No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: "What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.
This, of course, was hot off his fantastic performance in front of Senate Republicans:
McCain listened, then, with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), he burst into the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Over a Tex-Mex buffet, Sens. Robert F. Bennett (Utah) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) had been explaining the contours of a deal just reached. House Republicans were not buying it. Then McCain spoke.
"I appreciate what you've done here, but I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal," McCain told the gathering, according to Graham and confirmed by multiple Senate GOP aides. "Just like Iraq, I'm not afraid to go it alone if I need to."
For a moment, as Graham described it, "you could hear a pin drop. It was just unbelievable." Then pandemonium. By the time the meeting broke up, the agreement touted just hours before -- one that Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the No. 3 GOP leader, estimated would be supported by more than 40 Senate Republicans -- was in shambles.
John McCain: America second.
Again, this man is unstable and Democrats should refuse to move ahead with any negotiations until he is out of DC. They should also demand that his complete medical records be made public, without conditions. I'll ask it again: When was the last time he had a mental health screening?
UPDATE ii: OK, we've already established that McCain is on record as saying he doesn't know as much about economics as he should (he then tried to argue that he had an "extensive" economic background). We know that before hiding like a coward behind the average American worker, McCain said that the fundamentals of our economy were strong 16 times this year. We know that he's taken at least five different positions on the current economic crisis. We know that he didn't read Secretary Paulson's plan until days after it was released. We know that he lied to the nation about "suspending" his campaign. We know he crashed into DC burning up the bailout negotiations. We know that he scuttled the White House meeting with his insistence on letting the House Republican plan have its day in the sun. We now know that he didn't even know what the hell was in the House GOP plan:
Boehner and McCain discussed the bailout plan, but Republican leadership aides described the conversation as somewhat surreal. Neither man was familiar with the details of the proposal being pressed by House conservatives, and up to the moment they departed for the White House yesterday afternoon, neither had seen any description beyond news reports.
At 1:25 p.m., McCain left Boehner's office through a back door, walking across the Capitol's rotunda to the applause of tourists. Graham conceded the group knew little about the plan the nominee had come to Washington to try to shape.
Perhaps this is why he sat quietly by in the White House meeting. He doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. This man is literally willing to tank the negotiations for the single largest economic crisis in American history since the Great Depression for the betterment of his campaign for President. On top of this tomfoolery, he doesn't know the first damn thing about what he came in there to blow up in the first place...nor does he understand the motives and details of who and what he is blowing it up for.
One more time: When was the last time this man had a mental health screening? Is he still on Ambien? Did he ever receive treatment for PTSD? Has he ever received counseling to help him deal with his time spent in prison camp? Folks, this man is exhibiting some rather erratic and dangerous behavior. It's time for him to open up his medical records to the public with no preconditions.