A McCain/Palin Crash?

As the world stock markets begin to self-destruct (not for too long I’m sure), it’s starting to look as though the aura of invincibility which the McCain/Palin ticket had been building since Sarah Palin was unveiled as Republican vice-presidential candidate is starting to fall too:

For two weeks the McCain campaign has wallowed in the media’s obsession with Governor Palin. A huge bounce in the opinion polls followed, with women especially declaring that they were changing their allegiance because they admired her so much.

But that appears to be changing as the focus of the election turns to the economy, especially in northern states. In Iowa, a poll in the Des Moines Register gives Barack Obama a comfortable lead of 12 points. In traditionally Republican southern states, however, the McCain campaign remains strong (he has a 20-point lead in South Carolina).

And it’s hardly surprising – although McCain’s poll numbers on the economy had been mystifyingly good for the same period, it’s also true that his economic guru Phil Gramm was in large measure responsible for creating the conditions which led to such a cataclysmic economic collapse. Economic laureate Joseph Stiglitz notes:

The industry as a whole has not been doing what it should be doing – for instance creating products that help Americans manage critical risks, such as staying in their homes when interest rates rise or house prices fall – and it must now face change in its regulatory structures. Regrettably, many of the worst elements of the US financial system – toxic mortgages and the practices that led to them – were exported to the rest of the world.

It was all done in the name of innovation, and any regulatory initiative was fought away with claims that it would suppress that innovation. They were innovating, all right, but not in ways that made the economy stronger. Some of America’s best and brightest were devoting their talents to getting around standards and regulations designed to ensure the efficiency of the economy and the safety of the banking system. Unfortunately, they were far too successful, and we are all – homeowners, workers, investors, taxpayers – paying the price.

Except it was precisely those standards which Phil Gramm, whose economic philosophy is wholeheartedly embraced by McCain, sought to deregulate or do away with altogether. With McCain’s own grasp of economics tenuous by his own admission (although no doubt he’ll be as ruthlessly coached as Palin was in her TV interview the other day to sidestep that problem for the debates), Obama has already begun his attack:

Barack Obama has expanded his call for stricter control of the US financial sector into an across-the-board attack on the laissez-faire economics championed by Ronald Reagan, pursued by President George Bush for the past eight years, and embraced by the Republican candidate for the White House, John McCain.

The Democratic presidential candidate said he was not blaming Mr McCain in person for “the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression” , but “the economic philosophy he subscribes to,” based on tax cuts for the wealthy and the habit of “ignoring economic problems until they spiralled into crises”.

During the Bush years, that philosophy insisted that “even commonsense regulations are unneccessary and unwise”, with the result that the administration had sat on its hands as problems turned into crises – the latest being the convulsions on Wall Street.

He’s not alone. Biden is also hammering McCain:

“Senator McCain has confessed, quote, “It’s easy for me to go to Washington and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.” And he’s right, if all you do is walk the halls of power, all you hear are the wants of the powerful.

I believe that’s why Senator McCain could say with a straight face, as recently as this morning, and I quote “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” That, “We’ve made great progress economically” during the Bush years. But friends, I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn’t run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well, unless I ran into John McCain.

John McCain just doesn’t seem to understand what middle class people are going through today. I don’t doubt that he cares. He just doesn’t think that we have any responsibility to help people who are hurting.”

Now that’s a real Vice President, but he was aided by this disaster of a gaffe by McCain, who played disastrously into the Democratic meme of trying to tie McCain to Bush, universally discredited as out-of-touch:

Most intriguingly however the 500,000-strong National Organisation for Women has made an unprecedented endorsement…of Obama. Put off by Palin’s support for creationism, the stories of her abuse of power, homophobia and for standing against women’s reproductive rights, their endorsement is a clear indication that the Palin effect is dying down nationally – possibly of its own accord, but more likely because of the escalating economic crisis. In a nutshell the issues have come forcefully back into play, putting Obama back into his comfort zone. Kim Gandy, the head of NOW said of Sarah Palin:

“She is being portrayed as a supporter of women’s rights… as a feminist when in fact her positions on so many of the issues are really anathema to ours.

“A lot of women think it’s a great thing for a woman to be running for vice-president,” she continued, “but they are completely dismayed when they find out her positions. The idea that she opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest – those kinds of positions are completely out of step with American women and once they find out about those positions, they get a little less excited.”

Cause for hope? McCain’s commanding lead in the opinion polls has certainly evaporated….

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9 responses to “A McCain/Palin Crash?

  1. It’s nice to see some good analysis into this topic. I still have faith that the real Palin will be revealed. Whether the same is true of McCain seems to depend on when you define him. Does the term flip-flopper apply here? I also recommend this Article for good measure.

  2. Not a chance Bro. The American citizens know that Barney Frank was behind the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They also know that Charlie Rangel is a criminal and should resign. Obama hasn’t got a clue about the economy either and he’s wearing out that Ouija board. Obama is just a puppet, he doesn’t even wear the pants in his own house, how does he expect to wear the pants of the U.S.? Maybe Michelle should have run for President.

  3. http://dummidumbwit.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/its-the-deregulation-stupid-among-other-things/

    Great Post, good videos, now if we can just get them out before another 1929 we’ll be alright!!!

  4. @ SteveJJ – Did you actually read the link about Phil Gramm?

    Obama is just a puppet, he doesn’t even wear the pants in his own house, how does he expect to wear the pants of the U.S.?

    Whose puppet do you believe him to be, and are you suggesting he isn’t somehow masculine enough to be president? By what measure? I’m constantly reminded of a quote by Bill Clinton at the DNC in 2004:

    “Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.”

  5. t seems as if Obama preaches poetic political propaganda, which lacks sufficient substance, and just fools people from comprehending his real intentions for the United States of America. By keeping his preachings vague, it fools and conditions people to believe that he truly understands their needs.

  6. @ James – Odd propaganda – what do you think his ‘real intentions’ are for the US? Your post makes little sense.

    @ Jon – a good article indeed.

    It does have the feel that Palin’s weaknesses are starting to have a cumulative effect, doesn’t it?

  7. The worst crime of deregulation is these cheap chinese telephones can’t put a good lump on the head of the average republican, you could generally knock em out with the old 70’s Ma Bell units?

  8. There’s nothing really new here, NOW is a confirmed democratic institution, both candidates are railing against “big business” and “greedy capitalists” of course you know they are both lying because they both take money from the very people they besmirch. To McCain’s credit he did mention this problem in 2005, however congress was not going to rock the boat when nothing seemed to be going wrong. As for Obama, he’s taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac in the short time he’s been in office and he’s in the lead for receiving money from Wall Street too.
    I’ll believe his words right after I see him do something about gays in the military. A topic he just stated he would leave in the hands of the military commanders. So now that he’s tossed gays under the bus I’m curious to see how strong his support remains

    http://www.towleroad.com/2008/09/obama-clarifies.html

    “I want to make sure that when we revert ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ it’s gone through a process and we’ve built a consensus or at least a clarity of what my expectations are so that it works. My first obligation as the president is to make sure that I keep the American people safe and that our military is functioning effectively…Although I have consistently said I would repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ I believe that the way to do it is make sure that we are working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be.”

    Sounds a lot like his eventual dismissal of public campaign funds, his rewrite of his stance on Iraq, and his pledge to avoid personal attacks while on the road.

  9. A candidate steering a strong course to the middle is OK by me cause I’m in the middle. I never did really decide if Mitt or Mac was the king flip flopper until Mac decided to run as the Change agent and the good regulator (Mac win’s hands down!!!) I don’t know what to say about the Don’t ask, don’t tell other than would McCain/Palin be better for the Gay Community?

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