Friday, October 3, 2008

If This Is True, Then McCain Loses The Election

Accoring to James Pethokoukis at Capital Commerce, McCain does not intend to aggressively challenge Obama on the claim that Republican mismanagement of the economy is at the heart of today's subprime crisis. As I wrote at the time, McCain lost the "foreign policy" debate because of this. And if this is his plan, there is no need to wait until November and an election to call this one for President Obama.

This from James Pethokoukis:

Here is the big question of the moment that many GOPers are asking: Why is John McCain not tearing into Barack Obama and the Dems on the huge role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Community Reinvestment Act in the financial crisis on Wall Street? In fact, the biggest criticism by conservatives of Sarah Palin's debate performance last night was that she had the opportunity to talk about Fannie/Freddie and the CRA but instead criticized the role of "predatory lenders."

Here is what Team McCain is telling me: Expect McCain to make the case on television, but [not aggressively] . . .

Nope, that is not going to happen Why not?

1) It is a complicated argument, and McCain is not good at making complicated arguments, not even about earmarks. (Note, additionally, his lack of defense of the war in Iraq during his debate with Obama. Amazing.)

2) There is a racial component to criticism of the Community Reinvestment Act that can make it sound like you are scapegoating minorities for Wall Street's problems.

3) The campaign believes McCain's time is better spent talking about taxes and energy and healthcare. Really.

This is the McCain camp turning craven and indecisive at the critical moment of the battle. The left is quite literally rewriting history. The electorate is in no way, shape or form going to hand this election to McCain if enough people think that the Republicans are the party responsible for the subprime disaster. The Politico makes this point crytal clear:

. . . “Before the economic crisis, we had a number of races moving our way,” said Matthew Miller, communications director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “But now we’re seeing Republican numbers plummet.” GOP officials largely agree.

Senate races don’t grab national attention like the White House battle does. But if these trends hold, the Senate outcome could be almost as important to Washington governance as the presidential winner will be. It takes 60 votes to pass anything through the slow-moving Senate. So the closer the Democrats get to the number, the more power they will have next year to put their stamp on the country.

Democrats say their candidates are benefiting from the wipeout on Wall Street with a single message in every region of the country: “These are the Bush policies coming home to roost.” Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told Politico: “Americans know that in economically difficult times, we need a change from George Bush’s policies. And incumbents who have voted for six years with Bush, up and down the line, are having a difficult time trying to convince the electorate that they’ve changed their spots."

The trends reflect the growing fear of among top Republicans that their prospects could crater on Nov. 4, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) running weakly at the top of the ticket, President Bush as unpopular as ever and the economic crisis serving as a last-minute propellant for the change message of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

With Republicans fearing the loss of 17 to 21 House seats, January 2009 could bring Democrats a dominance over Washington that neither party has experienced since the Reagan years.

Now is most certainly not the time to play defense.


Anonymous said...

No matter what republicans say, the media will play up the democratic propaganda.

Anonymous said...

vinny, you're right - that means that the only way to get the info out there is to get it into the debates. Peope _are_ watching the debates.

Anonymous said...

suek, the debate I watched last night was meaningless. How was the one you watched?

Anonymous said...

If your account of the crisis ("Hurricane Subprime") is any indication, then McCain's reason would be a justifiable one: he has no honest rebuttal. The impact of CRA loans or Fannie/Freddie lending on the current crisis is so small to be non-existent, and no lesser an expert than Warren Buffett has argued that the lax regulation of opaque, exotic mortgage and credit securities is the real cause of the problem. It is no surprise that the sage of Omaha and world's richest man supports Obama. You'd be a fool to contradict his account of the causes of the mess, and McCain is no fool...

@nooil4pacifists said...

Your anonymous commenter might be the guy blaming the crisis on fraud and deregulation while failing to supply facts in comments on No Oil for Pacifists.