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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another day, another flip-flop

John McCain seems intent on putting to rest one of those underlying questions that no one wants to ask about his campaign. He is showing quite an aptitude for gymnastics, at least of the verbal kind.

In a day marked by the Fed changing its mind about bailing out a major financial institution, McCain performed a double flip -- supporting new regulation of the financial services industry he once opposed while proclaiming himself a populist outraged by the greed of the very people whose favor he has long curried.

And this was also a day when one McCain aide said his boss invented the BlackBerry while another said neither McCain nor Sarah Palin were qualified to run a large corporation.

The fiscal meltdown prompted by the subprime mortgage debacle and the ability of financial service companies to run amok may finally be turning this campaign back where it belongs -- real issues and not the lies, distortions and half-truths being offered by the McCain camp.

The truth behind this debacle is that the failure to regulate and oversee corporate behavior has destroyed billions of dollars in capital, sending prices up and employment down. The prime culprits in this laissez faire disaster are the Republican leaders in the White House and Congress who helped wipe out regulations and regulators:
A decade ago, Sen. John McCain embraced legislation to broadly deregulate the banking and insurance industries, helping to sweep aside a thicket of rules established over decades in favor of a less restricted financial marketplace that proponents said would result in greater economic growth.
A prominent Democrat I know says there is blood on the hands of both parties -- the Glass-Steagall law was repealed under Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin -- is a deregulation messiah too.

Quite true. But it was the failure of George W. Bush and the Republican Congress to act forcefully after the previous display of excessive corporate greed this decade -- Enron -- that makes their hands dirtier in my book.

McCain is clearly groping for a way out of bind he finds himself in. The BlackBerry faux pas undoubtedly was an effort to defend McCain's efforts to deregulate telecommunications, an effort to say it led to innovations and not just higher cable bills.

And Carly Fiorina is no more capable of running the United States than she was in running Hewlett-Packard.

Those of us troubled by the turn of the campaign caused by the McCain assault on the truth can take perverse comfort in the lessons of Al Gore. "Inventing the Internet" and running a populist campaign didn't help him shed the problems caused by trying to avoid running with a lightning rod in the White House.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you didn't notice, Carly also said Sire Obama and Biden were also equally unqualified to be the CEO of HP.

September 17, 2008 9:16 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Yeah, they have ethics and principles :-)

And if I remember correctly, the HP board also thoughat in the end Fiorina was also unqualified. But she did get a nice golden parachute.

September 17, 2008 7:32 PM  
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September 18, 2008 4:24 AM  
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September 20, 2008 9:24 AM  

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