Friday, September 26, 2008

Moose lips sink ships: Palin’s morning “availability” clues us to McCain’s plan to disrupt bailout talks

Earlier today, I took a peek at this tape of Republican veep wannabe Sarah Palin’s “press availability” near the sight of the 9/11/01 attacks in lower Manhattan. . .

After viewing, I wrote to some friends:

She doesn't support the bailout until "the provisions that John McCain has offered" are incorporated into the bill??? What provisions?

It was BHO that offered the four points; McAsshole would only agree to the generic preamble.

Indeed, as noted here yesterday, Barack Obama tried to negotiate a joint statement on the financial crisis with John McCain. McCain left the Obama folks hanging all day while he hobnobbed with a wealthy benefactor and crafted a plan (and talking points) to pretend suspend his campaign. Late in the day, after all of McCain’s histrionics, McCain and Obama jointly released the most generic of statements:

The American people are facing a moment of economic crisis. No matter how this began, we all have a responsibility to work through it and restore confidence in our economy. The jobs, savings, and prosperity of the American people are at stake.

Now is a time to come together – Democrats and Republicans – in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail.

This is a time to rise above politics for the good of the country. We cannot risk an economic catastrophe. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

There are no proposals in that statement—not in the “joint” part, anyway. Obama went on to add a five-point amendment to the statement when it was posted on his campaign’s website. McCain, too busy not appearing on David Letterman, issued no additional points, recommendations, guidelines, or proposals.

And it doesn’t seem he privately phoned in any suggestions, either. Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd, appearing late last night on The Rachel Maddow Show, said that he had “never heard from McCain on the issue” of the economic crisis. Ranking Republicans involved in the negotiations also stated that they had not spoken with McCain.

Cut to today, Thursday. After spending the previous night in New York City and making a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in the morning, McCain finally got on his plane and flew down to DC, arriving after Congressional negotiators had already announced a deal in principle.

McCain went to the planned afternoon meeting at the White House that included Congressional leaders, President Bush, and Hank Paulson, and, according to reports, then started pitching a new plan:

During the White House meeting, it appears that Sen. John McCain had an agenda He brought up alternative proposals, surprising and angering Democrats. He did not, according to someone briefed on the meeting, provide specifics.

One the proposals -- favored by House Republicans -- would relax regulation and temporarily get rid of certain taxes in order to lure private industry into the market for these distressed assets.

That approach has been rejected by Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and, to this point, the White House. During the meeting, according to someone briefed on it, Sec. Henry Paulson told those assembled that the approach was not workable.

Members of the House Republican caucus, never happy with the prospect of large-scale government intervention in the markets, sided with McCain, and the deal unraveled. Negotiations broke down, and the air of bipartisanship that seemed to pervade Washington talk most of the week has dissipated.

Democratic leaders are clearly angered. Chairman Dodd, appearing on CNN, said that if Republicans had an alternative plan, they should have offered it at the beginning of the week, at the beginning of negotiations, not at the White House photo op organized to announce a deal. “Instead of being a rescue plan for the economy,” decried an exasperated Dodd, “it became a rescue plan for John McCain. . . . I didn’t quite understand what was going on down there [at the White House] except political theater.”

Now, we can clearly see that this McCain campaign bailout plan was premeditated. We suspected this before, and now, thanks to Sarah Palin’s loose lips, we have proof. Palin’s mention of not supporting a compromise bailout plan until it included McCain’s proposals—hours before McCain had actually made any proposals—revealed the McCain camp’s politics first, country second strategy.

As Barack Obama stated after talks broke up, “What I found and I think was confirmed today when you inject presidential politics into delicate negotiations it is not necessarily as helpful as it could be.”

That all depends on who you were planning to help, Senator, the American people, or John McCain.

(cross-posted on The Seminal and Daily Kos)

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home