McCain's Debate Ploy Backfires

10/26/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What happened to the Straight Talk?

In politics, there are no good political ploys, only stupid political ploys. The good ones you never know even existed because they are so good you can't tell it's a ploy. The bad ones you know about because the stooge who did it ends up walking around with egg on his face.

Today, John McCain was wearing some eggs because yesterday McCain got stupid. The "suspension" of his campaign appears to have backfired. (And by the way, just what does suspending one's campaign mean? Are they no longer answering the phones at McCain HQ? Did they shut down the website? Are the bumper stickers I asked for last week no longer being sent to me?) I expect McCain will show up at the debate in Mississippi on Friday. An hour and a half of cameras focusing on his empty podium while "Mr. Slickspeech" rambles on about "change" only some moron could believe in would make for bad press that even Katherine Harris could recognize.

But before I get to McCain, let's set the record straight about who is chicken/not prepared to debate whom. Recall that last summer McCain asked the junior senator from Illinois to participate in 10 town hall meetings across the country. Obama declined. Probably because he realized it would be really hard to answer questions directly from citizens if he didn't have a Teleprompter telling him what to say. So to my Democrat friends, I say, enough with this argument. Besides, there is plenty better to poke at McCain that is actually true.

It seems obvious McCain's ploy was based on the assumption that he would appear to be "feeling the pain" of the American people if he suspended the campaign and rescheduled the debate. And while it is really easy to be in Congress and sit in a smoke-filled room in Washington, D.C. and make merry about what a bunch of feeble-minded nincompoops the American voters are with your fellow congressmen (The scene goes like this: "Hey Congressman Jones, can you believe these people keep reelecting us? I mean, we just keep sticking it to them and they just send us back!" Then Congressman Jones replies, "Yeah, they're really dumb. All you have to do is send them a new road or park or two financed with debt their children will owe to China and they will love you -- so long as you don't tell them about the China part.") voters are just sophisticated enough to see through McCain's ridiculous maneuver.

Voters can be fooled by slick campaign ads, but rushing back to Washington to solve a problem in a day or two that has been brewing for years, well Senator McCain, even the zit-faced teenage bagboy at Safeway can see through that.

What's worse is, all of a sudden Johnny thinks he and the Congress can do something to help. Wait a minute! Aren't these the same bunch of pathetic, short-sighted, special interest protecting, twelve pork-sandwich eating scoundrels who created the problem in the first place?

I mean, do you trust Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Barack Obama, John McCain, or any other person with the designation "Member of Congress" after their name to do what's right all of a sudden? I don't. Any bill they pass will be loaded with the concerns and interests of special interests. And by that, I don't mean your kids or grandkids -- no matter how special of an interest they are to you.

No. Who (or what) is special to Washington politicians are things like commercial banks not individual taxpayers who will get stuck with the bill. Congress will pass a bailout bill that will reward the banks and other financial institutions for their foolish greed which led to their making loans to tons of people who had no G**-damned business buying a house in the first place. And despite protests from a few, the CEOs of these banks will get their golden-parachutes despite having run these companies into the ground. And it looks now like a lot of American homeowners on the verge of foreclosure will also get undeserved help. I'm sorry; I just can't muster up any sympathy for some fool who put zero down on a house with a variable interest rate loan who now has a payment he can't afford. Just because some slick-faced banker offers you something doesn't mean you take it. No more than you take a vial of crack from a street thug just because he offers it to you.

And where has McCain been for the last few years? This problem didn't just creep up on us overnight. Seriously Johnny-boy, you've got some serious explaining to do as far as what you've been doing, and why now, all of a sudden 40 some-odd days from an election you suddenly feel the need to do something about to help fix the economy.

If our politicians started dishing out what the American people deserve -- a cold dose of what my mom used to call "tough love" when I was a snot-nosed teenager -- we might be able to get our country back on track. This was once known as "straight talk." But if the politicians gave us straight talk, we voters probably wouldn't reelect these a**holes we call congressmen. And we all know getting them reelected is what is really important.

To say the least, I am very disappointed in John McCain. That said, I've been a supporter of his since the 2000 Primary Election, and I still intend to vote for him because Obama isn't qualified to lead a Boy Scout Troop - much less our nation. But enough is enough with all the smoke and mirrors McCain! Your appeal has always been your straight talk. So get back to it and quit listening to Karl Rove and all the Bushies you have surrounded yourself with in your campaign. They're part of the problem, not the solution. Just be yourself and go back to giving American's the dose of reality they need.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: