THE BLOG
09/18/2008 03:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are You a Fundamental?

John McCain is taking this whole "not meeting" thing to a new level. He won't meet with Iran, fine. But now, he won't rule in or out meeting with the Prime Minister of Spain. Next week in McCain land, it's ef u, England.

At the same time, in Sarah Palin news, Sarah Palin tells Sean Hannity that when John McCain says the "Fundamentals of the economy are strong," he's talking about American workers and their strength.

Poor Sarah Palin. McCain himself, after repeating his "fundamentals" comment, knew he was in trouble, so he tried to lie his way out of it and say that, by "fundamentals," he met the strength of the American worker.

I'm a fundamental! I am waiting for Joe Piscopo to do his "You from Jersey" routine, updated: "You a fundamental?" Yes, in the McCain world, we're all fundamentals.

But anyway, after McCain's attempt at passing off "fundamental" as the nom de plume for "worker", derisive laughter caused McCain to just stop saying the "f" word. So Palin was left holding the lie. Jeez, does Sarah Palin make even one appearance without lying?

"Thanks, but no thanks," is headed into the Political Blunder Hall of Fame. I mean, she wanted the Bridge to Nowhere, and then Congress told her they wouldn't fund it. I love this tact and I urge you to try it yourself at your next job interview. Let's say you get a call and you're told you didn't get the job. Then you pull a Palin and say "thanks but no thanks" I'm not accepting the job. That you haven't offered." And then hang up. If someone breaks up with you, say, "You know what, thanks but no thanks, I don't want to date you anymore." Right? How much fun is this? When the guy at the velvet rope tells you the club is full, and you can't get in, you say, "Thanks, but no thanks, I'm not coming in." Ah, Palin.

There are so many other good Palinisms: telling Charlie Gibson that other VP nominees have not met with heads of state prior to their nomination (why didn't Charlie Gibson ask her to name them?), to her statement that 20% of America's energy comes from Alaska (her spokespeople have now said '15-20%', but it's lower than that still) to her staffers comments on traveling to Iraq (she didn't) and to Ireland (she was in the airport), to the problems with Troopergate, it's becoming more and more obvious that Palin is a liability.

McCain made a rash, "maverick" decision to choose Palin; sometimes, gut decisions work. Sometimes, they don't. Either way, they do not represent any coherent governing philosophy. And coherently speaking of incoherence, McCain's positions on the economy are now changing every day. For bailouts, against bailouts, for regulation, against regulation - I mean, I'm getting dizzy trying to follow McCain's positions.

One thing is clear: before changing his mind yesterday, McCain has a self-professed history of wanting even less regulation than we have now.

What would less regulation mean for you? Just take a look at where we are now, and subtract more oversight:

On Wall Street, I urge you to read Portfolio magazine for a prescient article on how Chris Cox at the SEC took away its enforcement capacity, which is part of what led to our current mess.


But it's not just about a lack of enforcement at the SEC. It's about a lack of enforcement at the FDA, too - at a time when more and more of our food is imported, we have cut the number of inspectors. At the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we have cut the number of people who check out the toys that come in from places like China.

Do you wonder why we have toy recalls? Food recalls?

It's also about a lack of enforcement for our pension plans and our housing market. Regardless of where you stand politically, most of us can agree that the people of this country need a government that looks out for the people, specifically the middle class and lower-income workers.

It's about the hurricanes and FEMA. FEMA - they're supposed to manage emergencies, and we're supposed to have learned from New Orleans. So why is the President asking people to give to the Red Cross? The Red Cross is great, but it's the Administration's job to look after the people and make sure they have food and a place to go. We don't outsource for emergencies (not sure if this fits my "less regulation theme," but thought I'd mention it.

Under Bush, the Administration has failed to look out for the people. They've expanded government, but taken away enforcement. That's fine if we live in a "Lord of the Flies" nation, but we don't. We need some government oversight.

Barack Obama understands this. John McCain doesn't - he has said that he believes in even less regulation. Sarah Palin understands that... well, she put a tanning bed in the governor's mansion. A tanning bed. And McCain wants her to be possibly the next President of the United States. Thanks, but no thanks.