John McCain has consistently shown that through all of his bluster and hawkish banter, he does not possess the temperament to make the tough decisions that mean the most to this country. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has consistently shown that not only can he be cool and measured in his decision making, he can be right! After 8 years of a cowboy presidential administration isn't it time that we finally admit that it might better to have a President who is actually smart? I took a few minutes to highlight some of his most recent mishaps on dealing with issue #1 for the American people: the economy.
Fire...ready...AIM! This is McCain. He proposes a solution knowing absolutely nothing about the problem; he is corrected and educated by Republican party cronies with the full background of the story; and then he adjusts his answers based upon his newfound information.
Here are some examples:
McCain on Regulation
(Fire) McCain, who has been a lifetime proponent of deregulation, spoke out on the NBC Today show in favor of a position which he has long held. He stated, as he has stated for many years before, "Of course I don't like excessive and unnecessary regu - uh, government regulation."
(Ready) His cronies told him that it was the lack of this regulation that was a primary cause in the credit crisis that we are having today. Even though he had held a long-standing position against regulation, he reversed his position an hour later.
(Aim) An hour after the NBC's Today Show, Harry Smith asked Senator McCain his position on regulation and he answered, "Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes. But this patchwork quilt of regulating bodies was designed for the 1930s when they were invented."
McCain on Firing the SEC Chairman Chris Cox
(Fire) John McCain said that he would fire the SEC Chairman Chris Cox for his supposed "betrayal of trust" of the American people and role in this financial crisis.
(Ready) His cronies informed him that the Securities and Exchange Commission is an independent agency with which the President has no jurisdiction. The President nominates the SEC Chairman, but does not have the power to fire him.
(Aim) John McCain is now on the campaign trail stating that he would ask for the resignation of the SEC Chairman.
McCain on the State of the Economy
(Fire) During a rally in Jacksonville, Florida on September 15th, John McCain stated again that, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." (ThinkProgress.com has documented that he has used this line 18 times so far this year.) This is after Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers collapsed. This is despite 9,800 foreclosures per day, a 5 year high rate of unemployment (6.1%), over 600,000 jobs lost since the January, jobs being shipped overseas, a weak dollar, high oil prices, high food prices and stagnating real wages.
(Ready) His cronies must have gotten to him and told him to remove that line from his stump speech. I can imagine that they also informed him about the true state of the economy because he soon changed his position.
(Aim) Only a few hours later he was quoted as saying, "...the fundamentals of our economy are at risk."
McCain on the Bailout of AIG
(Fire) John McCain was firmly against the bailout of AIG. On September 16th he said on NBC's "Today Show", "I do not believe that the American taxpayer should be on the hook for AIG and I'm glad that the Secretary Paulson has apparently taken the same line." He also stated, "We cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else."
(Ready) Treasury Secretary Paulson eventually approved an $85 Billion bailout of AIG and now the Government owns 80% of AIG. His cronies informed him that AIG possessed $1 trillion in assets and was tied in many lines of business...consequently a failure of AIG would cause a massive, crippling ripple effect across the United States and the world.
(Aim) McCain came out in support of the bailout the next day, stating, "There are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investment, whose insurance were at risk here. They were going to have their lives destroyed because of greed and excess and corruption."
There are many other items which I could have talked about outside the economy. There is the very irresponsible decision to side with the President in the war in Iraq which will cost America an estimated $2 trillion. The decision to choose Sarah Palin, after being pressured out of choosing his first choice, Joseph Lieberman, was obviously a political choice which was not a "country first" decision. One can point to his shift on immigration legislation he sponsored (The Dream Act) that seemed very unpopular. He now does not support the very bill which he sponsored. He once said he would balance the budget at the end of his first term, was consulted that this was an impossibility considering his fiscally irresponsible policies, and stated that he would consider balancing the budget by the end of his second term.
There is an endless record of misjudgments exhibited by McCain that need to be exposed. Experience does not account for anything if you do not have the proper temperament and judgment to lead this country. Obama is correct: bluster and tough talk have been the foundation of this administration for the past 8 years, and that by itself has proven not enough to lead. I don't know about you, but being smart has always been a characteristic that I look for in a potential President. I hope America agrees.