What's McCain up to? Basically this:
The term "Munchausen syndrome by proxy" (MSBP) was coined around twenty years ago.... In most cases, a mother either claims that her child is sick, or she goes even further to actually make the child sick. This "devoted" parent then continually presents the child for medical treatment, all the while denying any knowledge of the origin of the problem--namely, herself. As a result, MSBP victims may undergo extraordinary numbers of lab tests, medication trials, and even surgical procedures that aren't really needed....
Why would anyone do such a thing? ... Typically, it seems, the MSBP parent is on a misguided mission to feel "special," to garner attention from people--family, friends, and community--as the heroic caretaker of a tragically ill child.... And virtually all have personality disorders that lead them to behave in odd and even destructive ways, especially when they feel under stress.
That's the syndrome. Here's the case study of McCain:
... Early on Wednesday afternoon, [McCain] dramatically announced the "suspension" of his candidacy so that he could return to Washington and play the hero role in the congressional negotiations over a bailout of the financial system.
But by the time he finally made his way to nation's capital a full day later ... a deal ... had been struck.
...What was McCain to do? Well, here's what it looks like he did: Ally himself with conservative Republicans in the House and encourage their resistance to the deal in an effort to blow it up -- and, thus, create the kind of drama and suspense necessary for McCain to assume the heroic role he carved out for himself on Wednesday.
... McCain on Thursday afternoon -- after the deal was announced -- met with John Boehner, the House G.O.P. leader, and, according to one report, began gauging support in the House for the Study Committee's plan. In other words, he breathed new life into the House conservatives' bailout opposition.
...And now McCain has the drama that he came to Washington to capitalize on....
The economy had a treatable illness, and treatment was being readied. Then McCain huddled with Boehner and made sure the patient stayed sick.