Friday, September 19, 2008


I don't have anything clever to say about this, but I just want to point out that the person (besides Barack Obama) who's being blamed the most by John McCain for the current financial crisis, Christopher Cox, is someone who was believed by many right-wingers to be an excellent VP choice for McCain -- if not the best possible choice:

Lisa Schiffren, National Review, February 11, 2008:

Chris Cox is fabulous. He should be president.

Quin Hillyer, American Spectator, March 6, 2008:

The best choice, bar none. This thoughtful and reform-minded chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission made his name for 16 years as the brainiest and perhaps most principled Reaganite conservative in Congress, as well as one of the best on TV....

Cox is well thought of by just about every conservative columnist around, and respected by the David Broder institutionalists for his brains, diligence, and decency....

There will be more to say about Cox in the months ahead. The good news is, McCain has a number of excellent choices from which to choose. The better news is that with so many already-excellent choices, there is one, Cox, who excels even those, and who would be capable of handling any job McCain could possibly throw at him.

Robert Novak, March 17, 2008:

Former conservative colleagues in the House of Representatives are boosting Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2005, to be Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate.....

Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 3, 23008:

Mr. McCain could choose no better than Chris Cox.... Handsome, articulate and personable, and with no skeletons rattling around in his closet, Mr. Cox is described by friends as "scary smart."

Brendan Miniter, Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2008:

Mr. McCain needs to bolster his economic street cred, especially after admitting minimal expertise on the subject. He needs to rally pro-growth Republicans and calm the fears of ordinary voters amid the mortgage meltdown. Who to call? California Republican Chris Cox was on George W. Bush's shortlist eight years ago and didn't get the nod. Now his moment may have arrived, judging by a growing murmur among his GOP fans.

At 55, he's youthful and confidence-inspiring.... He has a reputation as a serious and sober minded politician....

McCain-Cox? It would have been an interesting general election campaign, to say the least.

That widespread admiration for Cox explains some of the fury of this Wall Street Journal editorial today:

Was Mr. Cox dishonest? No. He merely changed some minor rules, and didn't change others, on short-selling. String him up! Mr. McCain clearly wants to distance himself from the Bush Administration. But this assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair. It's also un-Presidential.

Hillyer of the Spectator adds:

McCain's outburst was flagrantly ignorant, disgustingly demagogic, and pathetically panicky. Just when he had a chance to prove his mettle as someone who could be level-headed in a crisis, he instead showed himself to be a hothead and a bully who goes off half-cocked while firing blanks.

Hey, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

The Journal editorial says McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does" and accuses McCain of "running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000." Those are two of the lowest insults imaginable in that neck of the ideological woods. I think that's a sign that the coverage from this wing of the right really might revert to "Screw it -- we don't see a difference between McCain and Obama now, so we don't care if Obama wins." I won't complain.

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