Monday, October 27, 2008


William Kristol -- who of course never served in the military -- regularly gets a warm feeling up his leg when he thinks about Republicans in military terms. So today, in The New York Times, he offers this bit of advice for the McCain campaign:

The heart of that case has to be this: reminding voters that when they elect a president, they're not just electing a super-Treasury secretary or a higher-level head of Health and Human Services. They’re electing a commander in chief in time of war....

As for McCain, he needs to speak about America's greatness and its future; about how the ingenuity and toughness of the American people will turn around this financial crisis just as the ingenuity of General Petraeus and the toughness of his fighting men and women turned around Iraq....

So the financial crisis is just like Iraq? OK, let's extend that. Let's recall the foreign policy thinking of both McCain and Kristol over the past seven years and apply it to the financial world. What would Financial Commander-in-Chief McCain do?

Respond to the current economic crisis by focusing on the rescue of a financial institution that doesn't need one?

And then, when that turns out to be a debacle, distance himself the outcome, but ineffectually -- i.e., not enough to prevent the institution in question from becoming part of the financial meltdown when it wasn't in the first place?

And then, after a few years of deterioration and drift, with the meltdown worsening as a result of the main step taken to end it, would McCain find a rescuer who'd pay one set of financial thugs to neutralize another set, which might work, but never well enough to end the self-inflicted problem, so the rescue of the initially non-threatening institution would have to be permanent, while the real financial crisis continued elsewhere?

Yup, sounds like a plan.

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