accountabilitybloke (old blog)

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A perplexed cynic….

I am typically unfazed by what happens in US political campaigns — after all, I am a political scientist and I try to live up to my wife’s description of the field (“advanced cynicism and general despair”).

But at this moment (3 PM or so on Wednesday, September 24) I am baffled and perplexed. What in the world is the McCain campaign up to?

Win or lose, someone has ot to write an insider analysis of this someday — I mean a really “inside” the “insider” memoir, one that can give us some insight into their collective thinking. The Palin selection was interesting enough to warrant such a book, but the effort to postpone Friday’s debate (even though I was unlikely to watch it given other things on my plate) seems bizarre.

The only thing one can conjure up to make sense of this is as act of desperation given the latest polls. This might be the closest thing McCain folks have to an “October surprise” — and considering that they are coming to the realization that another 9/11 is unlikely to come their way over the next 40+ days, this might be their effort to create the moral equivalent. That is probably what Bush is going to try to do tonight in his address to the nation.

But if that is idea behind this cynical maneuver, they have a number of problems. First, there is the problem that JM is on record ten days ago noting that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Second is the growing chorus of economists and politicians from both right and left who are raising questions about the plan and the pros/cons of letting the market do its thing without interference. Third is the general tone of public opinion which is not conducive to some manipulative effort to mobilize fear and anxiety. The “tone” or mood right now is more like anger and suspicion, and assuming the Obama folks don’t fall for the bait, all they have to do is point out just how manipulative this move is.

Must worrisome is that all this will backfire — and whatever justification there is for the “bailout” plan will be lost in the process….

September 24th, 2008 Posted by | accountabilitybloke | no comments