Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress Must Not Reward McCain's Debate "Hostage Taking"

I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, but by now all of the evidence clearly shows that McCain's "suspension" of his campaign yesterday was a purely political stunt. Whether it was to try to appear "presidential", to shake up the media, to distract attention from the Rick Davis scandal, or to delay the debate, McCain did this for his own selfish reasons, just like everything else he's done in this campaign. (For one thing, if you are really suspending your campaign because of a crisis, do you honestly prepare talking points about it in advance?)

Now were are put in a position where McCain is holding tomorrow's debate "hostage", insisting that he won't be there unless a bailout package is passed by tomorrow. Is this really the right basis for a critically important $1 trillion package negotiation? Is it truly "putting country first" to pressure the Bush administration and Congress with a totally unnecessary, artificial deadline?

The facts are that McCain and Obama are not involved in the congressional leadership working on this deal. They never were and they are not needed in Washington while the discussions are going on. Not only would their presence not help, it would likely harm matters by creating more confusion and stress in an already delicate situation.

Despite McCain's claims of doing this because he wants to set politics aside, by foolishly making himself and the debate the center of attention, he has politicized the entire process.

John McCain has made himself the proverbial little boy who will hold his breath until he turns blue if he doesn't get his way. Let him, if for no other reason than to avoid rewarding his childish behavior. Because if he does get away with this stunt, we'll never see the end of them.

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