Reuters is reporting that John McCain will “suspend his campaign” tomorrow to return to Washington to attempt to meet with the president and Congressional leaders (including Obama) to agree on a bailout bill. He wants to cancel or postpone Friday’s debate.
As on 9/11 this year, he’s saying that this time is too important for politics. But politics is how a democracy steers itself. His grandstanding is anti-democratic as well as anti-Democratic.
McCain thinks politics is a dirty business because that’s how he practices it. He’s grandstanding and trying to put himself at the center of events — which is the more attractive part of politics as he understands it (the other part being lying about your opponent, which he also does in claiming that he has presented more of a proposal than Obama has). If he were really suspending electoral politics he would have arranged this behind the scenes first and let have someone else announce it.
So there you have John McCain in a nutshell — self-centered, self-aggrandizing, mendacious, and erratic, all the while demonstrating contempt for our form of government.
Update The Obama campaign seems to have taken the lead in approaching McCain to agree on a bipartisan statement of principles in support of a modified bailout, and the McCain campaign appeared to agree but then went with its unilateral statement. Characteristically, the Obama statement was incredibly restrained in the face of McCain’s duplicitous showboating. The rest of us, and the Press, need not be. Even in announcing its intention to do the “non-political” thing, the McCain campaign attacked Obama. How low! How stupid do they think Americans are?
Update 2 Presidents sometimes have to deal with a domestic and an overseas crisis at the same time. Seeing McCain and Obama deal with the bailout legislation and a foreign policy debate at the same time is not quite the same thing, but it’s a legitimate test. The obvious inference is that McCain doesn’t think he’s up to it, even though foreign affairs is supposedly his strong suit.
No doubt if Obama had proposed canceling the debate he’d be slurred as a coward. No doubt McCain will use his POW teflon to fend off this charge, too.