Having made fun of Sarah Palin’s discourse on untagged molecules and fungibility in the energy markets, I would be remiss (and subject to charges of sexism) if I failed to mention her male runningmate’s descent into complete incoherence:
LAUER: So if we get to the point middle of the week as we heard in that report where AIG might have to file for bankruptcy, they’re on their own?
McCAIN: Well…quote, “on their own”…we have to – we cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else…this is something we’re gonna have to work through – there’s too much corruption, there’s too much access, we can fix it, I believe in America – we can have a 9/11 commission such as we had after 9/11, ’cause this is a huge crisis and we can come up with fixes and we can make sure that every American has a safer future and that is to make them know that their bank deposits are safe and insured.
Tyler Cowen and Ezra Klein are critical of this passage, on the merely technical grounds that it contains no detectable trace of content.
But Tyler and Ezra fail to give credit where it’s due. McCain made one thing clear: when he says “9/11 commission,” he means a commission like “the commission we had after 9/11.” Otherwise I might have thought he meant the 9/11 commission we had after Pearl Harbor, or the 9/11 commission we had after the Kennedy Assassination, or the 9/11 commission we had after the urban riots of the late 60s. Hard to keep all those different 9/11 commissions straight. That’s why we can’t afford a President who needs on-the-job training.