Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

How McCain could have trounced his way to victory.

As I watched the debate between McCain and Obama last night, I began to realize that if McCain had voted against the bailout he could completely slaughtered Obama. Had he kept his vote close to the vest and rebuked the bailout at the very end, it would have passed the Senate and likely the House, and Obama would be left holding the blame.

What we now know is that even with the bailout passing, the stock market has tanked anyway. It has fallen over 1200 points since the moment the bailout passed in the House (as of close 10/7/08) . The S&P has fallen almost 14%. McCain would have been called reckless, but with the stock market plunging even with it passing, it would be hard to defend the bailout with evidence. There would be some risks, but it would be a defensible position.

However, the rhetorical gain that McCain could have achieved would have been absolutely lethal. Obama would now be in a position of handing hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street to save the greedy and evil CEOs and “Fat Cats” he has been attacking for months. Any use of his class warfare rhetoric would blow up in his face. Tax hikes on the rich, but bailouts for the rich?

Adding to his maverick image, McCain could have stood out as a dogged defender of his principles. When the bailout failed the House, it was then sent to the Senate where it was loaded up with over $100 billion in “sweeteners”, i.e. Pork. Imagine the albatross hanging on Obama’s neck when trying to defend this monstrosity.

Imagine the comebacks…

“You believe that $700 billion is too much to help our troops win in Iraq, but it’s not too much for Wall Street fat cats?”

“Let me get this straight. He has $700 Billion for Wall Street, $800 Billion in new spending on top of a $500 Billion budget deficit, tax cuts for virtually everyone, and he’s going to balance the budget. Does someone have a calculator? I don’t see how this adds up. Because it doesn’t add up. You know it. I know it. He knows it.”

Grrrr…Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Note – I do not propose that these rhetorical points are factually precise, but Presidential campaign strategy demands generalities or you will be crushed.


engineering said...

That is assuming that McCain has any principles. He is a warmonger and wants to win the Iraq war. Palin said McCain knows how to win wars. Made me wonder which war did he win? Vietnam?
Sure, good republicans are against spending. Congressman Culberson was against the bailout. Why did McCain support the bailout? He was playing it safe.
Anyway, I hear the US spends $10 billion each week in the Iraq war. The annual budget for TxDOT is less than $8 billion. Can you imagine what could we do in this country if instead of spending in wars we spend in our economy?
Incredible that the best a country like the US can do is to put forth the two presidential candidates.
On the other hand, we should expect massive funding from big governments in an effort to keeping the global market afloat.

Brian Shelley said...

I would say that the war in Iraq is already won. I know they political class is loathe to say this because Bush called it too early with his "Mission Accomplished" aircraft landing event. Hostile engagement related deaths of American soldiers are down to single figures on a monthly basis. I don't pose myself as a military expert, but I would rather finish in victory than pull out and risk the huge gains towards stability that have been achieved.