JOE THE PLUMBER, MEET JOHN THE MAVERICK
1. McCain is one grumpy, grumbling, stumbling, pissed off old man, ain't he? Yikes. Get off my lawn? Get off my planet is more like it. Someone get this guy a glass of prune juice and the TV remote and then send him down to the VFW to trade POW stories with the other fellas.
2. Obama is cooler than a sled dog's nose. And that matters, in my opinion. I'm still not sure about half of his ideas (they all sound good, but who's paying for them?), but I like his demeanor. He's stays calm in the face of an attack, in the face of a challenge.
And unlike McCain, he's stayed calm over the past few weeks, sticking to his basic plan -- which may suck, but that's beside the point, because . . .
3. They're both largely business as usual. They both supported the Paulson Boondoggle™* for instance.
* Excuse me as I shamelessly go all Posnanski on your asses in this post, but I need to digress and this asterisk-to-an-italicized-paragraph thing that he uses seems just the way to do it. So, over the past few weeks, central banks the world over (including the Fed) had injected billions, if not trillions, of dollars worth of liquidity into the system. And have promised billions and trillions more from treasuries. Yet, markets are down, commodities are down, inter-bank lending hasn't really gone up. Could it be that the banks have said, "gee, thanks for all this mo-nay," and have decided to just . . . sit on it? In other words, do nothing but keep it? Maybe for the good of the bankers themselves? You know, just be greedy? Hmmmm.
Last night both guys offered lots of ways to spend their way into our hearts. But each had one really serious flaw in this plan, beyond the obvious fact that we can't spend as much as they suggest, and neither answered the question of what spending they'd cut.
McCain took the creative (read: insane) tactic of promising to buy mortgages and create jobs as he institutes a complete spending freeze. This, my friends*, is not voodoo economics, it's crazy-ass economics. Ramblings-Of-A-Madman economics.
* Get it? "My friends"? Just like McCain always sa-- Never mind.
Or, you might just call it . . . lying.
Meanwhile, Obama "missed" the chance to offer a surefire way to enormously cut spending, one that dovetails with a centerpiece of his own campaign! And what humongous spending measure is that? What cost could he claim to wanna cut?
The Iraq War! The war he's so firmly against! The war Americans hate! The war that costs something like $10 billion a month! The War that requires an exclamation point every time I talk about it!
But he didn't mention it. Maybe because he's beholden to the defense sector? He demonstrated with his support for the Paulson Boondoggle™ that he's beholden to Wall Street. Maybe not as much as McCain, but still beheld. Perhaps, juuuuuust perhaps, he's got some skin in the game with Big Defense too. He can talk about ending the war, but to directly link it to a cut in spending related to the war and defense? Maybe that's too radical. All that said . . .
4. Obama kicked McCain's ass all over the place last night and throughout this debate cycle. Unless something disastrously disastrous takes place that drives the fearful masses into the figurative arms of a man they think can keep them safe*, this is looking good for Obama.
* Into the arms of the guy who was captured and held prisoner in a war we lost. After he crashed his plane for like the 63rd time. Who is a vocal member of the war-wing of the party in charge when we suffered the worst foreign attack on our soil since . . . 1812. That's the guy who can "keep us safe."
It's looking good for Obama unless the economy somehow completely recovers in the next two-and-a-half weeks and an angel of the lord decends into the CNN studios while Anderson Cooper is having his hair done to inform the American people that John McCain, and John McCain alone, is responsible for the miraculous recovery.
Or unless Diebold and the GOPers perpetrate some massive voting fraud.
(Ooooooooooo, that one perked ya up, huh?)
Otherwise, I think Obama's gonna take this bitch. November 4 here we come.