Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crisis derails McCain's fightback.

One of the most astonishing things about the Republican failure to pass the emergency bill to bail out Wall Street is the fact it utterly undermines John McCain. It was McCain who chose to dramatically insert himself into the middle of the crisis, no doubt hoping to take the credit for having "fixed the markets" should an agreement have been reached.

The failure of Republicans to step up to the plate leaves him horribly exposed.

McCain instantly attempted to push the blame towards the Democrats, but there can be few who will take that claim seriously, as 66% of Democrats voted for the bill with only 35% of Republicans following suit.

However, it may be Mr McCain, the Republican nominee, whose campaign is in greatest peril following his extraordinary gamble last week to suspend his campaign to thrust himself into the delicate negotiations about the financial crisis.

Republicans in the House ignored him yesterday, just as they ignored George Bush's appeal to pass the legislation. Many are more concerned about losing their seats in the November polls, as evidenced by just eight of the 38 lawmakers from swing states voting for the bailout.

Mr McCain lashed out at the Democrats, saying: "Senator Obama and his allies have used unnecessary partisanship... Now it's time for all members of Congress to go back to the drawing board. I call on Congress to get back immediately to address this crisis. The challenges facing our economy could have a grave impact on every American worker... if our leaders fail to act."

McCain can attempt, as many Republicans are doing, to push the blame for this towards the Democrats but it was McCain who clumsily inserted the presidential race into the delicate negotiations and it is McCain who stands to lose the most from the failure of the bill to pass, especially as the bill was voted down by a Republican majority.

The latest figures from 538.com are as dramatic as any that I have seen at any point in this electoral process, giving Obama a win percentage of 83%.

And these figures are simply a reaction to last week's debate, they do not yet include the reaction to the failure of the bill to pass.

Now the Republicans might succeed in passing the blame from their own shoulders on to those of the Democrats but I would be surprised if this was possible.

What is certain is that, traditionally, economic matters favour the Democrats and, the longer the economic troubles persist, the worse it is for McCain and any chance he has of making a comeback here.

That is why the Republican refusal to vote for their own president's bill so caught me by surprise yesterday. I really didn't see that one coming. The only chance McCain has of ever mounting any kind of a fight back is to put the financial crisis to bed. As long as that remains at the forefront of everyone's mind then he is doomed.

He is well aware of this which is why he and the Republicans are stretching credibility by trying to push the blame towards the Democrats.

Even Obama didn't expect what took place yesterday as he had already released a speech in which he said:
"Today, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have agreed on an emergency rescue plan that is our best and only way to prevent an economic catastrophe."
His faith in bipartisanship, like my own, didn't reckon on the Republicans wish to put their own re-election before the good of the country. Or even before the election of their candidate.

If yesterday's vote sets off the financial Armageddon which has been predicted, it will be a disaster for all for all of us, but what has already transpired is a catastrophe for McCain.

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