This is cross posted at the Huffington Post.
“History has shown that in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion.” -President George Bush’s address to the nation September 24, 2008.
John McCain suspended his campaign until an agreement can be reached in Congress about the proposed bailout of the financial system. He issued a statement saying,” We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever(sic) corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.”
Great. Now the economy is getting the same treatment as Terry Schiavo.
Remember that spectacle? It was a matter of life and death in March of 2005. President Bush was bragging and swaggering about his ‘political capital’ after his re-election…as was the rest of the religious right. Terri Schiavo was a woman in a vegetative state induced by her own unfortunate bout with anorexia. Her husband wanted to let her die with dignity. She had already been in a coma for 15 years. Her parents wanted her to stay that way even longer. It was horrible. It was heartbreaking. It was sad. Then the US Government intervened! Then it was really horrible, heartbreaking and sad. The US Government…well, Republicans…more specifically Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Senator Rick Santorum, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay held an emergency session of congress to keep this woman alive in the technical sense. In heroic posturing President George Bush flew from his home in Crawford, Texas to Washington DC to sign the bill. All for one poor woman. Months later thousands of poor people would die from lack of government intervention in Hurricane Katrina. But for Terri, government cared on this occasion. They were pro-this-one-life. It was a moment of unwavering buffoonery.
This is a great example of what happens when a group of ‘same-thinks’ get too much power. They remind us why ‘same-thinks’ should never have too much power. Because they inevitably become a hysterical mob.
Stupidity of that level and caliber doesn’t happen very often. Well… at least it hadn’t happened again (exactly) in the last three years.
But now John McCain is striving for greatness…in folly. He has to show that he’s serious. That he cares. Not that he’s knowledgeable, level-headed or leader-esque. But that he cares about theatrics and stunts. That he can call an emergency session of congress ‘for the good of the country’! That he can suspend his vacation and fly to Washington ‘for the good of the country’! That he can suspend his campaign, cancel the first presidential debate ‘for the good of the country’! Never mind that then sitting president Jimmy Carter and then Governor Ronald Regan debated five days into the Iran Hostage Crisis. Never mind that no crisis up to date has ever been important enough for a presidential candidate not have the time for an audience of millions to hear what they have to say. We live in a post-Terri Schiavo world! Less talk or thought – more action!
Barack Obama, the less experienced of the two candidates, the one ahead in the polls in regards to the economy, said in a press conference a few hours after McCain’s pronouncement, “Part of a president’s job is dealing with more than one thing at once.” Uh yeah. And part of a president’s job is not to be David Blaine constantly doing weird stunts. Where’s the dignity for the elderly statesman?
So lets all hope the economy doesn’t turn out like Terri Schiavo. Ahem. Cough. However, lets hope that for his sensational ploy the voters give John McCain the same treatment as they gave Bill Frist, Rick Santorum and Tom Delay; they were retired – for the good of the country.