Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain the Knight-Errant

"Sir Knight of the Rueful Countenance, I can no longer bear to hear you run on at this rate! Why, this were enough to make any man believe that all of your bragging and bouncing of your knight-errantry... are mere flim-flam stories, and nothing but shams and lies."
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote, chap. XI ( Ormsby transl. 1885)
Everyone who has been following the financial crisis knows that senators like Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL)* of the Senate Banking Committee, and their counterpart in the House Barney Frank (D-MA) have been working overtime improving the Bush administration's financial bailout bill. It's been apparent for some time that more substantive legislation than Treasury Secretary Paulson's 2 1/2-page plan will pass Congress within days.

But now John McCain is trying to act the knight-errant and grab the credit. This goes beyond lying. It is insulting to the American public and, quite likely, delusional if McCain supposes we can be fooled by this grandstanding.

In an Ohio television interview just this past Tuesday -- six days after Chris Dodd's counter-proposal was circulated on Capitol Hill and was published on the web -- McCain admitted he hadn't even read Paulson's proposal yet, much less the better bill by Dodd.

John McCain has jumped the shark.

Dept. of Amplification
9-25 pm
* ABC reports this afternoon that Senator Shelby "is expected to ultimately oppose the bailout" and is not participating in the bill negotiations or drafting."

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