WSJ: Uh, so we were thinkin’, maybe vote McCain?
November 3, 2008 Leave a comment
This weekend the venerable conservative editorial page of the WALL STREET JOURNAL decided to issue an endorsement in the presidential race, apparently something they’ve refrained from for decades. The last time the WSJ decided to take a stand was in favor of Herbert Hoover. That worked out wicked well, so it’s a mystery why they gave up the endorsement game until now.
Unsurprisingly, after years of blasting Obama, Al Gore and other Democrats, the Journal is going with Johnny Mac. And boy, oh boy, do they ever sell it:
Mr. McCain’s bad luck is to be running in a year when character and experience aren’t enough. His party is at a low public ebb and the financial system imploded only weeks before Election Day. The first problem he could overcome with his history as a GOP apostate. The second hasn’t played to his strengths but has instead revealed his penchant for — let’s be charitable — political wanderlust.
Looked at individually, most of Mr. McCain’s economic proposals are sensibly conservative, and some are even bold. They are superior to Mr. Obama’s, and if implemented would make a recession shallower and shorter. They are also politically braver, especially his support for free trade. His health-care plan in particular amounts to genuine “progressive” change in the sense that it would redistribute tax benefits from the well-to-do to the uninsured working class. Mr. Obama’s health plan by contrast is one more incremental — if larger than usual — increase in government control. But Mr. McCain was never able, or willing, to explain the differences.
More broadly, he has never explained to fearful Americans how an economy with Republicans at the helm could fall into this ditch. His one-line explanation for the financial panic has been “greed and corruption” on Wall Street and Washington. Voters know that’s simplistic and would have been open to a larger, and truer, argument.
WELL – now that you put it THAT way, how can we be so foolish as to choose this fool! Oh wait – that’s the guy you WANT us to vote for?
In this difficult year, Mr. McCain has had the harder sale to make. His admirable personal tenacity has been better than his variable political argument. We’ll find out Tuesday if biography trumps hope.
Ryan Tate at GAWKER quips, “There you have it: Vote for McCain and defeat hope.”