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Everything Old Is New Again: McCain Econ 101

In its forthcoming issue, Fortune Magazine decided to cover presidential candidate economic policy by putting the same questions to McCain and Obama, and then pasting their answers side-by-side. What Fortune didn’t count on was the unintentionally hilarious read.

It’s as though they put together a side by side interview with a thoughtful Warren Buffett protege and Glenn Beck’s drunken, more moronic twin. Just take a read:

What do you see as the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy?

Obama: If we don’t get a handle on our energy policy, it is possible that the kinds of trends we’ve seen over the last year will just continue. Demand is clearly outstripping supply. It’s not a problem we can drill our way out of. It can be a drag on our economy for a very long time unless we take steps to innovate and invest in the research and development that’s required to find alternative fuels. I think it’s very important for the federal government to have a role in that process.

Mccain: Well, I would think that the absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we’re in against Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence. Another successful attack on the United States of America could have devastating consequences. You’ve been a supporter of climate-change legislation that would essentially impose a penalty on the use of fossil fuel….

My favorite interpretation of this thus far comes from a commenter at Kevin Drum’s, Andy James, who says:

If you’ve read Our Dumb Century, you probably remember the Onion’s summary of the battle of messages in the 1980 campaign:

Carter: "Let’s Talk Better Mileage"
Reagan: "Kill the Bastards"

It just continues, doesn’t it?

That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Guess McCain didn’t get around to reading Alan Greenspan’s book yet so that he could understand economics, so he went with the Rudy Giuliani "repeat what scares the bejeebers out of the base" method of answering the questions. Or maybe he’d just had a Slurpee before the interview and got a case of brain freeze…except that the Beltway clique is buying the "scaaaaary terrah boogah booogah run RUN!!!!" malarky hook, line, and stinker. Strategery or dunce cap? You decide…

PS — Just a heads up: Russ Feingold will be a guest on Democracy Now! tomorrow morning around 8:00 am ET to discuss FISA. And Amy and David Goodman will be here at FDL at 3:00 pm ET/noon PT for a special book salon. Hope you’ll be there…

(YouTube — The Shiny Toy Guns sing a scary Halloween song on Yo, Gabba Gabba. Seemed to fit McCain’s mood…)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com