It’s an attempt to divert attention from McCain’s own lifetime embrace of deregulation and the direct role his closest economic advisers, especially Phil Deregulator Gramm, played in dismantling the New Deal’s regulatory safeguards against financial abuses on Wall Street.
McCain continued the diversions today by trying to link former Freddie/Fannie officials to Obama, even though Franklin Raines, the former CEO McCain mentioned, isn’t an Obama Adviser and even though McCain’s campaign, starting with Rick Davis and Charlie Black, is loaded with lobbyists from the financial industry.
McCain then complained of decades of corruption leading to today’s crises and, without the slightest evidence or connection, put Obama "squarely in the middle of it," forgetting that up until now, he’s criticized Obama for not having been in Washington long enough.
Campaigning in New Mexico yesterday, (full video here) Obama responded to McCain’s attempt to deflect responsibility. Why stop at Cox? Fire the whole Administration and get rid of those who share its failed philosophy:
"I think that’s all fine and good but here’s what I think," Obama said. "In the next 47 days you can fire the whole trickle-down, on-your-own, look-the-other way crowd in Washington who has led us down this disastrous path. Don’t just get rid of one guy. Get rid of this administration. Get rid of this philosophy. Get rid of the do-nothing approach to our economic problem and put somebody in there who’s going to fight for you."
Obama’s right. The current crisis is not the fault of any single actor but rather the failure of an entire governing ideology, the myth that unfettered markets dominated by huge, unaccountable institutions will protect the public interest and the dangerous belief that government oversight should shield corporate (and government) behavior from the consequences they inflict on the public.
For eight years Bush and McCain’s party appointed foxes to guard henhouses, not just on Wall Street but in every government agency, and John McCain was just fine with that. He was the world’s "greatest deregulator," he told us.
Now it’s time for John McCain and his entire anti-regulatory crowd to own their failures. The crisis on Wall Street is their mess. Throw the bums out. All of them.