THIS MONTH, John McCain published an essay saying that we need to do for health insurance what we did for the world of banking and finance:
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
The emphasis is mine. I had never really appreciated before just how stupid he is. He's been in Washington for close to 30 years, and now I am finally convinced that he never understood half of what was going on around him in all that time.
This is why he can stand on a stage railing against golden parachutes for failed corporate CEOs, with failed corporate CEO / his own chief economic advisor and HP golden-parachutee Carly Fiorina standing right next to him. (She was paid at least $21 million to go away from Hewlett-Packard.)
This is how he could pick Sarah Palin and actually say that she knows more about energy than just about anybody in the U.S. - when neither one of them can figure out what part of America's energy supply comes from Alaska (they both claim it's about 6 times bigger than it really is).
This is how McCain can say that he would fire Chris Cox, the chair of the SEC, when the chair of the SEC can't be fired by the President - he's been in Washington for close to 30 years, and he doesn't know the SEC is independent of the President? What does he know after 30 years on the govt payroll about how the federal govt works? He also isn't smart enough to put together a campaign organization with people who are smart enough to recognize stupid mistakes like that one, and keep him from mouthing off in public without knowing what he's talking about.
His cluelessness is also what allows him to blast Obama for taking advice from Franklin Raines, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, as if taking advice from former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives is disgraceful. Except wait a minute - Franklin Raines isn't an advisor to Obama, and never has been. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_09/014790.php
("This is another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign that is increasingly incapable of telling the truth," Burton said. "Frank Raines has never advised Senator Obama about anything -- ever." Bill Burton is an Obama campaign spokesman.)
No, it turns out the guy with all the advisors who used to work for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is John McCain. Once again, he is insulting his own field of advisors when he thinks he's talking about somebody else's disgraceful history of supporting the policies that led to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's failure:
Among the companies' past advocates are Mr. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, a longtime lobbyist; Mr. McCain's confidant and adviser Charlie Black, whose firm worked for Freddie Mac for several years ending in 2005, and the deputy campaign finance chairman, Wayne L. Berman, a vice president for Ogilvy Worldwide and a former Fannie Mae lobbyist.
Just how stupid is John McCain? I'd say his words and actions answer that question.