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"Here's Johnny!"

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Last Wednesday should have been the beginning of the end for the McCain campaign. The man who admitted to not knowing much about the economy, the same guy who hadn’t been in Washington since April announced he was suspending his campaign so that he could return to Washington to help reach a legislative solution to a crisis in an economy that ten days earlier he said was fundamentally strong that he now claims we could find ourselves in a depression by Monday. Even the first debate might have to be canceled unless a deal was reached because he was putting country first.

Well the campaign never was suspended nor was our disbelief of McCain’s latest grandstanding stunt. That was nothing more than the bravado of a bullshitter masquerading as a straight talker. It was just another gimmick by a man who was gambling that he could fool the American public one more time. Compelled by the pursuit of political power he chose the path of deceit, deception and demagoguery. The campaign wasn’t closing down to attend the crisis facing the nation. It was all for show. Politics as usual.

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On Thursday John McCain was rushing off to Washington for what many observers perceived to be a photo-op with the President and leaders of both parties. During the discussion John McCain brought nothing to the table. Indeed he was silent throughout the discussions. It really was nothing more than a photo-op after all. An act of politics as usual.

By Friday morning there was an item on the internet that claimed “John McCain Wins Debate” before the debate even occurred. My God, are these the kind of people half of America wants to run the country I live in. I understand the concept of repeating a lie often enough so that it becomes the truth but I’m sure timing has a lot to do with its ability to succeed. Running the headlines before the event was sloppy. Politics as usual.

Friday evening there was no agreement on the Wall St. bailout yet John McCain was in Mississippi avoiding eye contact with Barak Obama. John McCain misled the public of his intentions that he was putting country first by fighting for them. We’ve already had eight years of that politics as usual.

After the debate drama queen McCain said he was returning to Washington for the weekend to get this bailout deal done for the American people. You know “country first” but he did take the time to mock his political opponent for not getting in the fight and staying on the sidelines by working the phones. The historical record shows that other than going to D.C. for dinner with the Lieberman’s John McCain never got closer to the Capital than Arlington where he was getting in the fight via the phone. Shameless hypocrisy is more of the same – politics as usual.

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Well Monday morning arrived with House Speaker Pelosi introducing the legislation for a vote based on the assurances of the Republican leadership including John McCain who was publicly patting himself on the back for his leadership role in the success of forming a coalition of Republican ideologues who opposed any bailout of Wall St with taxpayer money thus insuring the bailout would pass. Both parties were going to share responsibility for the legislation. A win/win for the status quo and politics as usual.

By midday John McCain’s claim to the success of his leadership could no longer fly in the face of the facts. The legislation failed. His colleagues said there were about a dozen votes that would have possibly supported this legislation but they were offended by Speaker Pelosi’s remarks that the Bush Administration was responsible for this crisis. John McCain responded by blaming Sen. Obama and the Democrats one sentence before reaching across the aisle and claiming now is not the time to affix blame now is the time to fix the problem proving he has no shame. Partisan politics reigns over a Republic and a Republican presidential candidate in a state of decline. Politics as usual.

Tonight John McCain was not one of the twenty five mavericks who voted against “the bailout” now known as “the recovery” in an attempt to make it more politically palatable and packaged with a more positive image of “helping” for the public to consume. Much like last Thursdays photo op at the White House John McCain said nothing. His one opportunity to lead to speak on behalf of most of the country that will be paying for the crimes of the wealthy and their politicians who represent them with legislation and represent the rest of us with nothing more than empty rhetoric designed to divide and perpetuate a failed system of government. Faced with that reality the original Orwellian maverick was silent. Country wasn’t first. Country Club was. It was politics as usual.

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The author is the Contributing Editor of Rabble Rouser

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