Removing Politics by Injecting Politics

When John McCain “suspended” (yes, “suspended” now gets the quotation mark treatment in this context) his campaign yesterday, he claimed this was a move to put aside politics in order to address a dire situation.  But one really has to question that offered motive given the evidence.

Put aside all the fun we’ve had over the course of the past twenty hours or so since the actual announcement.  Forget, for just a moment, the falling poll numbers, the horrendous Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin, or the Katie Couric interview with John McCain after he lied and told David Letterman he was heading to DC.  Forget it all and just ask one simple question; how on Earth can injecting presidential politics into a process possibly remove politics from that process?

Because most assuredly, whether the McCain campaign is suspended or not, that is exactly what he is doing–irrevocably tying the presidential campaign to the negotiations regarding the Wall Street bailout.  Political positioning almost has a way of getting in the way of vital legislation (think Republicans killing Al Gore’s global alert system that could have potentially saved tens of thousands of lives when the major tsunami hit a few years ago), or it forces politicians to get too far out of the way of legislation (think the PATRIOT ACT).

When you are talking about two candidates running for the highest office in the land entrenched in the highest profile election we have, you shoot the political stakes through the roof.  Now, what was potentially going to be an effort from both sides of the aisle (with the most stubbornly conservative Republicans pouting on the sidelines) to attempt to come to an honest fix of the problem would be doomed to succumb to another credit grab game all thanks to McCain.

But I just wanted to get that off my chest.  I also happen to think that one’s claims of removing politics from the process may be a little dubious when you are distributing talking points on the subject.  The talking points are themselves not particularly damaging so much as their existence is; the memo itself a guiding structure on how the McCain campaign is politically spinning the move.

It doesn’t help that the memo with the note “Please do not proactively reach out to the media on this,” was, well, emailed to the media in Colorado.  It also doesn’t help much that the McCain campaign’s slogan, “Country First”, shows up conspicuously in the talking points.

The talking points may be tame, and the tea may be a little on the weak side, but in general all this means is that the McCain campaign’s “suspension” was purely political from the very start, and they accidentally let slip what is essentially the smoking gun.


(h/t The Nutroots)

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