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HolyGround >> McCain’s 5 Stages of Grief over the Economy


9/24/08 5:22 AM
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Joe Ray
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Edited: 09/24/08 5:21 AM
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 The implosion of Wall Street last week resulted in a near-death crisis for John McCain’s presidential campaign. His post-Palin bump eviscerated, McCain was staggered by the re-emergence of the economy as the dominant issue in the 2008 election. His daily-changing positions revealed that McCain, a man who has repeatedly admitted his ignorance of economics, is struggling to cope with his diminished presidential prospects. Armchair psychologists might call the process John McCain’s five stages of grief over the economy.

Denial. McCain’s refusal to confront the realities of the failing Bush economy has long roots and was again on display last Monday. McCain, who has frequently described the economic slowdown as “psychological,” for at least the 18th time proclaimed the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” As the Dow plummeted over 500 points, McCain reacted to the white-hot crisis on Wall Street by comically announcing his support for a 9/11-style commission to study the causes of and make recommendations to address the meltdown. Willing to kick the can down the road with his since forgotten 9/11 panel idea, McCain also took a head-in-the-sand position in opposing the government rescue of teetering insurance giant AIG:

“We cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else.”

Anger. Sadly, McCain’s denial of the obvious produced an immediate backlash from the press and the public alike. Literally within hours last Monday, McCain reversed course on the underlying strength of the American economy and declared the fundamentals of the economy to be “at great risk.”

Then John McCain did what he does best - he got mad.

(Unsurprisingly, McCain also launched a furious tirade in response to accusations 20 years ago about his Keating Five role during the last U.S. financial catastrophe.) Redefining “economic fundamentals” to refer the U.S. work force, McCain blasted his “opponents” for slandering American workers. By mid-week, McCain found a convenient - if unconstitutional - target for his rage, SEC chairman Chris Cox.

Bargaining. His response mocked as incoherent at best, McCain then proceeded to the third textbook phase of grief over the economy: bargaining. As the Kubler-Ross model describes the bargaining stage, “Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, ‘If I do this, will you take away the loss?’”

So, fast and furious, McCain started to bargain. Acknowledging that as President he couldn’t fire the SEC’s Cox, McCain instead called for his resignation. (This morning, McCain cynically offered up New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo as a replacement.) Within 24 hours, he changed his tune on AIG, now supporting the bail-out package he opposed just the day before:

“The government was forced to commit $85 billion…The focus of any such action should be to protect the millions of Americans who hold insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts with AIG.”

And to be sure, McCain bargained economic surrogate and serial embarrassment Carly Fiorina right out of his campaign. When the details of her massive $42 million severance package from HP became public, the woman who deemed McCain incapable of running a company found herself on the sidelines.

Depression. By last Thursday, a pall of gloom hung over McCain as he entered the fourth stage of grieving, depression. In a move that could only draw attention to his own checkered past in the savings and loan scandal of the 1980’s, McCain meekly proposed the creation of a Mortgage and Financial Institutions (MFI) trust to help the failing firms of Wall Street fend off insolvency. Ironically, McCain had repeatedly opposed the Resolution Trust Corporation in the past, an institution that ultimately poured $400 billion into bailing out the S&L’s, including the $3 billion lost by McCain sugar daddy Charles Keating’s Lincoln Financial.

That same day, McCain tried to fight back, but his heart wasn’t in it. In a foreboding ad fraught with racial overtones, McCain tried to link Obama with former Fannie Mae chairman Franklin Raines. While the Washington Post quickly debunked the spot by noting that Raines is not an adviser to the Obama campaign, Time suggested McCain was playing the race card.

9/24/08 5:22 AM
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Joe Ray
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 Acceptance. By today, it was clear that John McCain had reached the fifth and final stage of grieving over the economic issue. Just one week after proclaiming the “fundamentals of our economy are strong,” McCain said on the Today Show this morning:

“We are in the most serious crisis since World War II.”

That clarity is letting McCain do what McCain does best - attack. In a cynical attempt at misdirection the Politico’s Jonathan Martin deemed “tossing more chum overboard,” the McCain campaign aired a new ad once again trying to connect Barack Obama to Chicago dealmaker Tony Rezko. And on Sunday, McCain ignored his own week of dizzying incoherence on the economy and thundered at Obama:

“At a time of crisis, when leadership is needed, Senator Obama has simply not provided it.”

Apparently, John McCain’s new-found acceptance of the dismal state of the economy lets him rage against the Obama machine without embarrassment. After all, McCain’s transition manager William Timmons was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This morning, the New York Times revealed that McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis pocketed $2 million in lobbying fees from the failed home mortgage giants. And on Sunday, McCain refused to rule out that his adviser and UBS vice chairman Phil Gramm, of “nation of whiners” fame and himself a possible bailout recipient, as Treasury Secretary in a McCain-Palin administration.

To be sure, watching John McCain wrestle with his demons - and ignorance - over the troubled economy has been painful to watch. As crypto-conservative columnist George Will put it:

“John McCain showed his personality this week and made some of us fearful.”

But with his 11 houses and 13 cars, John McCain can afford to work through his cognitive breakdown over the state of the broken economy. Unfortunately, the rest of us can’t. While Americans are mourning the loss of their homes and savings, John McCain is apparently grieving over his potential loss of the White House.

(This piece was crossposted from Perrspectives.)

9/24/08 5:23 AM
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Joe Ray
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John McCain is absolutely all over the place with regards to the economic situation right now.
9/24/08 5:23 AM
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Joe Ray
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sorry, please move to the OG.
9/24/08 10:31 AM
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jimmy23
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 uhm, why is this on the HG?
9/24/08 10:54 AM
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zealot66
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 nah nah, leave it here. I like defending mccain Over obama. now doesnt mean either is a saviour but .....ill be back after I read the article clearly.
I really think that the economy is an apolitical issue. It wont be solved until its truely bi partisan.

Deregulation and capitalism ....It wont work without a underlying social contract of Do the Right thing While you Get Rich. interesting ly i ve been reading The wealth of the nations. Adam Smith.
9/30/08 9:33 AM
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zealot66
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 no one seems to mention baracks wealth from his books, not to mention his wife increased her earnings by 3x when he got into the state senate. Ironicially there was something well over a million dollars in earmarks for her hospital. Barack doesnt need to work ever again.

McCain married into money. damn the luck. Cindy McCain's father became a huge distributor of beer starting with one truck. She is heavily involved in charity and global relief efforts.
9/30/08 11:46 AM
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jimmy23
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 why is this thread on this forum?
10/1/08 4:32 AM
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Joe Ray
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"Barack doesnt need to work ever again. "

Hardly. He is not rich by any means, and his life has hardly been devoted to that pursuit. Remember he was entirely broke when he appeared at the 2000 DNC convention.

He has one car, one house, which he and his wife have earned by going to school and working hard and making the most of their opportunitys in life.
10/1/08 11:12 AM
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zealot66
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 you got to be kidding. Barak can write books make speeches, etc. I guess I meant that he would be comfortable without working like the Main Street people he connects to.

I have to admit that Obama is very gifted. He reminds me of Bill Clinton who I would rate as one of the best politicians in the modern era. I dont think he was all that bad of a president in retrospect but I hold a very ugly grudge about how he handled somalia. If you read blackhawk down you if you were a veteran would understand it was an unexusable blunder. Yeah bush initiated it but it was handled very poorly in the vein of negotiating with 'leaders of rogue nations'. 
10/1/08 12:07 PM
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Joe Ray
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Is there some problem with Obama being able to make a comfortable living by writing books?

The resentment fuelled class warfare being thrown at Obama because he worked hard, got himself a great education and made the most of his opportunity's in life is pathetic in the extreme.

It's like the Republicans are channeling Karl Marx when they go after Obama for having done well in life.
10/1/08 1:51 PM
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zealot66
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 joe ray, your observations on america are skewed. This probably isnt the right forum to discuss this but if any type of class warefare is being pushed its by Obama. His constituency reflects that. Its a class warefare that he has pushed his whole life. He wants to be a political robin hood. He will probably win and institute a social engineering project in this country that will drive the economy into the ground. You never ever have an economic up turn when you raise taxes at the levels he is proposing. I think its absurd that we have a death tax. So Dad has a profitable farm and dies. You inherit it and you will be paying 49%. So it goes under. His ridiculous tax 'cut's are simply a stimulus check that he stole from george bush.

the current mortgage crisis that is at hand is due to democrats ignoring the crisis of bad paper and loans that were forced on the companies in the notion that we have to give loans to the underpriveledged who will not be able to pay back but hey, we are helping the underclass. He was the second largest recipient of donations from those companies outside of chris dodd and he's been in the senate less than 4 years.

He was a Trainer for Acorn, an activist group that would go into banks, go to the homes of bankers and intimidate them into giving loans.

I say, if america wants a leftist president then they will have one. Let the people speak but you are drinking Koolaid that comes thru anti american news sources. Have you ever partaken in the american system ? set foot on its shores ?  Obama was in the senate for 123 days before he announced his potential candidacy.  When you mention class warefare, you really have no idea what your talking about.

My other problem with tax increases that he proposes is this. There is no return on the investment. With the wall street bail out bill it will be structured to get the money back. With Obama's tax hikes, the investment goes into bigger govt. More red tape do nothing beaurocracies that self perpetuate and tell us that we have no capability to do things for ourselves that we need them to solve our problems.

Barak's money off his writings are honestly earned money. I dont begrudge him for that but. In the beginning of his post college career he turned down money to do what he thought was right. Good for him, I just simply disagree with his policies. Does he believe he's doing the right thing and thinking correctly ? Im sure he does. You want to talk marxism. I think you got the whole who's marxist turned around.

mccain or obama, the world will go on. No president will usher in a new age of paradise.
10/1/08 2:00 PM
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zealot66
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 back to the economy. Barak simply was like, if they need me, they will call me. yeah thats leadership , your the proclaimed head of the party and you cant get your feathers ruffled to be involved with the issue.

I personally think that a bailout is ridiculous when private enterprise can handle this. Credit is slowing down but you know, that might be part of natures way to put things in balance. kind of like brush fires . NO one wants to kill the field mice so they let areas go unattended for 30 years and then the fires are magnified.

Plus, its obvious that No one knew what to do. Fed Chairman was like um, Ineed a blank check for about a trilliondollars. sound cool ? OK. Republicans were ignored and chided at sounding an alarm that the big two were in trouble and needed reform and oversight. McCain co sponsored two bills to fix this problem. It was shot down by the democrats. There is freaking video of barny homo frank and others who basically called whistle blowers racist for even trying to actually make economic sanity a priority. This goes back to what I said earlier. Govt self perpetuates and offers no real return for the people.

Taxes dont need to be raised. Spending needs to be cut.
10/1/08 2:03 PM
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zealot66
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 from the OG. and a testament to people who know nothing about govt being given a chance to vote. You should have to take a basic american govt test to vote. Like, what is a president, what is a senator, what is a democrat or republican. This is obama's constituency

Sal Interviews Obama Supporters In Harlem. 10/01/08. 6:05am

Howard said that Sal went to Harlem yesterday and asked people up there who they're voting for. Most of them said Obama. He said that Sal then gave them a list of McCain's policies and told the people that they were Obama's and they were all for those policies. Howard played the audio of Sal doing that and all of the people were backing Obama even when he told them that Sarah Palin was his running mate.
Robin asked what people are drinking up there in Harlem. Howard played more of the clips and all of the people being interviewed would back Obama no matter what Sal said.

Howard said Sal did find one guy who is voting for McCain up there in Harlem. The guy told Sal he was more experienced than Obama so that's one reason he was voting for him. Sal asked him about Joe Biden being his Vice President and the guy had no clue that was actually Obama's running mate.

Howard asked if Sal was there today because he heard the 5th guy he interviewed took him out. He was just kidding about that.

Sal came in and said that he found it strange that this was a ''presidential race'' and this is all about ''race.'' Howard said that he heard that Sal felt weird voting against his race by voting for Obama. Sal denied saying that so Richard came in to talk about what he heard him say.

Sal was still talking about the race thing but Howard cut him off and told him he did a great job with the bit. Sal left before he could get himself into deeper trouble.
2/23/11 4:19 PM
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zealot66
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 We knew it. The moment I knew Obama was running, I likened him to jimmy carter. I have witnesses for that. Look, tw years on, the guy inherited a mess and simply is using models of governering that enhance the problem. I've lost faith in politics and politicians. The more shenanigans that go on, the more scripted I realize it all is. From Fox, to MSNBC.....all of them are using things to solidify ratings power and money. I want someone to fix the problems without a D or R attatched to the problem. Got to hand it to the governor of WI, you may not agree with him but he promised to start to balance their budget and get out of debt and he has the national guard on standby to do it.  Fuck them all. We need to start over or the whole government will go into default. Its as sure as the sun comes up everyday.
2/23/11 5:35 PM
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zealot66
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 Whatever the party of the new president, I hope that the same sentiment of the 2010 elections of 'out with the old and the new better fucking fix thing or you are out TOO' is still in peoples mind. I used to defend the republican party and am still more conservative than progressive, I just want problems fixed with common sense and a pair of BALLS. We need leaders like George Washington who after winning the Revolutionary War handed his sword back to the congress and went back to farming.....only to be drafted into the presidency. He said, " have I not done enough for my country" . It appears that he served because he was needed not to get more power. If you are in doubt, read his farewell address at the link below. Read it and ask yourself if Politicians are following the constitution and American ideals even though they pretend to read it aloud in session  with their big mouths and blow hot air out their ass

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp



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