Politics getting clearer as policy gets cloudier

I’m thinking we now have an answer to my earlier question about what the GOP and McCain were up to last week.

When a deal that he had nothing to do with crafting was imminent, McCain had no choice but to claim he was suspending his campaign (without actually suspending anything except an appearance on Letterman, of course) and rush to Washington to take credit for Getting Important Stuff Done For America. Now that his own party has killed that deal after claiming they’d vote for it, McCain’s campaign is back into overdrive, blaming everyone and everything for failing to do…something.

While I’d like to credit Pelosi with a brilliant bit of political ju-jitsu yesterday, I think the GOP just outsmarted and out-politicked themselves, inadvertently handing the Democrats a huge stick to beat them with. The House Republicans clearly wanted the bill to pass without their support so they could go back home and run against it. Just enough Democrats hated the bill to not let that happen, so now the GOP is stuck looking obstructionist and like they’re cravenly politicizing a national crisis (which, of course, they are), leaving both their President and their presidential candidate holding the bag. Heckuva job, Boehner.

And the kicker is now there’s a chance the Democrats will throw the House Republicans overboard and craft a bill substantially better than the Bush/Paulson plan and push it through along party lines. Not holding my breath waiting for this amount of wisdom and foresight from the Democratic Congresscritters, though, unfortunately. We’ll probably still get a horrible bi-partisan bill that screws the country and both parties.


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