Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

I missed this yesterday, somehow:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.

Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines.

“I’ve never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I’m not going to stop now,” McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “Sen. Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn’t want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation.”
McCain, grinning, flashed a sarcastic thumbs up.

“That’s not leadership. That’s watching from the sidelines,” he added to cheers and applause.

John McCain, a few hours later when the bailout failed:

“Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem,” McCain said in a hastily called statement to the press here today.

Heads I win! Tails, you lose! And that last quote is actually a twofer, because McCain claims this is no time to be fixing blame… while blaming Obama.

Now, I understand most of us are cynical about politicians, and I understand that politicians are opportunistic, but aren’t they usually a little more subtle than this? I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

Or has McCain just given up?

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

37 replies
  1. 1
    Tom65 says:

    Why even bother with subtlety when you’re not likely to be called on your bullshit anyway? McCain is practically daring the press to mix it up with him so he can play the victim card.

  2. 2
    les says:

    Now, I understand most of us are cynical about politicians, and I understand that politicians are opportunistic, but aren’t they usually a little more subtle than this? I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

    Well, no, repubs have been successful without subtlety, and have been up front full of it, for at least a decade; why would they stop now?

  3. 3
    SGEW says:

    Or has McCain just given up?

    I’m believing this theory more and more as the days go on.

  4. 4
    TheFountainHead says:

    “He didn’t do anything!”

    Later:

    “It’s all his fault!”

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    he’s just swinging at everything that catches his attention, hoping he’ll hit something that resonates.

  6. 6
    Lupin says:

    Third-world education = third-world politicians (and soon third-world country).

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    Cognizance, meet dissonance. What are you going to do? Call McCain a chronically lying bullshit artist? That just exemplifies your ongoing self-deprecating liberal bias and no conservative will listen to you.

    And John, you have to go back to the GOP definition of bipartisanship. When the Republican Party proposes a plan, the Democrats need to line up and accept it. If the Speaker of the House – a Democrat – happens to give a partisan speech before the vote, the bill instantly becomes deeply partisan and Republicans become clinically unable to vote for it, thus damning the nation to a deep Recession because of Democratic hubris.

    And before we all forget, let’s all point out how this was a HOUSE bill. The junior SENATOR from Illinois had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. So all of McCain’s grandstanding – before and after the bill came up for a vote – is that much more meaningless.

  8. 8
    Comrade Jake says:

    It is comical how much of an epic stooge Johnny Drama is these days. What’s next? Crying on The View?

    Has he just given up? No way in heck. They’re doing their best (which is comically terrible) to whether the storm, in the hopes that it passes, or that some other kind of event/controversy comes up that allows them to pivot. Until then, he’s just continuing to wing it. I’m not sure there’s a damn thing that McCain can do to make himself look better while this economic crisis is the focus. He’s pretty well boxed in.

  9. 9
    bedlam UK says:

    I was reading on Huffington how the media are monitoring themselves with regards to McCain and Palin after the victim card has been played.
    So now he can do his dance of the fandango, and if anyone mocks him he just calls it bullying.

    TV News there truly sucks beyond belief. censoring and monitoring themselves.

  10. 10
    Comrade The Moar You Know says:

    Or has McCain just given up?

    Not at all. His base is too busy jacking it to pics of Sarah Palin to notice, and it’s not like inconsistency has ever bothered those people anyway.

  11. 11

    Now that Jonnny Drama’s base has “revolted” and begun playing “gotcha journalism” (you didn’t miss that one yesterday!) with him and his Token VP Pick we can all rest assured that Johnny Drama will spend a lot of time of the fainting sofa. The “gotcha journalism” wasn’t the voter asking a tough question of Palin–the one in which she agreed with Obama on Pakistan–the “gotcha journalism” occurred when his base actually reported this interesting little aside. It really wasn’t so much a gaffe on Palin’s part as it was her being herself (and I suspect more in line with what McCain actually believes) but it got more sunlight cast upon it when McCain jumped in during the Couric interview and tried to “defend” the position. The problem is the two are complete strangers and don’t have a clue as to what the other stands for. In other words this is just more evidence that the McCain campaign had no fucking idea who Governor Palin was and did nothing except a cursory vetting.

  12. 12
    SGEW says:

    He’s pretty well boxed in.

    Cue obligatory “for 5 1/2 years” joke.

  13. 13
    Comrade Jake says:

    Is anyone else surprised at the miscalculation of McCain taking on Obama’s stance on Pakistan?

    Joe Average’s gut is to have us go after the bad guys in Pakistan. The irony here is that Palin pretty much is Jane Average, and the response she gave is where a good number of people sit.

    McCain’s trying to make a fairly silly/nuanced argument that a President shouldn’t announce his plans to the world, or that we need to cooperate with the Pakistanis. Given McCain’s background and general hawkishness, this makes very little sense.

  14. 14
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    And John, you have to go back to the GOP definition of bipartisanship. When the Republican Party proposes a plan, the Democrats need to line up and accept it. If the Speaker of the House – a Democrat – happens to give a partisan speech before the vote, the bill instantly becomes deeply partisan and Republicans become clinically unable to vote for it, thus damning the nation to a deep Recession because of Democratic hubris.

    Better yet, this morning I flip my TV on hear in Ohio and the RNC is running an ad that while it does not explicitly say the whole Wall Street bailout plan is Obama’s and the Democrats it is worded in a way that if you are casually watching it kind of leaves you with that impression. So one day after the biggest drop in Dow history, and without the bailout bill even having passed yet, they are running ads politicizing it.

  15. 15
    Comrade Jake says:

    Sully is reporting that 52.4 Million people tuned into the debate Friday night. Given the CW that Obama won, that would seem likely to explain his recent surge in the polls (not to mention McCain’s implosion last week).

  16. 16
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    PS, TPM Election Central has the ad I am refering to.

  17. 17
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    That bullshit RNC ad in Ohio about the bill is perfectly timed. Early balloting has started in the state, so if they can peel off some angry low-info voters before the ad gets debunked, that’s a win for them Hopefully the Obama GOTV effort in Ohio can counteract that.

  18. 18
    Zifnab says:

    Better yet, this morning I flip my TV on hear in Ohio and the RNC is running an ad that while it does not explicitly say the whole Wall Street bailout plan is Obama’s and the Democrats it is worded in a way that if you are casually watching it kind of leaves you with that impression. So one day after the biggest drop in Dow history, and without the bailout bill even having passed yet, they are running ads politicizing it.

    Let’s hope that Americans have gained enough political savvy to embrace the ancient Chinese wisdom that reminds us “He who smelt it, must have dealt it.”

  19. 19
    Tsulagi says:

    Or has McCain just given up?

    Of course not. He wants it bad; this is his last shot. If it gets to a 10 or more point spread in the national polls, look for the shit to really start flying.

  20. 20
    TheFountainHead says:

    McCain: “Do not politicize this important piece of legislation!”

    RNC: “Obama and the Dems are going to take all your money and give it to the fat cats on Wall St.”

    Uhmmm, message control? Anyone?

  21. 21
    greynoldsct00 says:

    I don’t think McCain is giving up. He’s getting more and more pissed off. He was tanking in the polls before last week’s stunt, he acted like a bullying asshole in the debate and then stepped on his dick AGAIN yesterday (at least once, probably twice by blaming “partisanship” on Obama. And I saw a clip of McCain and Palin with Couric, where it appeared he was telling Couric what Palin meant when she made a comment… you’d think if she had any backbone at all she’d be annoyed by that. But then again, maybe the idea of being VP trumps all and she’s biting her tongue. The tragedy play gets more unbelievable every day.

    And, WOOHOO! We’re posting on Balloon Juice with no Word Press interference. :)

  22. 22
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    Ben Smith is reporting that the RNC released the ad I mentioned to TV stations prior to the vote.

  23. 23

    McCain doesn’t know what the hell he is saying and that’s the problem. Yet another sign of memory/age issues but we don’t dare point that out.

  24. 24
    Wayne says:

    Now, I understand most of us are cynical about politicians, and I understand that politicians are opportunistic, but aren’t they usually a little more subtle than this? I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

    But they are not politicians, they are lobbyist. Lobbist are blatantly full of it, know it, revel in it, because most of the time they are peddling it.

  25. 25
    Marshall says:

    In politics, now is not the time to assess blame always immediately precedes or follows an attack blaming someone else for whatever disaster is upon us. “Now,” it isn’t. Ten seconds ago, not so much.

    It’s an attempt to get the last word in, familiar to anyone who has occasional arguments with their spouse. Leading presidential candidates can’t storm outside slamming the door behind them, after all; this has the same effect, is marginally more dignified, and is about equally likely to work.

  26. 26
    ricky says:

    Now is not the time to affix blame on those sitting on the sidelines. We must suspend belief and get everyone under the blame affixing umbrella so to speak.

  27. 27
    joe from Lowell says:

    McCain and his campaign are so far inside a bubble, they have no idea how anything they say is playing. That’s my theory, anyway.

  28. 28
    Marshall says:

    It is comical how much of an epic stooge Johnny Drama is these days. What’s next? Crying on The View?

    I think that John Boehner has already got that booked.

  29. 29
    ricky says:

    It’s an attempt to get the last word in, familiar to anyone who has occasional arguments with their spouse

    . I hope those arguments are within the institution of heterosexual marriage, Marshall.

  30. 30
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Somebody in an older thread made the comment which to me seems best to sum up what the McCain camp is doing: they are throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, and have forgotten that you have to cook the noodles first.

  31. 31
    Comrade Napoleon says:

    By the way everyone, being in Ohio I get to go and cast my vote against Johnny Drama today! I hope you are all jealous.

  32. 32
    Rick Taylor says:

    Now, I understand most of us are cynical about politicians, and I understand that politicians are opportunistic, but aren’t they usually a little more subtle than this? I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

    I had thought my capacity for astonishment and disgust had been exhausted these past seven years, but McCain’s campaign has stretched it even further. Quite an accomplishment.

  33. 33
    CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII says:

    I had thought my capacity for astonishment and disgust had been exhausted these past seven years, but McCain’s campaign has stretched it even further. Quite an accomplishment.

    Not only is it the capacity for astonishment that is being challenged, but the shape of how that astonishment is being pounded into our heads. Under Bush they regularly pulled a stunt here and there but gave our brains time to reorder info and have a little room in there to stuff that new cognition into. With McCain/Palin, these stunts come in much stranger shapes (unbelievable info) at a much faster pace, making it difficult for me to find not only the correct storage space, but also the correct shape of that storage to place it in, as if I was not able to decompress first.

  34. 34
    Redhand says:

    I mean, can’t you at least try to not be blatantly full of it?

    Or has McCain just given up?

    Just accept that he’s blatantly full of shit. It’ll make you feel better.

  35. 35
    YellowJournalism says:

    What’s next? Crying on The View?

    He was on the view with Cindy. They weren’t treated “very nice” and started crying about being on the View.

  36. 36
    Alex B says:

    Heads I win! Tails, you lose! And that last quote is actually a twofer, because McCain claims this is no time to be fixing blame… while blaming Obama.

    John McCain has taken the role of playing ‘political maverick’ to new realms. He has nothing to ‘run for’, so he runs against everything. And I mean against EVERYTHING! Let’s review…

    A List of What John McCain is Running Against:

    – against Barack Obama/Joe Biden
    – against George W Bush, despiting voting with GW Bush 90-plus% of the time
    – against the Democratic Party
    – against the Republican Party
    – against Wall Street
    – against the Media
    – against Congress where he has been a ‘leader’ for two decades
    – against Washington DC, despite having worked there for over a quarter century
    – against Lobbyists, despite the fact that his entire senior campaign staff is made up of high-end lobbyists
    – against earmarks like the famous 230 mil his running mate kept for Alaska (pop 680,000)
    – against five respected former Sscretaries of State (three of whom are Republicans) who endorse high-level diplomacy with all nations, especially current ‘adversaries’ of US interests
    – against John McCain’s initial ‘vote of conscience’ against the Bush Tax Cuts to the rich
    – against John McCain’s long time position against off-shore drilling
    – against John McCain’s own Immigration Bill
    – against John McCain’s initial promise to pick a Running Mate who will ‘be ready on day one’
    – against John McCain’s past 20-plus votes denying start-up funding for ‘Clean Energy’
    initiatives
    – against Sarah Palin’s cheesesteak position (which is Obama’s position) that a unilateral strike against Bin Laden over Pakistan border is an option that should be on the table

    And finally, taking it to a whole new level…

    – he’s against the unpopular Bail Out Bill, for which he takes credit as he brought Republican House Members on board, though they voted the Bill down, which he claims is Obama’s fault … (take a little rest after reading this one.)

    Now THERE, folks, is a maverick!

    Feel free to add to the list of ‘What John McCain is Running Against…’

  37. 37
    Alex B says:

    Or has McCain just given up?

    I think he’s hit a wall.

    I just watched a CNN segment that showed him speaking on the bail-out in Iowa. He has ZERO energy. Sounds so drained. So tired. So monotoned.

    On Sunday, he addressed a Sportsman’s Group via a video link-up. In that address, he sounded half-asleep, barely finishing sentences. Looked authentically exhausted. His absolute lack of energy was very striking. (Had he looked so drained during the debate, his campaign would be all but ‘officially’ over.)

    I give this 72 yr old man tremendous (and I mean TREMENDOUS!) credit for having been such an Energizer Bunny during this brutally long campaign. Where this man has been getting the energy, I just don’t know. Makes me understand how he survived the whole POW thing. …I cannot deny him that.

    But now, twice in three days, he’s appeared in public, looking and sounding like the walking dead. Very, VERY UN-McCain-like.

    That kind of mental weariness would explain the stunningly erratic nature of his campaign. The decision-making in recent weeks has be shockingly flawwed.

    I can’t believe that John McCain has ‘given up’. But more and more now, it’s starting to look like he’s just plain done. Spent.

    …But others have thought that before.

Comments are closed.