The U.S. is in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economy is the most important issue in the mind of most American voters. Everyone -- including John McCain agrees that lack of effective regulation is a major cause of the ongoing financial catastrophe. John McCain was one of those responsible for removing the regulatory protections which were needed to protect the public. Obama, in contrast, has a record of supporting legislation to prevent the very disaster which is in progress. Yet -- the Obama campaign has not effectively attacked McCain for his responsibility for deregulation, and his sudden and ingenuous turn toward re-regulation as a campaign tactic. It has not even effectively displayed Obama's own outstanding record.
Like it or not, in a presidential campaign, with control of the American Government at stake, Republicans will fight tooth and toenail, fair means and foul, hitting below the belt, to win at any cost and with any tactics. If Democrats are to win, they must attack their opponents rather than being forced to be forever on the defensive.
In the media today (Sept. 17), the Washington Post detailed McCain's history as a "deregulator," including his role in the 1990 legislation deregulating the banking and investment industry, in a front page story. Included was the role of then Senator Phil Gramm, now one of McCain's chief economic advisors (source of the infamous "mental recession" comments from earlier this year) who led the charge for deregulation. McCain, Gramm and the Republican Congress successfully destroyed the regulatory framework put in place during the depression to prevent this kind of catastrophe. Years before, they had also passed deregulation of the savings and loan industry, leading to the destruction of the American savings and loan industry. In that debacle, McCain became known as one of the unethical protectors of the Keating Five who was reprimanded by the Congress for attempting to interfere in the regulatory process.
Also today, we saw the Obama two minute TV spot on the financial crisis -- a professorial dissertation on Washington's regulatory failure and the need for "CHANGE."
Nothing to tie John McCain to the disastrous legislation which he now ignores while vowing to vigorously regulate the industry to prevent this from ever happening again!
And -- McCain, exuding vigor and confidence, is on TV promising to regulate the industry, attack the greed and the bad guys and protect the money of the working men and women of this country.
Where is the vigorous Obama-Democratic disclosure of McCain's history and attack on his past performance and manifold mistakes in judgment?
Dukaksis and Kerry have proven that one cannot sleepwalk into the White House -- not against a Karl Rove-type campaign. If Obama is going to win, he must start throwing punches.