CRANK ECONOMICS….John McCain wants to ease up on state regulations that require health insurers to cover specific conditions. So what would happen to kids like Jake Bernard, who gets speech therapy for his cleft lip only because Florida law requires it?

Asked about the contradiction between the family on the stage and the McCain policy, McCain senior policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said that the marketplace will fill the void. If there is a demand for this kind of coverage, he said, some insurance company will offer it.

Didn’t Holtz-Eakin used to be a respected economist? Now we get gas tax holidays, $5 trillion spending holes (that don’t count because, for some reason, extending Bush’s tax cuts just shouldn’t count), airy nonsense about $60 billion in savings from eliminating earmarks, and “the marketplace will fill the void.”

This is crankery. Free-market capitalism really deserves better defenders than this. I hope Holtz-Eakin at least has the good grace to grimace while he’s saying stuff like this.