Let’s talk about who’s ‘indecisive’

LET’S TALK ABOUT WHO’S ‘INDECISIVE’…. John McCain’s metamorphosis on economic matters has been a sight to behold. He was, literally just days ago, fiercely opposed to regulation of the financial industry and an opponent of government bailouts. As of yesterday, he’s the exact opposite. It led ABC News to do this fairly devastating report last night.

It’s almost as if McCain doesn’t realize the networks have tapes of his public comments. On Tuesday morning, McCain told NBC, “We cannot bail AIG or anybody else.” A few hours later, McCain told CNBC that we “have to” let AIG fail. The very next day, McCain reluctantly concluded that the AIG bailout was the only responsible thing to do. On Tuesday morning, he told NBC, “Of course I don’t like excessive and unnecessary government regulation.” The same morning, he told CBS, “Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes.”

The New York Times’ Gail Collins, in a very sharp column, said, “Really, if McCain is going to keep changing into new people, the campaign should send out notices. (Come to a rally for the next president of the United States. Today he’s a vegetarian!)… The whole transformation was fascinating in a cheap-thrills kind of way. It’s not every day, outside of ‘Incredible Hulk’ movies, that you see somebody make this kind of turnaround in the scope of a few hours.”

Confronted with the reality that McCain has been flip-flopping all over the place, seemingly with no economic message at all, the McCain campaign has responded by insisting that Barack Obama is “indecisive” on the Wall Street crisis, and “refusing” to take a firm stand. Seriously, that’s the new argument. “Indecisive.”

The Obama campaign responded, “Considering the fact that John McCain flatly opposed the bailout of AIG a day before he changed course and supported it, we’re not sure why on earth the McCain campaign wants to have a debate about economic indecision.”

Some days, I just can’t figure out what the McCain campaign is thinking.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.