MCCAIN STANDS BY DEREGULATION…. I thought I’d finally figured it out. John McCain loved deregulation — of everything — and now, faced with the crisis on Wall Street, he’s rediscovered the benefits of economic populism. Earlier this year, McCain’s position was unambiguous: “I’m always for less regulation…. I am fundamentally a deregulator.” And last week, McCain’s position was the opposite, but nevertheless crystal clear: “Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes.”

So, I was a little confused last night when McCain threw us a curveball on “60 Minutes.”

CBS News’ Scott Pelley noted, “In 1999, you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?” McCain replied, “No, I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.”

So, where does this leave us, exactly? McCain wants more deregulation, and less. He believes deregulating Wall Street was bad, and good.

Maybe McCain can start traveling with an interpreter, because it’s getting increasingly difficult to understand him.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.