ISN’T ANOTHER ‘SUSPENSION’ NECESSARY?…. This will probably come across as a little snarky because, well, it is. But I have to ask: isn’t it incumbent on John McCain to at least pretend to “suspend” his campaign again?

I was just looking back at what McCain said on Thursday, when he insisted that the crisis on Wall Street was so serious, he had no choice but to drop everything, return to Washington, and help play a role in striking a deal.

“I cannot carry on a campaign as though this dangerous situation had not occurred, or as though a solution were at hand, which it clearly is not…. With so much on the line, for America and the world, the debate that matters most right now is taking place in the United States Capitol — and I intend to join it.

“It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal to meet the crisis. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time. So I am returning to Washington….”

As we now know, McCain really didn’t “suspend” anything, and he didn’t play a constructive role in the process. But putting that aside, if McCain keeps campaigning now, as he seems poised to do, wouldn’t he necessarily be carrying on “as though this dangerous situation had not occurred”?

In other words, McCain set a standard for himself — in the midst of a crisis, with little hope of a solution, and with time running out, heading to the campaign trail is not only a mistake, it’s selfish. Indeed, it’s failing to put “country first.” That’s the standard he created, and publicly articulated just a few days ago. Now, not so much.

As Noam Scheiber explained:

So the bailout deal collapses and McCain is headed to … Iowa?

I’m confused. I assumed the “country-first” move would be to suspend his campaign all over again and hunker down in Washington till we worked things out.

It wouldn’t even be that hard. McCain can find more than half the votes we need among his home-state colleagues in the House, all of whom voted against the deal.

The bottom line is straightforward enough: McCain “left” the campaign trail on Thursday because of the crisis. As of this afternoon, the crisis is much, much worse.

So, what does McCain plan to do now? Phone it in?

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.