MCCAIN’S MORTGAGE PLAN DRAWS FIRE…. One of the reasons the “erratic” meme seems to be effective against the McCain campaign is that the Republican nominee has been all over the map in response to the financial crisis.

He said it wasn’t a time for blame, and then blamed Obama. He was for and against the AIG bailout on successive days. He pushed Chris Cox’s firing, then dropped it. He wanted a commission to study what had gone wrong, and then never mentioned it again. He “suspended” his campaign 10 days after the crisis began, but never actually put his campaign on hold. McCain has simply gone from one ridiculous notion to another, flailing around, looking desperately for something coherent to say.

On Tuesday night, during the debate, McCain unveiled yet another idea, explaining that he wants the Treasury to buy up bad home mortgages. At first blush, it was hard to know if there was anything new about the proposal at all, but as additional details were released yesterday afternoon, the picture of an awful policy emerged.

This morning, the Obama campaign pounced, unveiling a new ad.

It starts with a voice-over: “In a time of crisis, our leaders’ judgment is tested. On Tuesday — an announcement.” The ad then shows McCain at the debate, saying, “I would order the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America.” The voice-over returns: “On Wednesday, the details. McCain would shift the burden from lenders to taxpayers — guaranteeing a loss of taxpayer money. Who wins? The same lenders that caused the crisis in the first place. Putting bad actors ahead of taxpayers? We can’t afford more of the same.”

It hits all the bases — poor judgment, bad on the economy, more of the same.

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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.