MAYBE MCCAIN SHOULD STOP DOING INTERVIEWS…. At this point, it stands to reason that John McCain would want to do as many television interviews as possible, getting his message out and reaching a large audience. Of course, that only makes sense if McCain is prepared to say intelligent, persuasive things during these interviews.

Did you happen to catch McCain on CNN’s “Situation Room” yesterday?

McCain argued, for example, that as the financial crisis unfolded, he’s been “very consistent,” while Obama “has been all over the place.” This, of course, is backwards. He went on to suggest the way to stimulate the economy is to cut federal spending, which, again, is backwards. Moments later, McCain slammed the bailout package that he voted for.

There was also this bizarre exchange:

BLITZER: Let’s talk a little bit about your support — and correct me if I’m wrong — you did support President Bush’s plan to overhaul Social Security and allow Social Security recipients to use about 10 percent of their Social Security savings in the stock market. That collapsed, obviously. It didn’t go forward. Knowing what we know now about the volatility of the stock market, is that still a good idea?

MCCAIN: The reason why the talks collapsed is because the Democrats insisted on agreeing to tax increases before we sat down.

This, again, is completely backwards, as if McCain doesn’t really remember the events of 2005. Worse, when Blitzer pressed, McCain refused to answer the substance of the question.

One more:

BLITZER: Right now, we still 140,000, 150,000 troops in Iraq. The Bush administration seems to be close to what’s called a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri Al- Maliki. It calls, in the draft agreement, at least, for complete withdrawal of forces from villages and cities by July 30th of 2009 and out of the country by December 31st, 2011. If you’re elected president, would you, as commander-in-chief, honor this agreement if, in fact, it’s formalized?

MCCAIN: Well, with respect, Wolf — and you know better, my friend. You know better. It’s condition-based. It’s conditions-based. And Ryan Crocker, our ambassador in Baghdad, said if you want to know what victory looks like, look at this agreement. So you know better than that, Wolf. You know it’s condition-based.

Actually, it’s not “condition-based.” It’s McCain who should “know better.”

I was, at first, inclined to think McCain is cracking under the pressure, leading to his confusion about so many issues, but the truth is, he’s been like this for a while.

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.