I asked Republican political consultant Marty Youssefiani what he thinks of the politics of the House GOP ploy to blow up at the last minute the bailout deal worked out between the Republican White House and Congressional leadership. Youssefiani responded:
Well, there should be no surprise that politics is in the mix here, but at the core there are legitimate philosophical diffrences. Don't forget, laissez fair is cooked before our eyes. At the end though we will have a deal otherwise the country will tank, take down the global market and with it directly heighten the prospects of flash conflicts worldwide.
The big issue here is a failure in communication with the public: Main Street simply does not fully grasp what this crisis means and how quickly it will be affected if Wall Street is not bailed out.
As for McCain, it's no secret that economics was not what he learned on the "flight deck," but can he get creative and turn the issue in his favor? My sense is that this mess puts the election away, unless he leads in shaping a creative alternative plan that includes immediate direct aid to Main Street. One way he can get on the offense is to throw some of this funny money to the people (i.e. stimulus checks, one-time retroactive tax credits per household, and government mortgage guarantees, etc.). Can't bail out the fat cats without throwing something to the people! It would be popular, change the narrative and provide evidence his "suspension"/ 24-hour Washington stop was more than bad theater.
I'd [advise McCain to] use the stage at Old Miss tonight to pitch the offense. With 90 million Main Streeters watching, show what it means to shake things up!
In case you hadn't already predicted that McCain will play the populist looking out for the interests of Main Street, now you've been warned.