When Worldviews Collide
Posted by Alice Chasan on September 19, 2008
John McCain reinvented himself — again — this morning. And the latest avatar is the reincarnation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Speaking in Green Bay, Wisc. about the global economic collapse that’s flowed directly from the orgy of deregulation he and his ideological soulmates in the GOP oversaw, he invoked Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as his paradigm of “accountability and responsibility.”
He may like Ike, but he was channeling Joe McCarthy in his speech: Billed as a major policy address, it was in fact a litany of finger-pointing and a series of attacks on Barack Obama’s supposed ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Casting Obama as a consummate Washington insider whose campaign coffers are filled with the donations of Wall Street fat cats — can you say “projection,” Sen. McCain? — McCain sought to hang Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae chairman, around Obama’s neck as his chief housing adviser.
Obama has repeatedly denied this spurious McCain charge, but true to form, McCain keeps coming back to it, growing the lie as he gathered steam.
Today it was at the center of the preposterous charge that Obama somehow fostered misfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and precipitated the subprime meltdown.
No matter that independent fact-checking sources and media monitors have verified that Raines has never been an Obama campaign adviser. Or that McCain, not Obama, is the one who’s been in the Senate for 25 years, where he’s been a self-professed champion of deregulation, and a crony of banking industry lobbyists pushing for a financial industry unconstrained by government oversight.
Yesterday, Obama’s campaign issued a video on the economic crisis emphasizing Americans’ shared responsibility for helping to rectify the structural problems and policy lapses leading to this mess.
Meanwhile, on the same day, McCain, his running mate, and his surrogates were busy scapegoating, as this campaign ad makes disturbingly clear.
Watch the two videos and draw your own conclusions on whose worldview you want to direct the most powerful office in the world.
About the author more »
Alice Chasan served as editor and associate publisher of Shelterforce magazine, nhi.org, and shelterforce.org through 2008. During 29 years as a journalist, Chasan has won awards for her investigative and political reporting and public-policy analysis. Her magazine posts have included the chief editorship of World Press Review magazine, executive editorships at Tikkun and The American Prospect, and the chief editorship of New Jersey Reporter, a monthly magazine of politics and public policy. She also served as program and editorial director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, the New York City-based international press freedom advocacy organization.