It Isn’t About Leadership. It’s About Perception.

I’ve spent the past 15 hours or so, when not sleeping, watching the talking heads. I’ve even tuned in to Fox news just to make sure their eyeballs haven’t exploded trying to work their poor abused heads around the idea that capitalism is what got us into this mess. Rest assured; Fox News has learned nothing from the current crisis.

It’s been an instructive 15 hours (aside from the sleeping bit).  The pundits all seem to be focusing on

a. Whether or not “The Bailout* ” is a good thing and

b. Whether John McCain rushing back to Washington and suspending his campaign is a gambit or concern.

None of them seem to be able to answer A, and the jury is hung on B. Only one person, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, got it right. Last night while discussing the move by McCain to suspend his campaign and the debate, Chris said “Anyone who thinks that anything a candidate does this close to an election isn’t about politics, doesn’t know much about politics.” And the truth shall set you free.

Don’t think it’s true? Well, let’s take a look at what’s being said by the McCain camp. This morning, John McCain’s spokeswoman Nicole Wallace actually sidestepped the question to both Joe Scarborough and Matt Lauer. She told Scarborough “Is that what you thought? I think the American people will remember the bipartisan message coming from both candidates.” Really, Ms Wallace? Is that why John McCain rushed out to make the first statement? So that everyone would remember the joint statement that came later? Way to underestimate the intelligence of the American people. The reason for that was fairly transparent, and we all know it. It was politics, pure and simple. Ms. Wallace’s remarks to Matt Lauer here. In both cases, she seems reluctant to actually answer the question put to her, namely: “If the joint message about fixing the problem was what was important, what was your guy doing if it wasn’t upstaging?” I’m more than a little annoyed that two seasoned journalists were unable to force an answer to that question and let it go at a ridiculous hand waving justification.

Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama are part of the committee attempting to solve this economic crisis. At this point, the Repugs are dragging their feet against passing anything in order to correct the situation, and there’s no foreseeable solution. If no one blinks, what then? We put the election on hold, too?

Sen. Jim Demint just said that “new thinking” is needed on the issue, and he “trusts the free market.” Okay, Sen. Demint; isn’t that WHAT GOT US INTO THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said infusing presidential politics in the situation will only muddy the waters. Chuck Hagel said last night that everyone in Washington knows the meetings in the Oval Office isn’t where the work gets done; it’s the breakaway meetings AFTER those meetings that actually accomplishes something.

Which leads us right back to: Why the hell are we ONLY focusing on this crisis? We also have TWOT (the war on terror) going on. Should we put government on hold until Sen. McCain comes up with a solution for that as well? And….WHO has a messiah complex again, please?

Ladies and gentlemen, let us buy a clue, if necessary. We cannot simply keep putting things on hold because something comes up. We deserve to know who will be leading us, regardless of which candidate is chosen. It IS our country, after all. We’re the ones making the decision. We deserve to have all the data we can get before we make what may well be the most important choice of our lives.

Senator McCain, step up. Heroes do not run from a challenge, sir.

*I think it’s deserving of Caps. In 75 years, school kids are going to learn about the Great Globalization Crisis of ’08. They’re gonna want to know why we were so stoopid.