Yesterday, John McCain said this:
We know there has been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street. And people are frightened by these events. Our economy still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong.
“The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” is a standard cliche politicians use when faced with a shock to the economy. It is one of those useful, empty statements that sounds intelligent and can be used to deflect political blame in the face of bad economic news.
Sometimes it’s even true. There are times when a shock to the economy causes short-term hardship, but the only real solution is to just ride it out.
That’s not this time. Even Alan Greenspan has described the recent meltdown of the nation’s largest financial institutions as a once ina century event. Tim Fernholz of Tapped provides some details. Spiking unemployment. Decreased median income. Low consumer confidence. Increasing inflation. Falling markets. Exploding defiicits. Tepid growth.
So, it seems McCain stepped in it pretty badly. This is all the worse since McCain boasted a while back of his ignorance of the economy, and since he has a reputation for being out of touch. Something had to be done. So someone in his campaign sent him out to say this:
But let me say something: this economic crisis is not the fault of the American people. Our workers are the most innovative, the hardest working, the best skilled, most productive, most competitive in the world. My opponents may disagree, but those fundamentals of America are strong. No one can match an American worker.
What a shameless scumbag. The phrase “fundamentals of the economy” has nothing to do with the character of American workers. The Great Depression was a time when the fundamentals of the economy were weak. Does McCain think the problem then was that workers had simply lost their drive?
If McCain manages to win this election it will be the ultimate proof that the mindless segment of the population has grown so bloated that democracy is dead as a workable governing philosophy. Neither McCain nor Palin has the first foggiest clue about the nature of any of the major problems facing the country. McCain seems utterly clueless any time he tries to say something that is not a mindless right-wing cliche, and Palin made a complete fool of herself trying to answer a handful of substantive questions from Charlie Gibson. (Her next public interview, incidentally: Sean Hannity.) If things have reached the point where more than half the country can’t see through such idiocy, then it frankly doesn’t matter what the government does in the next four years.