International media are critical of McCain
COMMENTARY | September 21, 2008
The overseas press: A sampling of opinion in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Canada shows harsh views of McCain’s response to the financial crisis. Some say that, as a result, he has handed the election to Obama.
By Lauren Drablier
PARIS— Like the U.S. news media, international commentary focused not only on the global markets since last week’s financial collapse but also on the American presidential candidates’ responses to the crisis and how American voters are reacting.
With Monday’s collapse of Lehman Brothers (the biggest bankruptcy filed in American history), the $85 billion government rescue of AIG, and the Bush Administration’s $700 billion bailout plan announced for distressed mortgage-related assets from private firms, the world has been left nervous about how the global markets will respond.
For the most part from what I have seen, the international media had harsh words for Republican candidate John McCain and his campaigning efforts over the past week. Many chose to focus on the favorable turn in the polls for Barack Obama.
In ‘The Politics of Despair: Wall Street’s meltdown readjusts the race in unexpected ways’. The Economist highlights the strong opposition between the two candidates while pointing out McCain’s “lack of interest or knowledge” in finance:
“Each is trying to sound as if he would knock some sense into Wall Street, while tut-tutting that the other fellow supported the policies that got America into this mess in the first place.
“The confusion is compounded by his (McCain’s) obvious lack of interest in, or knowledge of, the nuts and bolts of finance. His main concrete proposal this week was to set up a commission to study what caused the current crisis and recommend reforms to prevent another one.
“Mr. Obama sounded more at ease as he reiterated the principles by which he would regulate the American financial system.”
In ‘McCain lashes out as Obama takes lead’, The Australian focuses on the candidates’ reactions as polls reportedly put Obama ahead:
“John McCain accused Barack Obama of being a liberal, high-taxing threat to middle America yesterday after being confronted with strong evidence that his Democratic opponent had wiped out his post-convention bounce and regained the initiative.
“Battling to distance himself from the Bush administration and blame for the worst economic instability in nearly 80 years, Senator McCain also called for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission chief Christopher Cox, the chief regulator of US financial markets and a Bush appointee.
“Senator Obama, back in the lead in several opinion polls as voter confidence in the economy unravels, shot back that Americans would have the chance on Election Day to fire the whole Republican apparatus that has ‘led us down this disastrous path’.”
Another article in The Australian, ‘Obama pulls ahead as McCain trips up on economy’, described Barack Obama as “seizing on the financial panic on Wall Street” while McCain was “caught flat-footed this week as an economic crisis rocks the globe:”
“Taking his sharpest tone yet, Senator Obama was on the stump in a battleground state of Nevada and mocked Senator McCain for being out of touch and offering no solutions to the financial crisis.
“Senator McCain said on Monday—the day the Dow Jones plunged more than 500 points—that the ‘fundamentals of our economy are strong,’ a comment he later attempted to correct by saying he was referring to the fact that U.S. workers were the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy.
“Another attack line that attracted plenty of press attention yesterday was Senator Obama mocking Senator McCain's comments that he would shake up the ‘old boys’ network’ in Washington. Senator Obama said Senator McCain had been in Congress for 26 years and had ‘put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign’. ‘And now he tells us that he's the one who’s gunna take on the old boys’ network. The old boys’ network? In the McCain campaign that's called a staff meeting.”
In a Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) column ‘Recession hits U.S. clout’, Sam Zakhem (former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain) offers an analysis of the financial crisis and his fears regarding the future of the U.S. economy:
“Until the entanglement in Iraq and Afghanistan are honorably ended and the American people elect leaders committed to stop the maddening deficit spending, America will continue to lose its clout in the world.”
“On the domestic scene, the rise of Barack Obama and the losses sustained by the Republicans in Congress are indicative of the American peoples’ disenchantment with the present state of affairs in their country.
“John McCain, a Republican, is equally dismayed by the prevailing patterns of deficit spending and government bailouts. McCain, I believe would be more likely to hold down federal spending than would Obama.
“But one thing is very clear: regardless of who the next president may be, my children and grandchildren and, possibly, future American generations will be victims of the burgeoning federal debt and the bailout of the culprits of the subprime and housing bubble.”
Rupert Cornwell of The Independent questions whether “Wall Street, that once-certain bulwark of the Republican Party, just handed victory to a Democrat?” In his column ‘Wall Street Meltdown rekindles Obama’s fire’, Cornwell criticizes McCain and predicts an Obama presidency:
“Now that America and the world have stared into the financial abyss, Barack Obama is now just as surely staring into the open door of the Oval Office.
“The rescue might be enough to preserve American capitalism. Alas, it probably won't be enough to save John McCain's candidacy.
“This was always going to be a virtually impossible year for Republicans. Almost never are Presidents who serve two full terms succeeded by their party's candidate. On top of that, McCain must contend with the deep unpopularity of the younger Bush, an economy that was sliding towards recession even before the stock market vaporized, and a large Democratic advantage in money and enthusiasm.
“But if events have conspired against McCain, he himself has made a bad situation worse.
“Obama is no exception. He has been a sideshow to the dramas on the trading floor, and has added nothing to the debate except some sharp partisan barbs, when the population has yearned for leadership.”
“When McCain opposed a bail-out for the AIG insurance group, only to be obliged to contradict himself within hours as the US Treasury did precisely that.
“Now his opponent's barbs, and all the wiles of the Republican attack machine, are irrelevant. It is Obama, aided by the Great Crash of 2008, who is doing the defining. The benefits are already visible in the polls, where he has recaptured the lead. And my bet is—Israel, Iran and Osama bin Laden permitting—he'll keep that lead all the way to 4 November.”
In ‘Financial meltdown reshapes US race’, the Toronto Star also predicts an Obama presidency:
“The decisions made by a President McCain or a President Obama will cascade well beyond Wall Street and Main Street, driving much of the economic future of Canada and the world.
“If history is a reliable guide, those decisions will be made by Obama.
“Traditionally, incumbent parties pay for economic distress at the ballot box, and only once since World War II have American voters given one party three consecutive terms in the White House.”
In ‘Wall St woes help Obama overtake McCain express’, The Guardian presents its take on what it terms a McCain series of “serious to surreal” mistakes:
“In a week of almost unprecedented economic crisis, when Wall Street seemed on the brink of meltdown, McCain's presidential bid was hit by mistake after mistake, varying from the serious to the surreal.
“As stocks dropped off a precipice, McCain said the economic fundamentals were strong. Then a senior aide seemed to suggest McCain had invented the BlackBerry. His top economic adviser, Carly Fiorina, confessed she thought neither McCain nor Palin was capable of running a large company. Then, in the middle of the worst financial collapse since the 1930s, McCain got the public endorsement of Donald Trump, a celebrity tycoon who symbolizes raw capitalism. For a candidate trying to strike a populist tone, the backing of 'the Donald' was poorly timed.”
In a harshly-worded column in South Africa’s Business Day (‘McCain’s economic populism rings false’), Robert Scheer also highlights McCain’s campaign woes:
“Did you see the McCain-Palin ad promising ‘tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings, no special-interest giveaways’?
“Just how dumb do they think we are? John McCain has been a master of the special-interest giveaways to Wall Street that enabled this meltdown.
“What Obama needs to do, both to win and to help save the country, is denounce the scoundrels from both parties and rediscover his populist voice.”
United Arab Emirates Khaleej Times editorial piece posed the question “Who Can Change America?” and was quick to respond “Obama”:
“If the American people were beginning to forget why the Barack Obama phenomenon had captured their imagination, they got the answer this week. Mesmerized by the moose-hunting, glamorous Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the American voters were failing to see the big picture and what voting for John McCain would entail.
“It would mean living with the mess that this Republican administration has created for another four years. For voting McCain would ensure more of the political and economic chaos this president has visited on the United States and rest of the world.”
“So even though the Republican presidential candidate John McCain has lately been trying to distance himself from the disastrous political and economic policies of the incumbent, you don’t have to be a pundit to know that he is unlikely to introduce a major turnaround, if he is elected to the White House.”
“The 72-year old Vietnam veteran only offers old wine in a new bottle”
“Which is why let’s all hope the Americans elect a leader who can urgently clear this unholy mess and bring in the change that America so badly needs and deserves. And for Obama looks like that real agent of change.”
09/23/2008, 02:55 AM
An Ancient saying; In a city without Watchdogs, the Fox is the Overseer.
What does this saying mean today and the things that happened with us the people and the AIG? It means that : We the People who are in essence the tax dollars that fund the FDIC, placed Watchdogs to Regulate these Giant Corporate Financial Institutions and make sure that they were careful to follow safe investments and loaning practices ;
However, when the Republican Party gets into power, they push their
DEREGULATION agenda and begin firing Our Watchdogs. They tell us that the Finance Industry can regulate themselves. What they are saying in essence is... “We don’t want You the People watching over our Friends and the Financial Institutions our Cronies own, don’t worry, they will guard the Candy Store, not you.”
So what happens? The Finance Industry keeps coming to We the People saying “ The Candy Store got cleaned out, give us some more Candy!!.
See; As long as they know that WE have to cover their losses and they are only answerable to themselves, then why would they want OUR Regulations?
Now here’s the kicker. The money that We the People are going to pay to keep them afloat, to stop a financial meltdown of our economy, is going to have to be borrowed. We the people will then have to pay back 3 times what it will cost, because of the Interest on the loans, bonds and whatnot we will be borrowing on to pay for the mess.
Is this that hard to follow? You see, this practice began several years ago with Regan. I’m not bringing up the past to place blame, I am simply informing you of how this came about and how it has continued unchecked.
Maybe you remember the Lincoln Savings and Loan debacle in the 80’s.
Regan told us that we would save millions of tax dollars by cutting the budgets of the Regulation Departments in our government. It was a new era of DEREGULATION and everybody thought " What a wonderful idea."
Sure, the industries could regulate themselves. We would not have to pay tax dollars to hire Our Watchdogs; We could trust all the different industries to put Their own watchdogs in place and we were told that they would be careful. It was same Old Republican Talk about smaller government.
The reason the real leaders of this Party want smaller government is because they do not want You, the People, Governing Them. You see, they know that YOU THE PEOPLE are the Government. They want you to forget this. That’s why they tell us, large government is evil and try to vilify it.
They use all the terms “bureaucratic red tape”, “wasted tax dollars” etc. This gets You, The People riled up and thinking you should allow THEM, the Ones Manipulating you, to get rid of the system YOU once set up to guard YOUR tax dollars from their Corporate Cronies. The Cronies finance heavily to get these Manipulators elected so one hand now washes the other.
Remember this at the elections. Remember the Party that got rid of YOUR Watchdogs and want to get rid of more of them. The Party that wants less government, not to save you tax dollars, but to keep the eyes of, We the People, off of them. We are the Government, don’t ever forget that.
The few millions we saved in taxes by allowing them to fire our Watchdogs has cost us Trillions. This is not difficult stuff folks! Inform yourselves.
Read how they chop budgets on the committees, under-staff them, close offices and veto bills that pay for Regulation. Look it up on the web, don't
expect to read about it in depth in the mainstream media their Cronies own. .
Here's what you need to do to take action. Vote them out in November and Vote them out in mass. Remember their bloc voting against any change we needed. Even when the Democrats finally gained 2 extra Congressional seats, the Republicans still had enough numbers to back Bush Jr. and keep our Congress from overriding his veto.
Pass this letter along to as many people as you can. The Democrats will need large numbers in both Houses to make any difference in the next few years. Go with friends to the voting booths on election day in case they try to turn you away. If they do, start yelling and call the police.
The Republicans have to be voted out as much as possible, from councilman to judges to governors and Congressmen. Remember what they did to your economy, how they got you into a war you now want out of but cannot bring about because they still have enough Congressmen to thwart you.
"In a City without Watchdogs, the Fox is the Overseer" Take Action...... Release the Hounds