New York, Sept.24 : Republican presidential candidate John McCain is furiously trying to suggest ways to arrest the financial meltdown on Wall Street, but is doing so through childish reflex actions, says the Wall Street Journal in an editorial.
He recent statement that the Chairman of the New York-based Securities and Exchange Commission, Chris Cox, should be decapitated as he was not "looking around at the facts", has provoked the Wall Street Journal.
In an editorial titled "McCain untethered", it says that McCain is disconnected from knowledge and principle, and made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential".
It says that the comment demonstrated that McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does."
It says that perhaps an old antagonism is involved in McCain's fact-free slander.
His most conspicuous economic adviser is Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who previously headed the Congressional Budget Office. There he was an impediment to conservatives, including then-Rep. Cox, who, as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, persistently tried and generally failed to enlist CBO support for "dynamic scoring" that would estimate the economic growth effects of proposed tax cuts.
In any case, McCain's smear -- that Cox "betrayed the public's trust" -- is a harbinger of a McCain presidency.
The WSJ believes that for McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are "corrupt" or "betray the public's trust," two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people.
By a Gresham's Law of political discourse, the journal says McCain's Queen of Hearts intervention in the opaque financial crisis has overshadowed a solid conservative complaint from the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the RSC decried the improvised torrent of bailouts as a "dangerous and unmistakable precedent for the federal government both to be looked to and indeed relied upon to save private sector companies from the consequences of their poor economic decisions."
This letter, listing just 650 billion dollars of the perhaps more than one trillion dollars in new federal exposures to risk, was sent while McCain's campaign, characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence, was airing an ad warning that Obama favors "massive government, billions in spending increases."
"The more one sees of his (McCain's) impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either," the Wall Street Journal editorial concludes.