Clive Crook works very hard not to tell his readers that one presidential candidate has supported the financial support package Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is negotiating and one has tried to block it. He has to work very hard to do so:
This is no time for politics of the playground: The technocrats are in charge – Hank Paulson at the Treasury and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve – and even they are making it up as they go along.... Mr Obama and Mr McCain are obliged to play politics rather than having anything helpful to say.
So much for the idea that Mr Obama’s experience resides in “being tested on the campaign trail”. A fat lot of use that was when the financial system approached meltdown last week. Mr McCain did no better....
For Mr Obama, what has happened is not so much a result of specific regulatory failures (of which there have been plenty) but a wholesale failure of the enemy ideology. Here is his recommendation on how to move forward, almost in full: “You can fire the whole trickle-down, on-your-own, look-the-other-way crowd.”
Mr McCain, likewise playing to stereotype, sounded loud populist notes about greed on Wall Street and (again) the need for change in Washington. Both men continue to accuse the other of lies, distortions and gratuitous insults...
I would not have thought it possible to write about this issue without contrasting Obama's "We've got to get something done..." with McCain's "I'm not going to sign on to a deal just to sign the deal..." Simply not possible.
This is journalistic malpractice of an extraordinary order.
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
UPDATE: And Matthew Yglesias writes, about Marc Ambinder:
Kissinger and Preconditions: Marc Ambinder tries to sum up the Kissinger issue:
The only difference appears to be that McCain would insist that Iran do certain things before diplomacy commences, while Kissinger and Obama would NOT insist on any concessions.
“Do certain things” means... preconditions. In short, Barack Obama favors negotiations without preconditions. I think this is the correct strategy. Henry Kissinger also thinks it’s the correct strategy. So when Obama says Kissinger agrees with him, Obama is correct. When McCain says Kissinger does not agree with Obama, McCain is incorrect. That McCain is incorrect is evident from the logic of Marc’s post, but he doesn’t quite seem to be able to bring himself to say it.
More journalistic malpractice.