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Political Fantasizing

Let me make one thing abundantly clear: this article is nothing short of sheerest speculation, a brief flash of fevered excitement generated purely by my subconscious mind in response to reading all sorts of articles and pulling ideas out of all of them (and a few out of my ass) to patch together a scenario that tickles me no end.

John McCain has said that he will not participate in tomorrow's debate if he is still needed in Washington, DC, where he says he is needed to ride herd on Republicans and get them to support the bailout package -- and keep it from getting perverted into yet another pork-laden bill that Congress is infamous for.

Barack Obama has said that he is following the situation closely, and will return to DC if he's needed, but he will attend tomorrow's scheduled debate. Indeed, he has said that if McCain doesn't show, he'll turn it into a town hall forum.

When I heard that, my ears pricked up and my mind started spinning in top gear. So far, McCain has shown an almost uncanny ability to get inside Obama's head, to "get inside his OODA loop" (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) and throw the young upstart completely off his stride -- two examples would be his buying an ad during the Democratic primary to congratulate him on his achievement, and picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Could McCain pull another one on Obama?

Here's how it would play out in my little fantasy:

McCain announces on Friday afternoon that he's successfully gotten enough Republicans to back the bailout bill, and will attend the debate. He says that he understands that circumstances have changed and Senator Obama had spent the last day or so for an alternate forum, so he's willing to waive the pre-arranged topic of foreign policy and talk about domestic issues, especially the economy. And he'll even go along with the town-hall format, as Obama has said it would be in McCain's absence.

At that point, Obama is, quite frankly, screwed. McCain will have taken all his statements and declarations on the debate and accepted each and every one of them. And by doing so, McCain will be not only taking the high road, but seizing the high ground -- he will be able to talk at length at his efforts to try to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but being thwarted by the Democrats in the Senate -- the last time, while Obama was in the Senate. And by choosing the town-hall format, he will be playing to his strengths in debates, where Obama is notoriously lousy when speaking off the cuff -- especially of late.

At that point, tomorrow night's debate could be a shattering blow to Obama.

As I said, this is nothing but wild speculation and sheerest fantasy. But it COULD play out this way,

And damn, wouldn't that be fun?


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Comments (51)

A side question: Had the OO... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

A side question: Had the OODA Loop concept been developed when McCain was in the service? I seem to recall that the original articles on it were written in the mid-'60s. I wonder if the doctorine was developed in time for McCain to have received any training on it.

Yes.... (Below threshold)


And damn, wouldn't... (Below threshold)
And damn, wouldn't that be fun?


The dog fighting training w... (Below threshold)

The dog fighting training which McCain would have been trained in is the practical application of Boyds OODA loop ...

He gets the concept obviously, the man keep everyone, dems and repubs, off balance all the time ...

I think McCain should stay ... (Below threshold)
Andy Jackson:

I think McCain should stay in DC and send Sarah to the debate. That would be sweet!

If this is indeed how it pa... (Below threshold)

If this is indeed how it pans out, we'd all be better off because we would have a much better vehicle to view and rate the candidates. Standard form debates are a complete waste of time.

As I hinted in anoth... (Below threshold)

As I hinted in another thread, read what McCain actually said. And now Jay, you have done it and figured out a very interesting scene. Old and cunning beats young and smart every day of the week. I have noticed that Obama and his followers don't actually read anything, they scan for what they want to see, ignoring anything that does not enter into their world view. Can you say "Hubris?"

If you parse McCain's statement, you can get to where you got very easy. Tip of the hat Jay, now leave us see how it plays out.

I had this same thought exa... (Below threshold)

I had this same thought exactly... now

Be veeewy veewy quiet....

part of the OODA loop is that it is not telegraphed..

Cousin Dave-Nope. ... (Below threshold)

Cousin Dave-

Nope. OODA theory was developed in the late seventies, and began to spread during the eighties, mostly after McCain had retired from the military.

However, John Boyd was briefing congressmen and senators with an interest in the military on his theories throughout the eighties. Most famously, Senator Sam Nunn (D) and Congressman Dick Cheney (R) were strong supporters of these ideas.

A quick google search doesn't turn up any reports that Senator McCain ever sat for a briefing on OODA, but he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1986 on, and would certainly have been exposed to these ideas then.

With his move this week McC... (Below threshold)

With his move this week McCain has ensured that the audiance for Friday nights debate will be much larger ... he obviously wants it to be ...

He's going to be going up against Obama, on foreign policy, in the first and now even more highly anticipated debate ...

If he gets the O-Man in a corner there will be blood ...

Without a telepromter Obama can't even do one thing at a time ...

Obama's response this week has yet again reminded McCain about their first interactions in the Senate and that left McCain with a clear understand of what a slime Obama truely is ...

The only "reaching across the aisle" we'll see Friday night will be when McCain smacks down the flea of a man that Obama is ...

Clint,OODA loop ca... (Below threshold)


OODA loop came out of Boyds work in training fighter pilots to dogfight ... McCain would have gotten that type of training ... the US ramped up the dogfight training after Korea because of the poor performance our pilots demonstrated during Korea. By Vietnam the kill ratio increased dramatically because of this ...

So, you are correct, McCain would not have been trained in the OODA loop as it is known today ...

Sure does seem like he's inside Obama loop though doesn't it ?

Even I, who have know pract... (Below threshold)

Even I, who have know practical military knowledge, understand the OODA loop, thanks to Bill whittle :)

The games they play in the ... (Below threshold)

The games they play in the Senate is a perfect place to learn and practice OODA. McCain has had decades to figure it out.

Oh Jay, why do you tease us... (Below threshold)

Oh Jay, why do you tease us so? I have to get up early in the morning. Now I'll never get to sleep. I already have visions of obama cling to his podium, sweat dripping down his face, desperatly in search of a coherent response to some simple audience question.

Too bad McCain is willing t... (Below threshold)

Too bad McCain is willing to screw the deal that's been in negotiation for a week just to score political points.

Just as the public eventually rejected Palin as as purely political manuever so to will they see through McCain's latest stunt.

I already have vis... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:
I already have visions of obama cling to his podium, sweat dripping down his face, desperatly in search of a coherent response to some simple audience question.

Ewwww that is gross to even think about that. He already has the deer caught in the headlights look and anything more than that is just way beyond the pale.

McCain is scared of Obama. ... (Below threshold)

McCain is scared of Obama. He knows it will take only one more nail in his coffin and Obama and Biden are swinging hammers. McCain and Palin are running scared from the debates.

Interesting theory, but I t... (Below threshold)

Interesting theory, but I think I'm leaning towards this one

My colleague Nora McAvalnah tells me that sources close to Senate Democratic leadership now fear that McCain's true motivation for calling off his campaign and coming back to DC is simply to cast a "no" vote against the bailout, despite his private statements to the contrary. And it's a smart maneuver: nothing says "maverick," like voting against Bush and standing with the American public, who remain very wary of the proposal."

Added to which he would blame the Democrats for making him oppose it somehow. Hmm, on the one hand I like it because I hate this damn bailout, but then again I know if true it's just another of McCain's mavericky surprise moves he think are endearing but doesn't realize are becoming real obvious.

The debate thing is just cover. They're not going to change the format already planned and prepared if both of them are there. Besides, Obama doesn't run the debates, the commission does, and I don't think they'd go for it. Plus, the only source I can find for the whole town hall replacement idea is "an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post." Pffft.

Oh yeah, he's <a href="http... (Below threshold)

Oh yeah, he's screwin around, mavericky style:

During the White House meeting, it appears that Sen. John McCain had an agenda. He brought up alternative proposals, surprising and angering Democrats. He did not, according to someone briefed on the meeting, provide specifics.

One the proposals -- favored by House Republicans -- would relax regulation and temporarily get rid of certain taxes in order to lure private industry into the market for these distressed assets.

That approach has been rejected by Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans and, to this point, the White House. During the meeting, according to someone briefed on it, Sec. Henry Paulson told those assembled that the approach was not workable.

Rollin up the shirtsleeves and gettin er done, right?

That's some imagination ya ... (Below threshold)

That's some imagination ya got there, Jay.

I just wish I could personally thank McCain for winning the republican nomination. He's gonna make it easy if he keeps pulling shit like this.

A more likely scenerio:... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

A more likely scenerio:

Both McCain and Obama fly in right before the debates with an agreement that each will be allowed to make one statement about the economic crisis before the foreign policy debate.

McCain now has pulled two things to his advantange: 1) a much greater audience will be watching this debate; 2) Obama, notoriously bad at foreign policy statements and unscripted debates, has had his entire prep time interrupted. McCain will score a decisive victory before both fly back to DC for the weekend to continue the negotiations.

Something will be agreed and passed by the beginning of next week with both McCain and Obama's vote, although both will state where they would like future changes to be made. McCain will hit the campaign trail with the wind at his back.

cockroach - (nice moniker, ... (Below threshold)

cockroach - (nice moniker, BTW, very fitting)- "Too bad McCain is willing to screw the deal that's been in negotiation for a week just to score political points."

Of course the bill as you state it includes bailouts for every tom (auto industry), dick(credit card companies)and harry (etc), gee, what's not to screw-up?

mantis - "Rollin up the... (Below threshold)

mantis - "Rollin up the shirtsleeves and gettin er done, right?"

And differing ideas shouldn't be part of the process?

How so mantis?

Excuse you, marc, but I was... (Below threshold)

Excuse you, marc, but I was responding to Jay's post (you know, the one you're commenting on):

John McCain has said that he will not participate in tomorrow's debate if he is still needed in Washington, DC, where he says he is needed to ride herd on Republicans and get them to support the bailout package -- and keep it from getting perverted into yet another pork-laden bill that Congress is infamous for.

Rejecting the bill, offering alternatives up to 180 degrees from where it is now, opposing the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans, is not riding herd "on Republicans and get them to support the bailout package." It is transparently trying to muck up the process so he can say he opposed whatever passes, or so the vote will be delayed until next week, allowing him to skip out on the debate and possibly postpone (cancel?) the VP debate along the way. I think it's the former, but the way he's acting who knows? He's mmmmavericky.

Oh by the way, <a href="htt... (Below threshold)

Oh by the way, this guy's been on to McCain the whole time.

I'm watching CSPAN2 right n... (Below threshold)

I'm watching CSPAN2 right now and I've had the distinct displeasure of watching Reid, Dodd, Hoyer and Frank speak and take questions from the media.

First I heard Reid talk about how he didn't want Presidential politics interjected into the proceedings and then promptly spent a full five minutes praising Obama's questions/suggestions at the meeting at the Whitehouse, then immediately condemned McCain as upsetting things and being unhelpful. Reid is the one injecting "presidential politics" into this, and blatantly so. Not he or any other of the senate Democrats elaborated on what either candidate said (because you know, us rubes just wouldn't understand, I'm sure. Just take their word for it, mkay?) But he was eagerly followed by Hoyer and Frank to confirm that McCain was "bad" and Obama was "good". So much for keeping Presidential politics out of it, eh? It's almost as if Reid is blaming McCain for his own lack of control.

Then we get Dodd, who for all intents and purposes seems to earnestly want to come to terms on the issue. Well Duh, Dodd is part of the problem. As is Frank.

Then we get Frank who can't wait to tell us how bad McCain is, as if he himself just got elected last month and had nothing to do with this.

It's a friggin joke.

And the media is lapping it up. One of their questions was to ask Shelby outside - what was the tenor of relations between Obama and McCain. Absolute pap. And inside they were gobbling up the Democrats revelations about how great Obama is and Asked if McCain was basically ruining things.

I'm telling you. You can't make this shit up. Al throughout their ramblings, they were campaigning for Obama.

This is a truly historic mo... (Below threshold)

This is a truly historic moment...and fascinating as hell.

I'm on record as being for the bailout (and it is a bail out, not a loan...Wall Street will not repay the money under the Dem plan announced this afternoon) because the consequences are enormous.

Maybe we are going to witness a financial meltdown of unimaginable proportions.

The funniest moment of the day was when I clicked on MarketWatch's coverage of the "announcement" and saw the faces of Frank, Dodd and Schumer. If this country experiences a meltdown those three should be witnesses' number One, Two and Three.

Actually for his next polit... (Below threshold)

Actually for his next political stunt mcCain is going to fly himself to Vietnam and put himself back in jail. From there he will explain how in the cause of serving his country he is just unable to debate Barack Obama.

John McCain is turning into the biggest whore I have ever seen. I believe he would prostitute his wife if it would get him elected. depp=true
notiz=It's pretty apparent who is the attention grabber here.

jmc: if you have something ... (Below threshold)

jmc: if you have something to offer in respect to the issue, we'd love to hear it, you jerk.

mantisYou need to br... (Below threshold)

You need to bring a better source than that Atlantic piece.

I wouldn't be surprised if McCain heaved a wrench into the deal, but I won't take the Atalntic at their word.

Ambinder's been pretty reli... (Below threshold)

Ambinder's been pretty reliable thus far, and it looks
like you're right

Though Sen. Chris Dodd implied that Sen. McCain sandbagged the rest of the negotiators by bringing up alternative proposals, McCain himself did not bring up those proposals, according to four independent sources briefed by four different principals inside the meeting, including two Republicans and two Democrats.

"McCain has not attacked the Paulson deal," said a third Republican who was briefed by McCain direclty. "Unlike the [Democrats] in the [White House] meeting, he didn't raise his voice or cause a ruckus. He is urging all sides to come together."

Republicans like John Boehner brought up the concerns of House GOPers and McCain acknowledged hearing about their concerns. And McCain, and staffers, did seek to gauge the level of support of the GOP working group's white paper. The Democrats were left with the impression that McCain endorsed the GOP efforts, but they concede that he did not raise them directly.

There's more. Hmmm, interesting. We still don't know where McCain really stands, but he isn't actively trying to torpedo the bill.

My sentiments exactly,Hugh.... (Below threshold)

My sentiments exactly,Hugh. If there's going to be a bailout, fine. But I suspect that since that's pretty much a foregone conclusion, these guys have a tendency to take it to the next extreme and the next with a no-holds-barred attitude and don't want any checks on how far they'll go or who get's special protection or treatment. And if McCain so much as clears his throat they're going to go off the deep end.

The simple fact that members of the very committee that were supposed to protect the public from this kind of crap are now participating in working out a solution leaves me feeling, well, a little screwed before I even get dinner.

McCain says the most import... (Below threshold)

McCain says the most important qualification for VP is their ability to run the country on day one. So he picks the most in-experienced VP candidate in modern history.

McCain say he will run an honest campaign and the media has to put the fire in his pants out.

McCain says the fundamentals of the economy are strong and the next day states its a crisis.

Next he call for republicans and democrats to work together on a bill to save the economy. He flys to D.C. when the democrats and republicans are on the verge of an agreement. Now the entire process is erupting into a partisan conflict.

Nice going McCain, your putting the nails in your own coffin.

I think McCain sho... (Below threshold)
I think McCain should stay in DC and send Sarah to the debate. That would be sweet!

McCain doesn't even trust Palin enough to give a press conference and is trying to postpone her debate with Biden.

However, I do agree it would be sweet, just not in the manor you think so.

Three Problems:1) ... (Below threshold)

Three Problems:

1) This bailout is massively unpopular and McCain is trying to be a hero and take credit for it. Everyone hates this thing. Obama was smart to keep his distance.

2) If there is no deal by 6 PM tomorrow, and McCain breaks his word to show up at the debate it would be a tacit admission that the campaign "suspension" was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Obama will have called his bluff.

3) If he goes AWOL on the national security debate then Obama will spend 90 minutes debating an empty chair. Wow. A free Obama infomercial, all thanks to McCain failing to keep his commitment. With 100 million people watching.

I can't imagine #3 happening, but McCain has vowed to stay in Washington so he's basically stuck unless he blinks and goes back on his word. Either way, it looks gimmicky and #2 and #3 are both very BAD options for McCain.

I'm not sure he's thought this through.

I'm getting the distinct im... (Below threshold)

I'm getting the distinct impression that Republicans have decided on a different path and will try to block a broad bailout plan that is paid lump sum or in installments. McCain is married to whatever Republican strategy emerges and it doesn't matter if he is driving the bus or not.

I think Republicans are getting an earfull from the base, the gist of which is let the house burn down. That would be a mistake of monumental proportions but, ironically, I have many conservative friends ready to (they say) suffer the consequences.

This bail out issue is not about tomorrow's debate. We are witnessing a raw political battle right now because Congress and the President are on a clock with this thing and it's very short. As it is the Republicans that are objecting to this afternoon's deal, it probably comes down to whether they are willing to take the fall (and it will be a big one if they are wrong) if some economic calamity results.

jmc"John McCain is... (Below threshold)


"John McCain is turning into the biggest whore I have ever seen. I believe he would prostitute his wife if it would get him elected. "

You are out of line. This isn't a school yard where the biggest jerk wins, or at least I hope it isn't. I cannot believe that anyone pursuing a political cause would stoop to that gutter level. Well, maybe I can believe it since I saw it with my very own eyes.

JMC, you are a piece of trash.

"So he picks the most in... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"So he picks the most in-experienced VP candidate in modern history."

Says a cockroach who support the most in experienced P candidate in history.

"JMC, you are a piece of tr... (Below threshold)

"JMC, you are a piece of trash."

Larry, maybe he is thinking out loud. He probably has done this himself to get something, so he needs to project in an effort not to look so bad. He wasn't expecting you to have him figured out so well.

Another scenario to make su... (Below threshold)

Another scenario to make sure everyone has nightmares tonight:

Bush declares a National emergency, invokes martial law and cancels the election.

Burt, step away from the bo... (Below threshold)

Burt, step away from the bong...


McCain gallops into Washing... (Below threshold)

McCain gallops into Washington and what happens Jay Tea? The whole deal blows up and he fiddles as Rome burns.

McCain/Palin aka Laurel & Hardy 2008 should be their new bumper sticker.

Your fantasizing has turned into a nightmare. You ought to stick to fantasizing about something more fun.

BunionActually, on... (Below threshold)


Actually, one if not the most inexperienced presidents in history was Abraham Lincoln - even you know who that was don't you?

With all the problems this ... (Below threshold)

With all the problems this country is facing and the democrats nominate someone with the least experience in all US history.

JMC, you should stick to My Space forums, your juvenile verbage is insutling to all here.

JFO, you are what you are. ww

This is being discussed on ... (Below threshold)

This is being discussed on alot of other blogs. Apparently, the breakdown occured because the provisions of the bill required that 20% of the $700 billion would go to ACORN. Second, the house Democrats are saying that they can't pass the bill without minority support. That's an outright lie. The Democrats have a majority, and can (and have already) passed legislation without Republican support. They are looking for cover, as they don't want to jump alone. As someone else has said, you can rescue the financial system, or teach wall street a lesson, but you can't do both.

Oyster, Reid and oth... (Below threshold)

Oyster, Reid and others are acting as if the public has no brain. This is typical and an indication of how those on the left really view their own constituency. If you read Obama's Audacity, you see it from his own words.

Here is what he said:

"I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views. As such, I am bound to disappoint some, if not all, of them."

The guy scares me.

RPL, do you have a link for... (Below threshold)

RPL, do you have a link for that info? Because if it's true, it is not good.

Never mind, <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

Never mind, I found one.

This is exactly part of the bill in '05 that democrats scuttled. Republicans were seeking to deny federal housing funding to groups that also behaved as political entities. And rightly so, as far as I'm concerned. Especially in light of the tactics used by ACORN and NACA and in light of the current meltdown in which these entities played a prominent role. Vote Democrat and we'll help you buy a house you can't afford.

Well, if this is anything l... (Below threshold)

Well, if this is anything like the panic if 1907, the banks and the govt should be working together to strengthen faltering institutions. There is a lot of history repeating here so far. JP Morgan worked closely with the administration and stronger institutions to help the faltering ones. Too much govt interference would cause problems.

Chase just took over Washington mutual, and as scary as that seems, it's a lot better than the govt funneling Treasury money.

Second, the house ... (Below threshold)
Second, the house Democrats are saying that they can't pass the bill without minority support.

The dems should just knock off the minority crap and see this for what it is. Keep the govt's meddling with this crisis to a minimum and let the stronger businesses help out. Chase is just one example of what should be happening, not this govt bailout B.S.

@49: *Panic of 1907... (Below threshold)

@49: *Panic of 1907






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