Yesterday, John McCain took the surprising step–brilliant, bizarre, or both–of suspending his campaign in order to rush back to Washington to work on a financial bail-out plan.
While it’s good news that the Paulson power grab appears dead, Sen. McCain’s decision to gallop into Washington makes it more likely that the taxpayers will be burdened with some kind of bad plan to bail out irresponsible banks and borrowers.
A couple of things that Sen. McCain said yesterday are deeply concerning. First, that a plan should be devised before the market opens on Monday. Good grief! Such haste virtually guarantees an ill-thought plan, rife with unintended, unconsidered consequences.
Second, that the plan must be “bipartisan”. This comes as no surprise from the GOP’s premier Democrat-collaborator, but given his earlier forays across the aisle–McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy–it doesn’t leave much hope for a good bill that respects the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
But the move does fit with Sen. McCain’s knee-jerk, principle-free approach to public problems that exacerbates, rather than corrects, their root causes. Too many illegal aliens? Make them legal! Campaign finance woes? Eviscerate the First Amendment! Too many people taking out mortgages they can’t afford? I shudder to think.
Congressional Republicans have done a laudable job of standing up to a Republican President. But will they be as principled against the man who hopes to be the next one? The next hours and days will show.
And during those critical hours and days, they would do well to remember the dictum of the last great Republican President: “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”