How To Think Like John McCain

So let's see. According to John McCain,

1. The bad guys of the economic crisis are greedy bankers. They foisted homes and mortgages on innocent, unsuspecting middle Americans who couldn't afford them and (presumably) shouldn't have gotten them.

2. The Federal Government must buy up all these mortgages so that these people can stay in the houses they can't afford and shouldn't have gotten.

3. Why? Because home ownership is central to the American dream. Even Americans who can't afford a home should have one, and if they happen to get one, which they shouldn't, but might, thanks to unscrupulous bankers, the federal government should step in to make sure they don't lose it.

4. The crisis won't be resolved until house prices start rising again, thus making the American Dream unaffordable to more people.

5. He doesn't believe in a "litmus test" for the selection of Supreme Court judges, as long as they interpret the law and don't start making things up like rights and stuff.

6. Anyone who thinks there is a right to abortion in the Constitution is making it up.

Did John McCain have any idea what he was talking about last night? He delivered one nonsense line after another, each time leaning back with a satisfied "that'll show'em" grin. His delight in the witless line about "Joe the Plumber" who wanted to keep his money and not let Obama "spread it around" was unjustified to the point of weirdness. Why did he keep repeating it? Obama, meanwhile, calmly shot down each personal accusation: Bill Ayers, ACORN, obscure votes in the Illinois legislature—nothing could get through to injure him. If only Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative worked so well.

My favorite moment was the one where McCain was proposing some major federal initiative relating to children with autism, and Obama asked him how he could expand this program if he was planning an across-the-board spending cut. That seemed to be a genuine debating point, rather than a pre-rehearsed speechlet. Unfortunately, the silly presidential debate rules prevented him from driving the point home.

Check out other opinions on the debate from The Daily Beast team.