When Worldviews Collide

John McCain reinvented himself — again — this morning. And the latest avatar is the reincarnation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Speaking in Green Bay, Wisc. about the global economic collapse that’s flowed directly from the orgy of deregulation he and his ideological soulmates in the GOP oversaw, he invoked Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as his paradigm of “accountability and responsibility.”

He may like Ike, but he was channeling Joe McCarthy in his speech: Billed as a major policy address, it was in fact a litany of finger-pointing and a series of attacks on Barack Obama’s supposed ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Casting Obama as a consummate Washington insider whose campaign coffers are filled with the donations of Wall Street fat cats — can you say “projection,” Sen. McCain? — McCain sought to hang Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae chairman, around Obama’s neck as his chief housing adviser.

Obama has repeatedly denied this spurious McCain charge, but true to form, McCain keeps coming back to it, growing the lie as he gathered steam.

Today it was at the center of the preposterous charge that Obama somehow fostered misfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and precipitated the subprime meltdown.

No matter that independent fact-checking sources and media monitors have verified that Raines has never been an Obama campaign adviser. Or that McCain, not Obama, is the one who’s been in the Senate for 25 years, where he’s been a self-professed champion of deregulation, and a crony of banking industry lobbyists pushing for a financial industry unconstrained by government oversight.

Yesterday, Obama’s campaign issued a video on the economic crisis emphasizing Americans’ shared responsibility for helping to rectify the structural problems and policy lapses leading to this mess.

Meanwhile, on the same day, McCain, his running mate, and his surrogates were busy scapegoating, as this campaign ad makes disturbingly clear.

Watch the two videos and draw your own conclusions on whose worldview you want to direct the most powerful office in the world.


Alice Chasan served as editor and associate publisher of Shelterforce from 2007 to 2008.

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