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A Metaphorical Car Wreck

12:12 PM, Jul 7, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
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Today is a big day on the campaign trail, as the McCain campaign has kicked off its "Focus on the Economy Week." And where does the focus go? You know it - on balancing the budget! Somewhere in New Hampshire, Warren Rudman is cackling maniacally.

I kid you not. With the country in a panic over a housing crisis, a credit crunch and sky-rocketing fuel prices, the McCain campaign has focused like a laser beam on balancing the budget. Please - someone tell me this is a product of studying the world's dumbest focus group rather than where the campaign's heart truly lies.

Actually, the entire McCain economic message is muddled. In addition to balancing the budget, the McCain campaign pledges vigorously to hold the line on all existing taxes while even cutting some. So philosophically what you have is a car wreck featuring the Concord Coalition and the Jack Kemp/Phil Gramm wing of the GOP. The resulting twisted steel and mangled flesh isn't pretty.

And then there's this gem from the Politico:

"The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction."

Huh? Is anyone at McCain HQ familiar with the advanced economic concept that dollars are fungible?

In the New York Times today, Bill Kristol speculates that Mike Murphy may be about to ride in on his white steed to save the McCain campaign from itself. Maybe he's right. Normally, one would expect the existing command structure of a campaign to fight to hold onto its power. But today's antics look and sound more like a desperate cry for help from McCain's minions.