Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McCain and Economics: Strange Bedfellows

We've seen the onslaught of "Economists against Obama" but we still don't know what McCain's stance is on a lot of policy issues. Or, rather, we know his stance has changed with no visible reason for changing. Here's an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal piece a few years ago. Contrast his stance then with his stance now on the "Bush tax cuts," as an example.

Featured Article - WSJ.com
Yet Mr. McCain holds the most eclectic set of economic policy positions of any politician I've ever met. He seems to defy political typecasting, reveling in the role of maverick. He voted against the Bush tax cuts ("Way too tilted to the rich"), while supporting antigrowth initiatives to combat global warming ("Climate change is just a huge problem that really needs to be confronted"), and is the lead sponsor--with Sen. Ted Kennedy--of a guest worker program to allow immigrants to enter the country legally. Any one of these landmines could blow up in Mr. McCain's face in conservative red state primaries in 2008. His 2000 presidential bid was capsized by Christian conservative primary voters in South Carolina. He readily concedes that "sometimes I have run-ins with the right-wingers in the party."

I come away believing that if I'm ever in a knife fight or in a foxhole, there is no one I'd rather have next to me than John McCain. Whether he's someone who should be steering the rudders of the American economy is a different issue altogether.