John McCain has announced today, just two days before the first presidential debate between him and Barack Obama, that he wants to back out. John McCain says that because there is a big economic crisis in the United States, there should be no debate.
That’s the Republican way of doing things all over: Just when things get really bad, they want us all to stop the democratic process of finding a reasonable solution. They want everyone to stop talking. They want to short circuit discussion and get everyone to fall in line behind George W. Bush.
I’d like to remind Mr. McCain that America has taken the approach of falling in line behind President Bush before, and it hasn’t worked out well at all. When it came to the Patriot Act, the Republicans said that there was no time for debate. They sold our freedom down the river. When it came to the question of whether to invade Iraq, the Republicans said that there was no time for debate. Now, as America sits on the edge of a new Great Depression, the Republicans are saying again that there is no time for debate – no time for a debate in Congress, and no time for a debate between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Once again, the Republicans are telling America that when times get tough, we need to just hurry up and do something, without talking about whether what we’re doing makes any sense. Over the last eight years under Bush, the Republicans have become the political party of rushed, sloppy jobs.
John McCain and George W. Bush have got it wrong. When America is in crisis, that’s exactly the time when debate must take place.
More than ever, we need straight talk from America’s leaders. We need leaders who are ready to talk openly about the problems we face, instead of treating us like children who can’t handle the truth.
Open talk about the truth is what we’re not getting from John McCain right now. McCain is reacting to crisis the way that George W. Bush does. He’s becoming secretive and refusing to talk to the American people. He’s being dishonest, and telling us all just not to worry, because “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.”
If John McCain isn’t ready to speak openly to the American people now, then he will never be ready. If John McCain can’t stop running away from America’s problems, then it’s clear that he is not the person America should choose to lead the way in confronting those problems.