I must say, if I could ask to delay my papers, problem sets, theses, experiments, tests, and other central examinations of my academic capability as McCain has done for his convention and now proposes to do for the presidential debates, my life would be hella easier. This is when the nation gets to see the candidates grilled and hear exactly what they will do when they ARE in charge of this mess* — and remember, one of them will be, come January.

While McCain is busy ditching his primary duty, I have a question for him: how do you justify the Bush proposal as small government? This is not individualism, this is not laissez faire capitalism, nor is it free market policy; this is Big Brother-scale interference, and it isn’t going to work. In the individualistic, Smithian market that we proudly claim, big firms that fail are allowed to tank. If they can’t dig themselves out when the  markets begin to turn, it’s not the government’s problem. Others will rise in their stead after no great length of time, and it serves as a caution to other financiers.

To tell the truth, we don’t have an entirely laissez faire system because the government and the people are adversely affected by downturns, and they don’t like it. Some regulation is generally a good idea (look what happened to our deregulated airline industry after 911–it failed while the regulated industries of other countries thrived), but you can’t only have regulation when you’re in trouble; the point is that it softens the peaks as well as the troughs. Nor does it work when applied only to the top of the system; it has to normalize for everyone.

Bush & McCain seem to seem to see the government as a tool to soften just the downturns for only a handful of very rich men. Mathematically, it doesn’t work. Yes, our economy is in a bad way, but 1) it has been going downhill since Bush ran us into debt, and 2) we’ve known how things were headed all summer. Bush and McCain have spent the whole time vigorously denying the downturn in the housing market and the “not a depression.” Why is Wall Street now so important? Because your campaign officials consulted for them? Because “some call you the elite; I call you my base?”

At a guess? Yes.

Now, Obama is doing the intelligent thing by talking with his advisers and figuring out what people smarter than himself think. That shows that he’s capable of overcoming his personal limitations to deal with national issues. McCain, on the other hand, is once again ditching his duties because he hasn’t done his homework. As president, one doesn’t have the luxury of postponement. I hope I never find out what else McCain would try to put off as president.

*According to Palin’s interview, we can’t expect much from her running mate, unfortunately.