Republicans, traditionally, embrace the free market. Today the news is all about how the seven leading industrialized nations are agreeing to collaborate to solve the economic crisis; Secretary Paulson has announced that the United States government is prepared to take positions in the largest banks.
The news that everyone is talking about represents a tremendous amount of government intervention, something that would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. The plan involves government on a scale unrivaled since the Era of Franklin Roosevelt, and it is being backed, supported and promoted by a Republican president.
Unless McCain is ready to take the unprecedented action of reorganizing his campaign around Calvin Coolidge libertarian economic principles (the ones that lead to the first Great Depression) he has no political play on the most important issue of the day. That McCain has never given economic issues any serious thought compounds his problem.
With leaders around the globe returning to a Keynesian – even Galbraithian — approach to solve economic problems, voters, understandably, will turn to the political party that believes in government intervention into many areas of life, the Democrats. That’s the tide that McCain, even with his laudable resume, is up against.