Ummm, David?

I can call you David, right? Mr. Brooks, columnist for the NY Times seems so formal, and this is the kind of news that's best delivered with a personal touch. There's a little problem with the way you ended today's column. I mean, you didn't do a terrible job with your description of the economic problems and how we got here, and I even enjoyed your use of Plato's cave as a metaphor for the way hotshot finance people see the economy and money in general. But like I said, there's a problem with your ending.

This is the test. This is the problem that will consume the next president. Meanwhile, the two candidates for that office are talking about Bill Ayers and Charles Keating.
Here's the problem. Ayers isn't relevant, but Keating is.

Yes, Keating is old news. I was just out of high school at the time, newly married, baby on the way when the Keating Five became big news. That baby is now a college freshperson--that's how long ago it was.

But it's still relevant, because it shows just how little John McCain cares for regulation of the financial system. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but bear with me.

See, John McCain doesn't like regulation. He doesn't like it because his buddy Phil Gramm doesn't like it. McCain wouldn't personally know why regulation is good or bad if you rolled up the information into a bat and hit him in the head with it repeatedly--he just goes along with his buddy Phil, who's one of the worst humans alive on the planet right now, and since Phil hates regulation, then doggone it, McCain hates it too. Makes things simpler that way.

Only that lack of regulation has led to the very mess that you were talking about in that column of yours.

Do you know how William Ayers feels about economic regulation? I doubt it. I don't either, and you know why? Because it doesn't matter. Ayers is a relic of Nixonland, at least the way the McCain campaign is talking about him. He's a symbol of a different time and place in our national politics, one which has little relevance to our current time and set of problems. Hell, even the modern anti-war movement has denounced the tactics of Ayers and the group he was once a member of.

Look, I know that you feel a duty to defend your guy, to be the guy who lays down the sacrifice bunt to move McCain over to second in hopes that Palin can get him home with a single. But here's the problem (and yes, I plan to beat this baseball metaphor to death): McCain is down by seven, you've never been good with the bat, and Obama is throwing smoke right now. And he's got Biden in the bullpen, who's already shown he can strike out Palin if he needs to. Besides--her sport is hockey, not baseball.

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