OK, it’s not over yet, and John Milhous McCain may still win, but if he loses he need look no further than to the week the financial blowup occurred. These bailouts are the federal government’s way of propping up artificially high housing prices, bad debt, and connected friends and associates at insolvent banks. Most of all, they are an attempt to pump life support into a system that is geared toward protecting the ongoing financial irresponsibility of the federal government.

If the race had a real fiscal conservative (e.g. Ron Paul) who flatly opposed these ongoing bailouts from the beginning, I believe that guy would be well ahead right now. Instead, McCain played the consummate insider and went to D.C. He couldn’t do otherwise; it’s just not who he is.

Despite being a self-proclaimed “maverick,” McCain, like George W. Bush, Dole, Ford, and Nixon before him, is an establishment Republican. It’s no surprise that his hero is Teddy Roosevelt. McCain’s “maverick” status was mostly built on taking liberal stands on environmental and economic issues. Anyone remember his silly campaign finance reform bill that liberals (and George W. Bush) were only too happy to support? How about his support for Kyoto? How about the prescription drug boondoggle he trumpeted a few years ago (also supported by W)? Yes, John the Maverick is against some earmarks and pork, but this is a drop in the bucket compared to, say, his prescription drug plan or the 300 billion he recently promised to back up bad mortgage debt. He rarely mentions the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, America’s social security system, which is where any serious reform needs to start (along with abolishing the central bank). McCain spends dollars while fighting to save pennies.

McCain’s “conservatism” was pegged long ago by R.L. Dabney:

Its history is that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at least in the innovation. It is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition.

The sad part is that as bad as McCain is on economic matters, Obama would be even worse. That’s saying something.