McCain LettermanIf our leaders in Washington are to be believed, we should all be shitting ourselves right now. This is the most serious economic crisis facing the US economy since men rode on dinosaurs 4000 years ago (if our creationist friends have it right), and nobody knows what the hell to do about it. They’re trying, though, and although I’m an ardent libertarian who doesn’t want the government involved in anything, the fact is that the government already is involved in everything, and a $700 billion bailout to save America from the Great Depression Mark II doesn’t sound like a bad idea as long as that’s the case. I’ll save my “Government Out!” spiel until after we’ve all been rescued from the death of the fiscal gas chamber; on this I agree with Megan McArdle. As of the time of my writing, the meeting of politicians working on the bill is being described as “chaos” and “pandemonium”, but it looks like the plan will probably go ahead.

One of those working on this is presidential candidate John McCain. Yesterday, McCain suspended his campaign and the debate tomorrow night and cancelled his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, truly pissing off Letterman. As reports Entertainment Weekly:

John McCain dropped out of his scheduled appearance on the Late Show at the last minute, citing a need to go to Washington immediately to fix the economic crisis. Letterman …. made a point last night of praising McCain’s past heroism while at the same time calling out his excuse for standing Dave up as fishy. Turns out Dave’s suspicions were correct; instead of returning to D.C., McCain was at that very moment just a few blocks away being primped and made up for an interview by fellow CBS-er Katie Couric, as Letterman demonstrated by cutting to the live feed at the CBS Evening News studio.

Not a fun moment for McCain, whose suspension of the campaign has been, as reader Joe has suggested, a bit of a miscalculation. It didn’t go down well either in Washington, where some of the folks working on the bailout plan are saying that McCain didn’t help much at all when he got there, but rather hindered the talks. Yikes. A bit of an own-goal there.

The question now is whether the first of three presidential debates will continue as planned tomorrow. McCain says he’s not coming unless the deal is entirely worked out in Washington; Obama says the debate should go ahead and he plans to attend as scheduled; the media are preparing their schedules as though it’s going ahead; the organizers are continuing to prepare for the debate. Debate or no debate? Wanna bet? (I think I’m leaning toward it happening.)

Debate Party, anyone? I’ll bring the nachos.