There is much to like about John McCain. I have long thought his foreign policy instincts and advisors are dangerous, and that electing him would amount to endorsing a utopian-interventionist view of the world. At the same time, though his domestic policy positions are basically non-existent, I thought he would be useful curbing a Democratic Congress. My first-favourite result would be Obama as President and a Republican Congress, but since that was impossible, I thought that a McCain Presidency might be the lesser of two evils, at least on days when I convinced myself that budgetary considerations would keep McCain from giving way to his most interventionist impulses.
I understand that everyone on the left thinks McCain is running the most egregiously negative campaign in history. Phooey. While I don't really think the Ayers and Wright associations are that big a deal (they were useful to Obama at the time, but I trust his opportunism). On the other hand, they are perfectly reasonable subjects to give him trouble on. Neither McCain nor Obama are decent candidates for bodhisattva or saint, but by the standards of democratic politics, they are moderately honourable.
But this latest mortgage plan just shows that McCain disdains public policy too much. He proposes to buy mortgages -- not at the price their owners are willing to part with them as in the Paulson panacea, but AT BOOK VALUE! That is downright insane. The only possible excuse is that McCain just made up this policy on the fly during the debate, and has no idea what he is talking about. And that is not much of an excuse.
Obama is academically inclined, risk averse and fundamentally conventional. McCain is not quite so bright and a risk addict. I think the world would be better off with Obama.