CNBC GOP Debate: McCain's Economic Revolution

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With all the focus on whether Fred Thompson would be able to stay awake for the entire debate, this little exchange between Chris Matthews and John McCain flew under many a radar, but it was a WTF? moment for me.

Chris Matthews addresses a question about the shrinking middle class to McCain:

Let me ask Senator McCain, you know, when a lot of us grew up, in the late '50s and early '60s, a young guy could come out of high school, marry his girlfriend from school, get a job at a big industrial plant making planes or making subways, and provide for a family with a middle-class income and his spouse wouldn't have to work.

Will we ever go back to that world again?

A legitimate question to ask of a Republican considering how poorly the economy has done in terms of real wages and household income, especially in Dearborn, Michigan, on the eve of the announcement of a UAW strike against GM. McCain's response?

I'd like to say yes, Chris, but I think we are in the midst of a revolution that we haven't seen since the industrial revolution. A lot of people don't know that 50,000 Americans now make their living off eBay.

Um, huh? So 50,000 people selling stuff online now constitutes an economic revolution? And how does that address the vanishing middle class? McCain goes on...but also derails the question...Some of what he says makes sense in some aspects, but then he starts treading into Democratic economic territory by trashing defense spending. John, John, are you gonna appeal to the base by cutting defense spending?


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