Thursday, October 17, 2013

This Way Or That

Who is the real John McCain?

Perhaps it's the fellow who, Kate Nocera of Politico reported, on March 7, 2013

quoted heavily from a Wall Street Journal editorial that slammed Paul’s filibuster on the Obama administration’s drone use, including a line that said “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in college dorms.”

A few months later, the subject (Ted Cruz) and the object (the Affordable Care Act) woul be vastly different, but the response from the Arizona senator similar.  Asked in September whether he would resort to a "talking filibuster" to defund health care reform, the Texas Repub stated "Yes. And anything else. Any procedural means necessary. Listen, this is the most important fight in the country."

McCain responded

I do note with some interest that most of the people who are doing this are new and do not have the experience that we had when the American people, who don’t like government but don’t want it to be shut down, reacted in a very negative fashion towards Congress for doing so...

I think Sen. Cruz is free to do whatever he wants to with the rules of the Senate. I will again state unequivocally that this is not something that we can succeed in, and that’s defunding Obamacare, because we don’t have 67 Republican votes in the Senate, which would be required to override a presidential veto.

Unchastened, on September 24 the Texas Repub maintained on the floor of the Senate

I guarantee you all of the pundits that we see going on TV and intoning in deep baritone voices, 'this cannot be done,' if we were back in the 18th century, they would be going on, I don't know, maybe pigeon carriers or something, sending messages written somehow in dark ink, 'This cannot be done. You can't stand up to the British army--can't be done. It's impossible. Accept your subjugation. Accept your taxation without representation...

If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany.  Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.'  I suspect those same pundits who say [defunding Obamacare] can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them, They would have been saying, 'You cannot defeat the Germans.

John McCain then responded

I do not begrudge Sen. Cruz or any other senator who wants to come to talk as long as they want to.  But I do disagree strongly to allege that there are people today who are like those who prior to World War II didn’t stand up and oppose the atrocities that were taking place in Europe.

I have an open and honest disagreement with the process. Comparing it to those who appeased, who were the appeasers …is an inappropriate place for debate on the floor of the United States Senate.

It's no surprise that the demagogue from Alaska would show up as the most high-profile supporter of the Cruz crusade.  And it's no wonder that John McCain would jump on his colleague's reprehensible comments.  Before he did, however, he had approached Cruz, who told McCain that he was referring to pundits, not Senators.  McCain would later explain he found that "a distinction without a difference," thereby implying an attack on journalists and the like as appeasers would be acceptable.

John McCain always has had a sort of respect for his colleagues- not necessarily as individuals but as colleagues.  That might account for his most noble act during campaign 2008, when at a town hall event in October he (gently) rebuked a supporter who stated she believed Senator Obama is a Muslim. McCain famously replied "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]."

Senators deserve respect and even some deference, the five-term senator believes. And that might explain why the critic of members such as Paul and Cruz- who have little regard for their institution- and of individuals who labeled then-Senator Obama as an Arab, a Muslim, or a Martian, Thursday told CNN

There’s going to be a fight in our party. There’s a fight in our party..   And that has to be waged. And it’s been there before. It’s also about internationalists versus isolationists. There’s debates that are going to go on in our party. And it’s probably healthy for us to have that debate. But at the end of the day we’ve got to come together.

Some place along the line we forgot Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment.  You know what it was? Don’t speak ill of your fellow Republicans. We’ve done way too much of that.

John McCain: sometimes a critic, sometimes a supporter, of Republicans, but always worshipful of Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6), and always entertaining.

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