Wednesday, May 11, 2016

McCain Forgiving To A Fault

Asked Sunday on CNN whether there is "anything specific in Donald Trump's national security profile that's better than Hillary Clinton's, anything specific that you like about what he said about foreign policy," Senator John McCain replied

Well -- well, I think American leadership, he emphasizes that, and I think that's important. 

This president doesn't want to lead. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state for four years. Tell me one accomplishment that she can point to, besides the fact that she flew more miles than anybody, any other secretary of state in history? 

Perhaps the Arizona senator is more impressed with the accomplishments of Clinton's successor at State, John Kerry, a long-time friend of his.   Last June, Kerry wrapped up a deal with Iran which would severely restrict its nuclear program for fifteen years in return for easing sanctions. Former National Security Council member and State Department official P.J. Crowley remarked "It's an enormous diplomatic accomplishment. There's no question that it has profoundly changed the status quo."

Accomplishment- just what John McCain appreciates. Except not always, it appears, Three months before the deal was consummated, forty-seven (47) Republican Senators had signed a letter written by Arkansan Tom Cotton which warned Iran

We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear weapons program that is not approved by Congress as nothing more than an executive agtreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of an agreement at any time.

This obviously was an effort, ultimately unsuccessful, to derail negotiations and deprive Mr. Kerry and the Administration of an accomplishment.  McCain, according to this Los Angeles Times' reporter, admitted “Maybe that wasn't the best way to do that” but "reaffirmed the letter's message (and) said he signed the letter quickly on a day when senators were rushing to get out of Washington before a snowstorm hit."

Although the communication was entitled "An Open Letter to the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran" (the personal touch), McCain's excuse is reasonably credible, given that it's hard to imagine him thoughtfully doing something clearly unpatriotic.

McCain has been as generous to Donald Trump as he and his comrades were when last year they gave a heads up to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Trump last July infamously disparaged McCain's military service by charging "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."

Now the Senator defends Trump, despite the criticism of the billionaire by party leader Paul Ryan and McCain's own buddy, Lindsey Graham.  "You have to draw the conclusion," McCain rationalized Sunday

that there is some distance, if not a disconnect, between party leaders and members of Congress and the many voters who have selected Donald Trump to be the nominee of the party,  You have to listen to people that have chosen the nominee of our Republican Party.  I think it would be foolish to ignore them.

It's the same, unpredictable fellow who would endure years in the Hanoi Hilton but then try to put Sarah Palin a heart attack or stroke from the presidency. The same MCain who is loathe, Charles Pierce summarizes, to criticize

a vulgar talking yam who began his campaign by ridiculing the torments of the damned that McCain endured in North Vietnam. (This is right up there with his sucking up eight years later to the forces who slandered his daughter in 2000.) Why does it alway seem that the way to gain John McCain's favor is to treat him as badly as possible?

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