Whatever lingering respect I may have had for John McCain is surely gone now. Not that there was much left after he tried to foist Sarah Palin on us in 2008. In the video above McCain gets a dose of what his constituents think about Syria. So far so good. But being the craven political vulture he has become, he tried to recover by joining the ‘peachers:
TPM — “The fact is [President] Bashar Assad has massacred 100,000 people. The conflict is spreading … Iraq has now become a haven for al-Qaeda and the violence is greater than in 2008, the Russians are all in, the Iranians are all in, and it’s an unfair fight,” McCain said. “And no one wants American boots on the ground. Nor will there be American boots on the ground because there would be an impeachment of the president if they did that.”He added that the president has “bungled” the response to Syria “beyond belief” by consulting Congress after anouncing he would strike Syria.
Yeap, all designed to get the “I” word in there. In the space of about a week, McCain and company have gone from Obama should do something about Syria, to Obama should ask Congress about Syria, to Obama is showing a lack of leadership by asking Congress about Syria, to Obama’s congressional plea for a military strike doesn’t go nearly far enough on Syria, to Obama will be impeached if he goes too far in Syria. That’s quite a rapid series spine snapping reversals even for a veteran political animal.
Establishment Republicans are having a hard time making the adjustment to the peacenik party and for good reason: they know in their gut, it’s a big risk, especially in blood-red districts. Despite what voters say they want now, it opens them up to all kinds of attacks from both sides in the event something spirals out of control.
Say for example if Syria gassed or threatened to gas Turkey or Israel, the hawk politician in any district can say “Hey, I wanted to bomb those terrorist fuckers, but these pussies in Congress wouldn’t let us.” OTOH being dovish is taking the risk of being “soft on terrorism,” if it blows over long before election day 2014 as these things usually do, there’s not many right-wing base votes to be had for being a dove, and the growing progressive caucus is more united in their contempt for the wingnut birther fringe now running the GOP than I have ever seen. Being a dove isn’t going to win back those votes.