Sep 07 2013

If I had any respect for McCain, it’s gone now

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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.


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  1. 1

    But this is something that Obama requested, and voting against the president’s policies has become the signature feature of Republicans. It might not cost them anything.

  2. 2
    Neil Rickert

    Whatever lingering respect I may have had for John McCain is surely gone now.

    Your respect has lingered too long. I gave up on McCain around 7 years ago, when he capitulated on torture. Since then, it has become increasingly obvious that McCain is a warmonger.

  3. 3
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Just one point:

    I’m quite convinced that Sarah Palin had not been McCain’s idea, but that she was forced upon him. In fact, I’m very sure that, if the decision of who would be his VP had been his idea, it would have been Joseph Lieberman. For the record, my dad’s side of the family are friends with Lieberman (he was even at my dad’s Bar Mitzvah), and early on, before McCain had chosen his VP, Joe was talking about it with my dad’s parents; that’s why I say this.

    Sarah Palin, from what I can tell, was a bald-faced attempt to cater to the Tea Party, and was not McCain’s choice.

    However, I have to agree with Neil; McCain lost me when he started waffling on torture…

  4. 4

    But this is something that Obama requested, and voting against the president’s policies has become the signature feature of Republicans. It might not cost them anything.

    Yes, until Iran comes up. Then they are stuck having sold “no war” to a gullible base.

  5. 5

    Are you referring to the John McCain who personally dropped bombs from the plane he was flying onto innocent men women and children he could not see in Vietnam? You had some lingering respect for him?

  6. 6


    “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.”

    Agree, but with me that was it. He lost me at that point for good. He should have retired in shame at that point.

  7. 7
    Marcus Ranum

    increasingly obvious that McCain is a warmonger

    He was part of operation Rolling Thunder – dropping assloads of bombs on Vietnam. What, do you think, he’s a nice guy? As a war criminal, he’s eminently qualified to vote on whether the US should violate international law again by bombing another country.

  8. 8
    Albert Bakker

    There is a lot of self pitying going around in the Obama camp. Poor Obama as a President of the US he has to make tough decisions in between golfing and worse yet take responsibility for them too.

    Fact of the matter is that everything that was wrong with the Bush administration continued under Obama and some of the worst things he expanded. And now he is volunteering assistance to al Qaida in Syria, (who might well have been the real culprits behind the chemical attacks, with chemical agents they are said to have been provided with by the main US ally in the region, SA) the “progressives” or the “left” decide their highest priority is to shield Obama from “unfair” criticism or bemoan his expected vulnerability to dirty play in party politics.

    This on the brink of the easiest avoidable, stupidest and most unnecessary war in the history of man thus far. And if the absurdity of it all wasn’t already a historical record breaker, they are already escalating before even having begun a war thats is supposed to guarantee that it must not actually change anything on the ground.

  9. 9
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    Albert you are either a liar or an idiot. Not that those are exclusive. We now know that three core conservative ideas — ground war in the middle east, tax cuts for the rich, and deregulation for industry — are catastrophically bad ideas. When Obama takes that path, or even if he just hits two out of three and lies us into a trillion-dollar war and his cronies push policies that create a second great depression, he will finally be near the GOP. Until then, that’s an awful high bar to clear.

  10. 10
    Albert Bakker

    So let me be an idiot then. But that reflex is exactly what I mean.

    Torture continues under Obama, just much more secretive. Summary executions by drones have been expanded, handing strategic victories to al Qaida as a byproduct next and partly because of countless individuals collectively counted as a single entity ‘collateral damage.’ The surveillance state, so lamented over by the left under Bush, has been expanded under Obama to a level that leaves Kim Jong-un green with envy.

    Oh yeah but the other ones are still just a bit worse.

    When Bush were still in office and about to start yet another clusterfuck of a war under false pretenses without any clear objective or plan I bet there would be less of an effort to detail the many party politics dilemmas in the decision making process to start a war for no good reason.

  11. 11
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    Again, Obama would have to do quite a bit more and fail a hell of lot more than what you’re worried about to be ‘just as bad as Bush.’

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