Like most Americans, we’re rooting for Sen. John McCain to whip brain cancer’s ass, defy the odds, and finish out his career of public service with dignity and heroism. And we’re sure if anyone has the inner backbone to do so, it’s the crusty war hero from Arizona.
But personal tragedy does not give one a free pass to be praised for anything and everything they do, and there’s been very little to praise McCain about over the last eight or nine years. His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008 was a high mark. His relentless attacks on President Donald Trump have been a low mark. Or maybe his participation in the Gang of Eight amnesty bill? Hmm, hard to say. In any event, he might have outdone both with his speech before the Senate on Tuesday.
While we admire McCain for making what must have been an arduous journey back to Washington in a state of health that’s less than robust, and we appreciate him casting the deciding vote to get the Obamacare repeal debate going (for whatever good it’s going to do…but that’s another story), what was with that speech? We don’t find many occasions where we agree with liberal criticism of Republicans, but the pundits on the left are right on the money this time. If you’re going to deliver a speech bashing the Republican healthcare bills, it carries quite a bit more gravitas if you didn’t just VOTE TO ADVANCE THOSE BILLS!
Liberals are, of course, more irritated by the vote than the speech, but we see things from a different perspective. In his sanctimonious oratory, McCain showed exactly why he and so many other Republicans are failing to get the job done in Washington. Like so many from the Bush era, McCain has yet to grasp that we are in a life-and-death fight for the future of this nation. He still thinks the Democrats of old are the Democrats of today. He still thinks this is a battle between good people of slightly different opinions. He still thinks there’s room in the middle for us all to come together and sing kumbaya.
“The [Obama] administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours,” McCain said. “Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act? If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order.
“Let the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from both sides,” he continued. “Something that my dear friends on the other side of the aisle didn’t allow to happen nine years ago. Let’s see if we can pass something that will be imperfect, full of compromises, and not very pleasing to implacable partisans on either side, but that might provide workable solutions to problems Americans are struggling with today.”
Sorry, but no. Just no. WE WON THE ELECTION, JOHN! The people have spoken. Why are Republicans like McCain so desperate to “compromise” and play nice and give in when they hold the cards? And so committed to endless surrender when they don’t? This is how we wound up in this mess to begin with! We need drastic, dramatic action in Washington to turn back the overwhelmingly liberal tide of the Obama era – a few fixes here and there aren’t going to cut it! And we need Republicans willing to go to Washington and FIGHT for the very things they campaigned on.
This isn’t just about John McCain; this is about every single Republican who suddenly seems embarrassed by their own conservative values. Stop playing to the Washington Post and start playing to the people who work for a living – the people who are counting on you to make a real difference. The people who are counting on you to help make America great again.
Or find something else to do.