As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: John McCain

McCain to Reporter: “Why Would You Ask Something that Dumb?”

A reporter, apparently from Fox News – MSNBC wants to make a big deal of this – asked Sen. John McCain whether his relationship with the president had deteriorated to the point that he would block anything that comes down from the White House.

McCain was furious. “Why would you say something that stupid? Why would you ask something that dumb?”

Well, a couple of things on this.

First of all, the basic question is not dumb, but it was worded in a dumb way. I have little doubt that McCain’s personal pique at the president, probably stemming from Trump ridiculing his capture by the Vietnamese, is what caused the senator to sink the Obamacare “repeal” bill. His explanation that he did it because proper Senate procedures were not followed doesn’t hold water. So while McCain certainly isn’t going to block everything Trump proposes, if it comes from Trump, it will affect how he considers it. And that’s probably why McCain got so angry, because he knows there is truth in the question.

Another thing to note is that this is a McCain that used to be better known around Capitol Hill. He was viewed years ago as a hothead, but over the years, seemed to get it pretty well under control. That this outburst is happening now is somewhat suspicious. I know it’s not polite to say this, but at some point, the brain tumor that is going to kill him will start affecting his judgment and his behavior.

I feel horrible about it because I got to know McCain covering him years ago and got to like him immensely on a personal level, even if I sometimes disagree with what he does politically. But it will be important for him to make a determination about when he has reached the point at which he can’t perform his duties, because with the margin so close in the Senate, he wields enormous power, as we have seen.

McCain Opposes Obamacare Repeal

Sen. John McCain Friday became the second Republican to oppose the latest Senate effort to repeal Obamacare, joining the other Senate Master of Self-Indulgence, Rand Paul, in opposition. Just one more Republican opponent and the bill is sunk.

From McCain’s statement:

As I have repeatedly stressed, health care reform legislation ought to be the product of regular order in the Senate. Committees of jurisdiction should mark up legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment. That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority.

We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do.

And blah blah blah blah blah. Note the contradiction in the last sentence. Democrats, very likely thanks to McCain, will not have had short-lived success.

There is no way that McCain would normally be a “no” vote on this. Here is the statement he should have given:

I’m a mad as hell that Donald Trump said mean things about my capture and imprisonment by the North Vietnamese, and now I have my revenge.

That’s what’s going on here, believe me. Because of one person’s grudge, Obamacare likely will stay. It’s a sad end to Sen. McCain’s honorable and heroic record of service.

McCain should be mad. He also should do what’s right for the country.

John McCain is About John McCain

I honestly hate to write a negative piece about John McCain, because I can’t help but like him. I’ve known him a bit from my coverage of Capitol Hill, and he’s great to be around, he’s a gentleman, he’s honest, and of course, he’s a hero. And now, he’s dying.

He has always been a “maverick” and a “rebel.” I think it’s his personality. But ultimately, there is a self-indulgence to the man that puts himself before what’s right for the country.

I think some of it, maybe a lot of it, stems from his involvement in the Keating Five scandal back in the 1980s. He was cleared of charges, but something so precious to him, his honor, was tarnished. And so, I think, making sure people understand how honorable he is has become part of his life’s mission.

His vote against the Obamacare “repeal” bill last night, which sunk the measure, and his betrayal of the will of so many Republican voters, was not about the content of the bill. It was about process. The process wasn’t great, it’s true – Republicans were ramming repeal through just like the Democrats had rammed through passage – but most people not so rigid about their “honor” and so forth could just let it go and decide that Republicans have been promising to do this for seven years, it’s best for the country, and let’s move forward.

There are, indeed, times to stand on principle. This principle was not big enough for it given the enormity of the stakes.

But not John McCain. He had to show he adheres to higher standards than the rest of the Senate. And maybe there’s a bit of “screw you” to his GOP colleagues, latent liberal sentiments, a middle finger to Donald Trump – who said something about liking people who don’t get captured – and a desire for one last dramatic John McCain moment. “Wait for the show,” he told a reporter earlier in the day when asked how he’d vote.

But now I’m way over-psychoanalyzing.

But I know John McCain this morning feels good about himself. And the American people will suffer for it.

John McCain has a Brain Tumor

Very sad news to report. Sen. John McCain, an American hero who for years was incarcerated by the North Vietnamese and who has spent most of his adult life serving his country either in the military or in Congress, has a brain tumor. The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said tests revealed “a primary brain… Continue Reading

Carney Ripped Apart by McCain

Starting his gig as a CNN commentator, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Wednesday ran up against something he’s not used to – an aggressive challenge, free of the protocols of a White House briefing, in which a knowledgable adversary tolerates none of his spin. Carney, who hasn’t figured out yet that he has to… Continue Reading

WH Defends Witless Ambassador Pick

The White House is standing by George Tsunis, President Obama’s pick for ambassador to Norway, despite a side-splitting confirmation hearing performance in which he averred that Norway has a president, which it doesn’t, and that the Norwegian government had condemned a Party with which it has formed a coalition. “I can tell you that this… Continue Reading

GOP Senators “More Troubled” After Rice Meeting

Three Republican senators who have led those concerned with the possible nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to be Secretary of State say they are even more troubled after meeting with her today, according to the Associated Press. Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire met… Continue Reading

The Way Off the Fiscal Cliff Starts to Become Clearer

I don’t think the government is going over the fiscal cliff. That is, I believe Republicans and President Obama will reach a deal on tax increases and spending cuts that will avert cuts that everyone agrees will harm the economy and undermine national security. The signal comes in this paragraph in a Washington Post article… Continue Reading

McCain: Carney a “Very Deep Disappointment”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was a “very deep disappointment” to him, saying his habit of attacking opponents like McCain has caused Carney to disgrace himself. McCain said Carney ought to “grow a beard” so he wouldn’t be able to see himself in the mirror. They attacked me… Continue Reading