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John McCain: A man for all seasons?

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John McCain: A man for all seasons?

#1 Post by Pasha »

I stumbled on the article below, on the Old Grey Lady's website. I was wondering how McCain is perceived in the US generally and in the GOP particularly. On paper he looks like a vote winner, yet most republicans (so it seems to me) prefer Bush, is this an ideological thing? Frank S, Wholley, a penny for your thoughts gentlemen.

Pasha ... N1.html?th

May 24, 2004

The Greening of John McCain

Six or seven years ago, when he was a conventionally conservative senator from a reliably Republican Western state, John McCain could never have expected to find himself where he is now, all alone in the political catbird seat. One day he's touted as a possible running mate for John Kerry. The next he's assaulted by his own party with the kind of sputtering outrage that makes the target look good and the attacker look silly. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was so flustered by Mr. McCain's criticism of President Bush's wartime tax cuts that he accused the Arizona senator, a former prisoner of war, of knowing nothing about the meaning of sacrifice. All of which must amuse (when it does not pain) a man who relishes irony, political combat and the maverick's role.

What's going on with Mr. McCain doesn't mean much for the Democrats; the senator seems to mean it when he says he'll support Mr. Bush, that he won't leave the Republican Party and that he doesn't want to be anybody's vice president. What's important is that over the last few years, Mr. McCain has morphed into a different kind of Republican — one who's true to the party's most basic values, but with an appeal that transcends the current red-state-blue-state national standoff.

This transformation started with his feisty challenge to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential primaries, when he drew more support from independents than he did from rank-and-file Republicans, and accelerated when he started veering from the party line on a range of issues. Most notable has been his break with the White House on energy and the environment. Once a reliable oil-and-gas man, he seemed genuinely shaken by evidence of the effects of global warming, and has since teamed up with Democrats like Joseph Lieberman to fight for greater fuel efficiency, cleaner power plants and other environmentally useful objectives.

Environmentalism was, of course, a Republican issue first. Mr. McCain has simply rediscovered an old party value. The same thing is true of his longstanding fiscal conservatism. Here again he finds himself at odds with the White House and people like Mr. Hastert, who seem fixated on tax cuts however disastrous their budgetary consequences. Currently, he is part of a lonely band of four Republican moderates in the Senate — the others are Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island — who have bravely blocked passage of a budget that fails to balance huge tax cuts with either spending reductions or other revenue increases.

Until Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America gang of rebellious reactionaries roared into town after the 1994 midterm elections, there were quite a few Republicans in Washington like John McCain who thought highly of balanced budgets. There was actually one in the White House, also named Bush, who raised taxes in a necessary if politically painful attempt to bring the deficit under control.

But the McCains of this world are increasingly rare birds, and therein lies the strongest reason why he should resist the siren call of presidential politics and remain where he is and who he is. The gradual disappearance of moderates from the Republican landscape has helped neither the party nor the country. Mr. McCain's voice is more than a voice of bipartisan good sense. In time, it could lead the Republican Party back to where it once was and where it ought to be now.
"To subdue the enemy without using force, is the acme of skill" Sun Tzu.

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Frank S.

#2 Post by Frank S. »

This article is a good summary. Actually, one more Republican senator has now spoken against administration policies: Richard Lugar.
As to McCain, I do not believe he'll run again either for president or vice president.
Yes, he does speak out against his own party when he believes they are wrong and short sighted, but only on few issues which, though crucial, do not elicit much public scrutiny.
His views on foreign policy are a mix of party line and popular realism: we need allies, but if they disagree with us, we should disregard or circumvent them.
No true consensus appears there and on other issues. This detracts somewhat from his image as a bi-partisan.
He is, above all else, a politician, and he can dissemble with the best of them.


#3 Post by Wholley »

Hi Pasha.
Frank's about got it right,so I'll just add an aside.
John McCain to Dave Letterman when asked how he felt about
the(then)New President.
"President Bush and the First Lady invited my wife and I to dinner at the White house.
It was a pleasant evening,just the four of us,and the food tasters"

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#4 Post by Marina »

I always liked John McCain.
I thought he had an air sincerity in his politics right or wrong.

Wholley are joking about the food tasters ?
I am serious here. :-?
I thought Middle Eastern and the commies were the paranoid ones when it comes to food.


#5 Post by Wholley »

Senator McCain's comments about the food tasters were made in jest
to a CNN reporter who asked a stupid question(don't they all)
Boy,you really are catching up fast.
Welcome back girl we have all missed you.

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#6 Post by Marina »


I have definitely been away too long ! :oops:
No wonder I have lost the plot.

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