WHY DO CONSERVATIVES HAVE SUCH CONTEMPT FOR McCAIN, WHOSE VOTING RECORD IS PRETTY MUCH STRAIGHT DOWN THE IDEOLOGICALLY RIGHT WING LINE?
Start by looking at a ranking of every member of the U.S. Senate based on their "Chips Are Down" votes on partisan roll calls involving substantive issues. Is McCain somewhere in the middle, where reactionary Democrats and moderate Republicans meet? Not even close. McCain is in the bottom 20 in terms of right-wing extremism. His voting record has been more radical right than, for example, Sam Brownback (R-KS), Larry Craig (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ted Stevens (R-AK)... In fact, McCain's voting record is to the right of not just every single Democrats and Lieberman but to the right of 29 of his Republican colleagues-- a clear majority of them. So what's all the bitching about?
McCain has a well-deserved reputation as someone who does not work and play well with others. His fellow Republicans have been describing him as an uncooperative show boat for years, always out for himself, never a team player. And he's nasty, even vicious, and foul-mouthed. Yesterday he came to CPAC hoping to mend fences with the extreme right of his party. He was both booed and cheered by the crowd. And in the end Republicans will rally round him. A handful of extremist nuts like Ann Coulter and Tom DeLay may refuse to vote but even Thad Cochran (R-MS), who just 11 days ago warned Republicans that the "erratic" McCain is "hotheaded," can't control his temper and that the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," has endorsed him.
Personally, you may have noticed that we have held Willard Romney is fairly low regard here at DWT, However, he was often correct about one thing: his assessment of John McCain. I suspect this page will soon come down, so I've decided to preserve it here at DWT so people can look it over as some of these Republicans line up behind McCain's quest for a third Bush term. Here's a Top 10 of McCain's attacks on his fellow Republicans:
1. Defending His Amnesty Bill, Sen. McCain Lost His Temper And "Screamed, 'F*ck You!' At Texas Sen. John Cornyn" (R-TX). "Presidential hopeful John McCain - who has been dogged for years by questions about his volcanic temper - erupted in an angry, profanity-laced tirade at a fellow Republican senator, sources told The Post yesterday. In a heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul, McCain screamed, 'F--- you!' at Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who had been raising concerns about the legislation. 'This is chickens---stuff,' McCain snapped at Cornyn, according to several people in the room off the Senate floor Thursday. 'You've always been against this bill, and you're just trying to derail it.'" (Charles Hurt, "Raising McCain," New York Post, 5/19/07)
2. In 2000, Sen. McCain Ran An Attack Ad Comparing Then-Gov. George W. Bush To Bill Clinton. SEN. MCCAIN: "I guess it was bound to happen. Governor Bush's campaign is getting desperate, with a negative ad about me. The fact is, I'll use the surplus money to fix Social Security, cut your taxes and pay down the debt. Governor Bush uses all of the surplus for tax cuts, with not one new penny for Social Security or the debt. His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We're all pretty tired of that. As president, I'll be conservative and always tell you the truth. No matter what." (McCain 2000, Campaign Ad, 2/9/00; watch)
3. Sen. McCain Repeatedly Called Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) An "A**hole", Causing A Fellow GOP Senator To Say, "I Didn't Want This Guy Anywhere Near A Trigger." "Why can't McCain win the votes of his own colleagues? To explain, a Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, 'Only an a--hole would put together a budget like this.' Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: 'I wouldn't call you an a--hole unless you really were an a--hole.' The Republican senator witnessing the scene had considered supporting McCain for president, but changed his mind. 'I decided,' the senator told Newsweek, 'I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger.'" (Evan Thomas, et al., "Senator Hothead," Newsweek, 2/21/00)
4. Sen. McCain Had A Heated Exchange With Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) And Called Him A "F*cking Jerk." "Senators are not used to having their intelligence or integrity challenged by another senator. 'Are you calling me stupid?' Sen. Chuck Grassley once inquired during a debate with McCain over the fate of the Vietnam MIAs, according to a source who was present. 'No,' replied McCain, 'I'm calling you a f---ing jerk!' (Grassley and McCain had no comment.)" (Evan Thomas, et al., "Senator Hothead," Newsweek, 2/21/00)
5. In 1995, Sen. McCain Had A "Scuffle" With 92-Year-Old Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) On The Senate Floor. "In January 1995, McCain was midway through an opening statement at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing when chairman Strom Thurmond asked, 'Is the senator about through?' McCain glared at Thurmond, thanked him for his 'courtesy' (translation: buzz off), and continued on. McCain later confronted Thurmond on the Senate floor. A scuffle ensued, and the two didn't part friends." (Harry Jaffe, "Senator Hothead," The Washingtonian, 2/97)
6. Sen. McCain Accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Of The "Most Egregious Incident" Of Corruption He Had Seen In The Senate. "It escalated when McCain reiterated the charges Oct. 10 in a cross-examination, calling McConnell's actions the 'most egregious incident' demonstrating the appearance of corruption he has ever seen in his Senate career." (Amy Keller, "Attacks Escalate In Depositions," Roll Call, 10/21/02)
7. Sen. McCain Attacked Christian Leaders And Republicans In A Blistering Speech During The 2000 Campaign. MCCAIN: "Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. ... The political tactics of division and slander are not our values... They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right." (Sen. John McCain, Remarks, Virginia Beach, VA, 2/28/00)
8. Sen. McCain Attacked Vice President Cheney. MCCAIN: "The president listened too much to the Vice President ... Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense." (Roger Simon, "McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy," The Politico, 1/24/07)
9. Celebrating His First Senate Election In 1986, Sen. McCain Screamed At And Harassed A Young Republican Volunteer. "It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst. 'Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn't look good on television,' Jon Hinz told a reporter Thursday. At the time, Hinz was executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. ... Hinz said McCain's treatment of the young campaign worker in 1986 troubled him for years. 'There were an awful lot of people in the room,' Hinz recalled. 'You'd have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He (McCain) was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn't right, and I was very upset at him.'" (Kris Mayes and Charles Kelly, "Stories Surface On Senator's Demeanor," The Arizona Republic, 11/5/99)
10. Sen. McCain "Publicly Abused" Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). "[McCain] noted his propensity for passion but insisted that he doesn't 'insult anybody or fly off the handle or anything like that.' This is, quite simply, hogwash. McCain often insults people and flies off the handle... There have been the many times McCain has called reporters 'liars' and 'idiots' when they have had the audacity to ask him unpleasant, but pertinent, questions. McCain once... publicly abused Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama." (Editorial, "There's Something About McCain," The Austin American-Statesman, 1/24/07)
No one in their right mind wants to see McCain's shaky finger on the nuclear button. That's what sent cold chills down Thad Cochran's back. But these guys are Republicans first and Americans second or third. Most of them have already lined up behind McCain to do what's right for their party and not give a hoot about our country.
Bush did it this morning, officially making McCain his heir. Heir to what? Sadly, No! was there and, as always, reports with great insight-- The Beast Is Red, Chapter 8: Twice Presented Him a Kingly Crown:
George W. Bush, when you get right down to it, is a fucker. That’s why I don’t like him. He’s a fucker who does fucked-up things. He’s a privileged little shit who doesn’t give a damp hell for the opinions of the people he was elected to govern. He buys into the toxic economic theories of unreconstructed capitalism, despite never having had to earn an honest living in his life, and he supports a worldview that cuts out anyone who hasn’t had his good fortune — the worldview of a murderous plutocracy stained with swaths of luck and cruelty where first is first and second is nobody. He’s stupid in the truest sense of the word: willfully ignorant and determined to surround himself with people who keep him that way, not only resistant to different ideas but actively hostile towards them. He is neurologically incapable of thinking ahead and he consigns the consequences of his actions to the status of dreams. And he forced his country into a pointless, unnecessary, unconscionably wasteful war that will poison every aspect of American life for generations.
...“Since I took office,” says the former cocaine addict, “the overall use of drugs by young people has dropped off by 24%.” Hey, he brought it up, not me. This gets a lot more applause than his next bit, where he spiels about fiscal discipline and everyone wonders who the fuck he thinks he’s talking to. Next, though, is the hottest little button of all, when he says that “human life is precious, and deserves to be protected,” as long as we aren’t talking about the life of towelheads or criminals or people who are dumb enough to live in a place that flood occasionally. The war spiel comes next, because even this dumb bastard knows that no one’s going to offer up any catcalls about the jackass war. “Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorists who wish to do us harm,” he claims, using a strange interpretation of “never again” which apparently means “at some point in the future,” since the last I heard the heirs to the Taliban were pretty much running roughshod over the joint. He offers up a little bit that’s calculated to make my blood pressure shoot up to Throbsville: he intends to sign an executive order that will force the President to explain wasteful and unaccountable spending. How fortunate that this doesn’t apply to him, and the vast financial sinkhole that Iraq has become. No fear, though: “When the history of this period is written,” says Mr. I Can Has Legacy?, “it will show that we were right.”
As of today, says the worst president in American history, “25 million Iraqis are free." A million more are beyond freedom, knowing what the dead know. At the final moment, he does what we all knew he would do: he gives John McCain the most tepid, most damaging endorsement imaginable, saying only that he hopes the crowd will support the Republican nominee for President. I’m tired and sick and burned, and I need to eat and I need to get away from all the choking self-satisfaction in the room. The whole place rises as one, roaring and chanting, calling for a repeal to the Constitution so this luckless bastard, so desperate to get the hell out of a job he never wanted to begin with and only took out of spite; and Bush stands there, holding a dripping knife – the only tool he’s ever used – just another misbegotten Mark Antony, waiting for the cheers of the crowd to die…
UPDATE: RADICAL RIGHT LOOKS FOR THE WORST POSSIBLE VP PICK FOR McCAIN
Pat Toomey was a far right extremist as a Pennsylvania congressman. He challenged Arlen Specter in a primary and had his head handed to him, as the GOP's always-principled right-wing lined up firmly behind Specter. Toomey managed to find a job at the neo-fascist Club For Growth. Today he wrote an editorial at Club For Growth's favorite propaganda sheet, the Wall Street Journal, insisting McCain look to his right for a running mate. Not counting people in prison, there aren't many people to McCain's right. Toomey's got a list. No mention of Ron Paul, of course, but why did Toomey leave out McCain's probable pick, former Virginia Senator George Macacawitz Allen?