Posts Tagged John McCain
Attention has been paid to those Pro NRA Senators who refused to support the Universal Background Checks bill, and who now have suffered drops in public opinion polls in their states, including Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Nevada Senator Dean Heller, and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.
Not as much attention has been paid to the Senators of both parties who did not let their basically Pro NRA viewpoints stand in the way of common sense and reality.
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana
Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Senator Jon Tester of Montana
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
Senator Mark Warner of Virginia
And shame on Democratic Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Nick Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Max Baucus of Montana for voting against the Universal Background Checks, and a salute to Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mark Kirk of Illinois, who joined Pat Toomey in support of the legislation!
The threatened filibuster of having a vote on gun regulations, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre, should be enough to lead to filibuster reform in response!
Five Tea Party affiliated Senators should be ashamed of themselves for not allowing a vote at the least, since the likelihood of major reform is highly unlikely. But in honor of the 20 dead children and six educators at Sandy Hook, plus the victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and other tragedies, why not let a vote take place? How obscene and heartless can these five Senators be?
The five Senators who should be roundly vilified and condemned are :
James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Mike Lee of Utah
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Ted Cruz of Texas
Marco Rubio of Florida.
The latter three have Presidential ambitions, but if the GOP were to nominate Paul, Cruz, or Rubio after not allowing a vote by a threatened filibuster on the gun issue, then they are most certainly dooming themselves for the long term future, as a party being led by heartless lunatics of the far right!
Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening filibuster reform, which is a simple majority of the Senate, if the extreme right wing stands in the way of a vote on background checks for gun purchases, supported by 90 percent of the nation and 80 percent of Republicans in recent polls. And John McCain has protested the idea of a filibuster, and even Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania seems ready to promote some kind of gun regulation reform.
The GOP cannot allow its fringe members to destroy the party’s future, which is what the threatened filibuster would do!
In the past half century, four Democratic nominees for President, all considered “underdogs”, were elected President.
John F. Kennedy was an underdog in 1960, being a Roman Catholic nominee, thought unlikely to be nominated or elected, but defeating Vice President Richard Nixon, who was far better known.
Jimmy Carter was an underdog in 1976, the first Southern nominee for President since Zachary Taylor in 1848, and really considered the longest of long shots to be the Democratic nominee, and yet won the Presidency over President Gerald Ford.
Bill Clinton was an underdog in 1992, considered part of the “second tier” of possible Democratic nominees for President, and thought to be “dead in the water”, due to the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal, but managing to be the “Comeback Kid”, and win the nomination and the election against President George H. W. Bush.
And Barack Obama was certainly considered an underdog to Hillary Clinton in 2008, and being African American, seemed a particularly “long shot” to go all the way to the Presidency, defeating Senator John McCain of Arizona.
All four Democratic winners all had youth–Kennedy at 43, Carter at 52, Clinton at 46, and Obama at 47 years of age. And get this–these four men were elected exactly SIXTEEN years apart–1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008!
Could this happen again?
Hillary Clinton is seen as the clear front runner, and Joe Biden is the second established “veteran” in the potential race for President in 2016.
But could it be that Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, or Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, or Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, or Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, or a future Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, or Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts would end up as a sudden surprise during the primaries and caucuses in 2016, and emerge the nominee and the winner of the Presidency?
Who can say, but the past COULD be an indicator of the future!
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has become a celebrity, due to his 13 hour filibuster, postponing consideration of John Brennan, a twenty five year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, to become its head, The purpose of the filibuster was to gain a guarantee from the Obama Administration that drones would not be used on American soil against American non combatant citizens.
It has caused the American Civil Liberties Union to back Rand Paul, and some Democrats as well, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, as well as several progressive journals and web sites.
But the biggest manifestation has been the split developing in the Republican Party between the Tea Party Movement supporters (such as Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio) and the neocons (John McCain and Lindsey Graham, particularly), and this is great news for the Democratic Party!
Rand Paul is now being talked about more seriously as a potential Republican nominee for President, a thought that makes 2012 candidates for the nomination look as the beginning of a trend of continued disaster that will only become worse in 2016.
Bring on Rand Paul, and watch the GOP split asunder, and watch Rand Paul make Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole, past GOP Presidential losers, appear brilliant by comparison! RIck Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain were all embarrassing and disastrous, but Rand Paul would be the most disastrous nominee in history!
If Rand Paul is nominated, and even if he divides the Republican Party while losing the nomination, he will only insure a massive popular vote victory by any Democratic nominee for President, particularly Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but including others, such as Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo, Elizabeth Warren, or Mark Warner!
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul held up the confirmation of John Brennan for more than 13 hours on the Senate floor yesterday, concerned about the thought that, somehow, Barack Obama intended to use drones against non combat Americans on American soil.
Rand Paul was engaged in pure grandstanding, and it led to Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina condemning their Republican colleague on the Senate floor today!
By his filibuster, Paul only encouraged the conspiracy theorists who see FEMA helicopters about to take over the skies, arrest people who have guns, and intern large numbers of Americans in “concentration camps”, all part of the belief that our President is trying to become a dictator.
This crazy fear and hate mongering has led to more death threats against our first African American President than any other President, and we now know that there are eight times the number of right wing hate groups in 2013, as compared to 2008, over 1,300 in number!
Rand Paul and his libertarian views are dangerous, because libertarians see the federal government as the enemy, and all it does is promote militia group and “Patriot” group activities and threats against the “evil’ federal government. It is paranoia gone mad!
The only good that came out of this was that Attorney General Eric Holder came out with a clear cut statement that the President had declared that, under no circumstances, would the federal government ever use drones against non combat Americans on American soil. As if anyone who has common sense and rational thinking would think otherwise!
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, thought to be a likely Presidential contender for 2016, just published a book in which he declared his opposition to promotion of a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority being Mexican, as his wife is.
But now, 24 hours later, on MSNBC’s MORNING JOE, he backed off on this, taking a stand similar to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. In do doing, he has totally confused people, flip flopping more often than even Mitt Romney!
It comes down to this—the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are Mexican heritage, as are the numbers of legal Mexican Americans in the nation. Nothing that Bush, Rubio, McCain or Graham say or do is going to convince the legal citizens to vote Republican in 2016. With 71 percent support among all Hispanics and Latinos, as well as 73 percent support among Asian Americans, the Democratic Party is insured of defeating any Republican nominee for President in 2016, even if Bush or Rubio is the nominee.
And if the GOP continues to follow the Tea Party and oppose any reform on immigration, the defeat for any candidate will be a landslide of majestic proportions!
Chuck Hagel Confirmed, But Republicans Only Add To Their Bad Image By Refusing To Support Former Colleague!
Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, arguably one of the most principled, decent Republican Senators of the past twenty years, along with Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe, was finally confirmed as Secretary of Defense today, but failed to gain the support of his former colleagues, including John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins, who went along with their more right wing colleagues in refusing to give support, without good reason other than a vendetta against an independent minded Republican.
Surprisingly, the four Republicans who supported the Hagel confirmation were Rand Paul of Kentucky (totally inexplicable), Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, the man who replaced Hagel in the Senate in 2009.
It is a sad day when a man who had a decent record of public service is repudiated by “moderates” of his own party, who are afraid to challenge the right wing turn of their party, referring here to Murkowski and Collins, who should have supported their former colleague.
McCain is another story, an example of a man who should, if he had principle, do what the Pope did, and resign in disgrace as a total hypocrite! Here is a man who in 2000 raved about his colleague, and said he would want him in his administration, if he became President. Once Hagel expressed doubt about the George W. Bush “Surge” policy in Iraq in 2007, McCain was so furious, that he exhibited his ugly side, this despite the fact that Bush had trashed McCain’s reputation so often, and Hagel never did!
McCain is now clearly seen as a bitter old man, who should not have run in 2010 for another six year Senate term at age 74, and hopefully will not run at age 80 in 2016, as his time in the Senate is long overdue to end!
McCain is an excellent argument for term limits or, at the least, age limits, with age limits the more sensible concept, in this author’s mind!
It seems more and more likely that the Republican Party will do their best to put a person of diversity status, either ethnically or gender, on their 2016 Presidential ticket as the only way to have a chance to win the White House.
This “diversity” primary contest for being on the national ticket would include:
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico
Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
So overall, there are seven Senators, four Governors, three Congresswomen well known enough, and Condoleezza Rice for the Republicans to choose from to have a “diversity” nominee for President or Vice President.
And when one looks at the list, it is clear that the only “real” choices are Rubio, Cruz, Ayotte, Jindal, Haley, and Rice, as a member of the House has not been nominated since 1880 (James Garfield), and the other choices are far less known, and come from smaller states in population, which undermines their candidacy. And Murkowski and Collins are far too “Moderate” to be the nominee of a right wing Republican Party!
But Rice is highly unlikely to be interested, although easily the most qualified of the six who could be nominated. Jindal and Haley have come across as mean spirited, uncaring Governors on the subject of immigration and health care. Ayotte has not distinguished herself by connecting to John McCain and Lindsey Graham as a “replacement” for Joe Lieberman. Cruz, being born in Canada, will create the issue of his eligibility to run for President, and his use of “McCarthyism” strategy against Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, and his basic aggressive style after less than two months in office will not do him well in a Presidential campaign.
So Marco Rubio, with all of his “warts” and shortcomings, stands out as the best “diversity” candidate, with his coming from Florida, the fourth largest state, and the largest state in play in a Presidential campaign, being a plus!
But it could be that being from Florida is also a plus for former Governor Jeb Bush, who if only he could change his last name, would be the likely best choice for his party.
It could all come down to a final race between former Governor Jeb Bush, whose wife is Mexican American and speaks excellent Spanish, and Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban American a full generation younger than Jeb Bush!
The Republican Party, which has usually gone to its “veterans” to find its Presidential nominee (George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney)—the only recent exception being George W. Bush (a clear cut mistake)— is now putting forward its “youth brigade” of four political leaders born in the early 1970s, meaning they would all be between 45 and 47 when running for President in 2016.
This “youth brigade” may be appealing in appearance, and in the ability to speak well, but none of them have the vision nor the understanding of where America is moving in the second decade of the 21st century!
The four in order of birth are:
Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
Ryan had his exposure as the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, and came up wanting in many respects, plus his destructive plan to destroy Medicare and Medicaid.
Ted Cruz has only been in the Senate for little more than a month, and already, heads are shaking and eyes rolling at his total inability to impress anyone that he has any understanding of what is happening in America.
Marco Rubio, himself the grandson of an “undocumented” immigrant, who was allowed to stay because he was Cuban, the only Hispanic group given special treatment by the US government in the 1960s and beyond, has shown that he is not aware of science, has a closed mind on many social matters involving women, is unwilling to challenge the far right of his party in any serious way, and is gaining a growing ego about his abilities, based on the attention he is receiving, including Time Magazine having a cover this week, calling him the savior of the GOP, this right before he gives the response to the State of the Union Address of Barack Obama next Tuesday evening. The burden on him to be impressive next week is now extremely heavy.
And Bobby Jindal had the chance to prove his ability, when he responded to the Obama State of the Union Address four years ago, and came across as a total failure and embarrassment.. And his lack of compassion about the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged in his state, one of the most backward of all of the 50 states, does him no favor. Additionally, he has said the Republican Party has to stop being the “stupid” party, and then goes ahead and does “stupid ” things in his state, that make him look less than intelligent and able to handle the Presidency, and understand the life of real people, other than the wealthy!
Three of these four members of the “Youth Brigade” are “minorities”—Cruz and Rubio, both Cuban Americans, and Jindal being the son of parents from India. But to say that their ethnicity “qualifies” them to be President is preposterous—as Cuban Americans represent about THREE percent of Hispanics and Latinos, and Cubans have a heritage of totally different views and voting patterns than others who are from Latin America; and even Asian Americans, whether from India or other parts of South Asia, or those from East Asia and the Far East, also voted an even higher percentage for the Democrats than Hispanics and Latinos—73 percent, compared to 71 percent!
If the “Youth Brigade” is thought to be the hope of the GOP to turn things around for the party, the leadership will learn over the next four years that they are sadly, and tragically, misguided!
Chuck Hagel Will Survive Rough Treatment Of John McCain And Other Republicans On Senate Armed Services Committee, And Be Confirmed As Secretary Of Defense!
Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel will survive his rough handling in the Senate Armed Services Committee and be confirmed to be the next Secretary of Defense, despite the efforts of Arizona Senator John McCain, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, and newly minted Texas Senator Ted Cruz, to derail his nomination, more on vindictiveness than anything else. Here was a basically conservative Republican, who like Richard Lugar, had the nerve to be independent, and be willing to cross the aisle and work with Democrats, and even, in the case of Hagel, endorse Barack Obama in 2008.
Hagel is a man of principle, a man of courage and determination, a man of levelheadedness, a man who has served his country well during his years in the military, a man who has been a successful businessman which makes him able to handle the massive bureaucracy of the Pentagon, and a man who is able to deal with adversity as it already has visited him, with his two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam, including his bravery in saving his own brother when both were wounded at the same time.
Hagel has a steadiness about him that will make him an outstanding Secretary of Defense, and his criticism of the “surge” in Iraq in 2007, which killed 1200 soldiers and wounded thousands others will stand the test of time, long after John McCain and his hawkishness, which calls for constant military intervention and invasion, is repudiated, as having been the wrong choice for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two “chicken hawks”, to make.
John McCain will be looked back upon as a man who, fortunately, we did not elect President of the United States, while we will look back upon Chuck Hagel’s service as Secretary of Defense under Barack Obama as one of the best cabinet choices ever made for the Pentagon, if not the best, since the agency was created in 1947!