This recent article about John McCain in Politico brings to mind the decades old couch in grandpa’s attic. It’s too outdated to be rehabbed, reeks of the mustiness of years of stagnation and its rusty springs gouge your backside if you’re not careful where you sit. No one wants it, but the idea of throwing it out somehow seems a difficult task. Uncle Earl was diapered on it when they still were made out of cloth and needed to be washed rather than tossed. Aunt Mae was proposed to on that very divan. Frantic family thought cousin Sally had been kidnapped by itinerant roofers wandering the area, when, as a toddler, she was just napping behind a back corner of the floral flounce. But finally reality has overtaken sentimentality and to everyone’s relief the relic has been moved out to the curb for pickup.
First elected in 1982, before many of Arizona’s residents were born, McCain is staring 80 in the eye. But his colossal ego can’t bear being ripped from the seat of power in DC. As he tells it, he “still has more work to do.” If he hasn’t accomplished his goals in well over 30 years, it’s time to give someone else a crack at the job.
It took two reporters to construct Politico’s McCain article. Each likely has a granddad who’s a McCain contemporary. Neither of them live in Arizona nor have a handle on the revulsion with which conservatives view McCain. The duo turn to McCain allies for substantiating comments to bolster duplicitous McCain’s bravado-packed statements. Conservatives are marginalized by being declared “tea partiers who are afraid of McCain.” Two-term state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has opened an exploratory U.S. Senate campaign, is demeaned as “little known.” In fact, the family physician, married to a military flight surgeon has been traveling the state and being met with widespread support.
Unlike McCain, who receives jeers, boos and turned backs, Sen. Kelli Ward gins up enthusiastic crowds who see her conservative perspective as manna from political heaven. McCain has previously relied on the votes of the state’s senior population and newcomers who recognize his ubiquitous name and have little other information. His key advantage is the disengaged, apathetic voter. He carried his home state of Arizona by the slimmest of margins when running against Obama in 2008.
Well connected to the lobbyist money machine, he also uses his operatives to engage in the most loathsome version of politics. GOP members of the congressional delegation are not demurring in mounting a challenge to him because they respect him. They are staying put because they’ve all seen “The Godfather” and remember the message sent by the horse’s head in the bed scene.
The 1,150 to 351 censure vote against him by elected state committeemen at the 2014 Republican statutory meeting resulted in an orchestrated effort played out by his surrogates to oust longtime conservatives from the party ranks. He now has a chokehold on the state GOP, with ambitious chairman Robert Graham obediently falling in line.
According to Politico, these are merely “hardball tactics that seem to spook would-be challengers.” Only low information voters could possibly take that sentiment at face value. John McCain is a liberal poser who cloaks himself as a “maverick.” His viciousness is legendary and makes his renown salty speech pale in comparison. He does not represent Arizona or the Republican Party platform. Like the musty old divan, crusty McCain needs a curbside reality check.