John McCain demands Ted Cruz apologize to Sen. McCain… I mean, to Bob Dole.
Houston Chronicle: Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) called on Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz to apologize Friday for a joke Cruz made about retired senator Bob Dole of Kansas at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
“All of us remember President Dole, and President McCain and President Romney,” Cruz said. “Now, look, those are good men, they’re decent men, but when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.”
Cruz’s speech encouraged CPAC attendees to “stand with principle.” Dole, McCain, and Romney, all of whom had unsuccessful presidential bids, were the butt of Cruz’s joke that was intended to exemplify Republicans who did not draw a clear distinction between them and their Democratic opposition.
In an interview Friday morning with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, McCain, a close friend of the 90-year-old Dole, criticized Cruz, saying that any joke about an injured veteran not having principle was in poor taste and that he needs to issue an apology.
“…When he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country,” McCain said. “Bob Dole is such a man of honor and integrity and principle. I hope that Ted Cruz will apologize to Bob Dole because that’s — that has crossed a line that to me that leaves the realm of the politics and discourse that we should have in America.”
Let’s be honest here; McCain’s not talking about the “Pres. Dole” crack, he’s upset about “Pres. McCain.” McCain — being McCain — is butthurt that Cruz made an example of him as a bad candidate who lost because he was a RiNO. He just thinks it looks better to demand an apology on behalf of someone else, rather than himself. What he’s clearly hoping for are words to the effect of “I apologize for a joke I told at CPAC.”
But how stupid was Cruz’s statement in the first place? The candidates who ran in all those election were chosen by Republican voters. The sort of candidate that Ted Cruz argues is able to win presidential elections can’t even win Republican primaries. If they could, the names he’d be referencing would be names like Santorum, Brownback, and Gramm. It’s a silly argument and McCain would make a much better case against it by pointing out the gaping logical hole in it.
Instead, McCain makes it personal. This leaves the weakest part of the argument standing, in order to play a cheap victim card. It’s an argument that the Republican Party would do well to kill — and the Arizona senator is in a position to help do just that — but everything is all about John McCain and his intense desire that Ted Cruz get off his lawn.
Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler.
John McCain, joining in on the made-up nontroversy of Pres. Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro.
Would now be a bad time to remind everyone that McCain recently had a little controversy of his own, after posing for a photo op with a terrorist kidnapper in Syria?
I think it would be an excellent time to bring that up, myself.
Maybe we should legalize. We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.
Sen. John McCain.
In Senate draft resolution on Syria, McCain finally meets a military action he doesn’t like.
Talking Points Memo: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he doesn’t support the Senate’s version of the resolution to authorize force in Syria, MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt reported on air.
According to Hunt, McCain said that he’s opposed to the resolution because it “doesn’t make any reference to changing the momentum on the ground in Syria” and it also fails to arm the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group fighting the Assad regime there. The Arizona Republican indicated that several other senators share his misgivings about the resolution.
Although he left the door open to voting against the Syria resolution, McCain suggested Tuesday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that it would send a "seriously bad message" if Congress voted against taking military action. On Monday, McCain said it would be "catastrophic" if Congress failed to pass the resolution.
Ah yes, this is the old John McCain that all of us know and few of us love. If I were to boil this position down to one cogent point, it would be that McCain opposes this resolution precisely because it’s carefully drafted to avoid mission creep and escalation into all-out war. The resolution deals strictly with chemical weapons and McCain desperately wants us to join in the fighting with the rebels because that’s what John McCain does — if there’s a war going someplace without American involvement, McCain feels sad and left out, like the only kid not invited to a birthday party.
Of course, McCain’s dissatisfaction is the equivalent of the Peace-Lover’s Seal of Approval. Greg Sargent points out that “McCain refusing to support limited use of force resolution makes it easier for liberals and Dems to support it.” Politics is much more the art of the kneejerk contrarian than the art of the possible these days.
It’s tempting to suspect that this is McCain’s strategy to get more people on board with military action, but his reported unhappiness with the resolution is just so John McCain. He’s opposing the current draft because it’s not an open declaration of all-out war, not because he’s playing chess. He’s wanted to join in with the rebels for a very long time and if any action isn’t specifically designed to aid the rebels and topple Assad, McCain has no use for it.
McCain probably will vote for this in the end, but only because he’s settling for what, in his eyes, is the only possible alternative to doing nothing.
I mean this is not only sufficient, it is well over-sufficient. We’ll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That’s why I think this amendment was very important.
John and Cindy McCain helpfully demonstrate the GOP’s ‘rebranding’ problem.
ThinkProgress: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has emerged as one of the Senate’s most vocal opponents of granting immigration rights to bi-national same-sex couples. But his wife said Monday that she expects his anti-LGBT views to be out of the mainstream even in his party by 2016.
McCain, who fiercely opposed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal in 2010 and voted against adding LGBT protections to the federal hate crime law. said in March that he doubts he’ll ever change his strong opposition to same-sex marriage.
Cindy McCain, his wife of 33 years, said at a Monday fundraiser for the anti-bullying Trevor Project that she believed the Republican Party would come to support legal equality for same-sex couples over the next three years: “You’re going to see a major turn. By the next presidential election I think this will be an issue that will be very much agreed on by both parties.” She added that she believes even her husband will come around, noting that the Senator “hears from his own daughters and his own children and from me a little bit about this.”
And this is what the whole rebranding effort has devolved into:”The GOP’s going to come around to your point of view any time now — just you wait! — so go ahead and vote for us now.” The Republican Party is slowly becoming rebranded as the party who are just about to stop being so stupid and hateful. Unfortunately for all the talk, there’s very little evidence that this is the case.
Ed Kilgore has a good post up about the rebranding effort, but it doesn’t lend itself to quoting — just go read it. The gist of it is that the party isn’t going to make any headway until it stops listening to people who think rebranding — minus any actual change — is all the party needs to do. They seem to think being the party of haters and hater-enablers is just fine — so long as you get people to pay attention to enablers like Cindy, while haters like John continue to do all the damage they want, just like always.
Schumer, McCain agree that legislation regulating guns will be back.
L.A. Times: Two top senators predicted Thursday that gun legislation will come up again for a Senate vote – possibly before the end of the year – as public attitudes shift toward stricter controls.
Their assessment comes after the defeat last week of a widely popular bipartisan background check measure that was drafted in response to the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., after a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people, mostly children.
“I think we’re going to bring this bill back before the end of the year and I think you may find some changes,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a chief backer of the bill, at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “Lots of senators who thought it was safe to vote against it” he said, “are not so sure any more” because of changing attitudes.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a key Republican backer of the measure who spoke at the same event, concurred. “I do agree with Chuck. I think the issue is going to come back,” he said.
McCain said Congress needs to address specific aspects of gun violence that were not covered in the bill, including “the issue of crazy people who do terrible things,” as he noted the mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado and in Tucson in his home state of Arizona.
OK, so McCain’s comment that “the issue of crazy people who do terrible things” wasn’t covered in the legislation is just straight up horseshit. The bill would’ve expanded background checks, which is how you see to it people who have been ruled unfit to own firearms don’t get their hands on firearms. If McCain — or any gun freak — can come up with another way to keep guns out the hands of these individuals, I’d love to hear it. Because it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to see who can and can’t legally own a firearm without checking.
But the good news is that this isn’t over. And it won’t be over if this next bill fails. It won’t be over if the next bill passes, but is pointlessly weak. This isn’t over until we win.