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John McCain, the ‘maverick,’ is back

[quote]McCain has arguably turned himself into the most important legislator in a generation

By Dana Milbank

July 22

The Senate was out of session Monday, but John McCain was on Capitol Hill, joking, as he often does, about “trying to do the Lord’s work here in the city of Satan.”

On this particular day, the Lord’s work involved a bit of bowel humor. “There was a poll recently on the favorability of everything in American life,” he told a gathering in the Russell Senate Office Building, upstairs from his office. “The favorability numbers of Congress ranked just below a colonoscopy. So we are trying to raise it at least above that.”

The Arizona Republican is certainly doing his part to raise his colleagues’ image above that of the intestinal probe. On Sunday, he appeared on CNN, praising President Obama’s speech on the George Zimmerman case and proposing a review of the “stand your ground” laws that came to attention because of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Days earlier, McCain had brokered a deal averting a procedural meltdown in the Senate over the filibuster. Before that, he was a key figure in drafting the bipartisan immigration bill that cleared the Senate. Also this year, he has called some of his hard-line Republican colleagues “wacko birds” and has criticized them for blocking a budget resolution.

All of this is to say the Mac is Back. Again.

It has been a long wait. The maverick of 2000 and the thorn in George W. Bush’s side during the years that followed became a very different figure as he captured the 2008 Republican nomination, gave us Sarah Palin, fought against health-care reform and staved off a tea party challenger in 2010. He walked away from earlier positions on tax cuts, campaign finance reform, immigration, climate change, gays in the military and other issues. When he continued that course even after the 2010 election, I figured he had been lost to the right wing.

For 20 minutes Monday, I strolled with McCain in the Russell Building and sat in his office, getting his perspective on his retirement as maverick and subsequent reactivation. He acknowledged that he changed his emphasis on immigration in part “to be in tune with the people of Arizona,” and he said he thought it his duty as the party’s former nominee to wage “a bitter fight” against Obamacare.

But he argued that the bigger change was in the circumstances. During the early Bush years, when Republicans were firmly in control of government, he resisted his own party and voted against Bush’s early tax cuts. After Democrats took the reins, he turned his antagonism against them. Now power is divided, and McCain sees much of the problem coming from fellow Republicans.

“There’s a view,” he said, “that a reason for coming here is not to get something done but to prevent anything from getting done.” He cited the standoff on a budget resolution: Republicans beat up on Senate Democrats for years for failing to pass a budget, and now that the Senate has finally passed a budget, Republicans are objecting to the Senate naming conferees to negotiate a budget with the House.

He’s also got a problem with the roughly 15 isolationists in the Senate GOP caucus, a few of whom earned his famous “wacko birds” label. McCain claims he borrowed the phrase from the Wall Street Journal — “not that I disagreed with it.”

Many on the left won’t forgive McCain his trespasses in 2008 and 2010, and many on the right won’t forgive what he did before and since. But McCain has arguably turned himself into the most important legislator in a generation, at the center of the debate on war, terrorism, spending, corruption, health care and just about everything else. Last week, McCain met for two hours with Obama and Vice President Biden on security matters; Monday morning, he had a tete-a-tete with Secretary of State John Kerry.

[Rest of article at link]

by Anonymousreply 1007/26/2013

Just GO already. Christ, how much longer are we gonna' have to put up with this idiot? You've done major damage to this country, you putz, go back to Arizona and burn to a crisp. Maverick indeed? More like asshole.

by Anonymousreply 107/23/2013

If maverick means showing up on any Sunday show that will have him then yes, he's back.

by Anonymousreply 207/23/2013

As the Washington Post, like their beloved "maverick", slides further into senile irrelevance...

by Anonymousreply 307/23/2013

Not surprised in the least that hack Dana Milbank would write this drivel. It's his job to perpetuate meaningless DC narratives, and the whole McCain as Good-Guy Republican is one of the most enduring of the last 15 years. I'm sure Milbank got a great big boner writing it.

by Anonymousreply 407/23/2013

A colonoscopy is far superior to the house and senate. I've had one and you get a short acting anesthetic that knocks you out and boom, you're done.

These people who make jokes about colonoscopies must not be getting their colonoscopies, or they'd know it's fine.

Congress is more like an STD.

by Anonymousreply 507/23/2013

When will Sen McCain be tested for dementia?

by Anonymousreply 607/23/2013

I think when he is finished doing the lord's work R6

by Anonymousreply 707/23/2013

Note that he doesn't meet with the press or make announcements later in the day. That's when he gets befuddled. After he's been dead about ten years, a book will come out detailing his dementia. That's about how long it took for historians to reveal the truth about Reagan.

by Anonymousreply 807/24/2013

A legend in his own mind. I wish he would go away.

by Anonymousreply 907/26/2013

he also just said getting rid of one dollar bills (and replacing them with $1 coins) will be better for the stripping industry.

Customers will have to tip with $5, $10 even $20

More money for strippers McCain said!

by Anonymousreply 1007/26/2013
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