Many people contended that John McCain should retire from the Senate following his crushing 2008 Presidential election defeat by Barack Obama. After all, he had tried for a number of years to win the Republican Presidential nomination, had finally won it, but then showed no interest or understanding in the economic travails that were driving America and most of the rest of the world into recession that year. He had to deal with the embarrassment of having a Vice Presidential nominee who consistently was more electrifying and spoke to rapturous throngs, while his could fit in a Waffle House.
He was wealthy and could spend what was left of his golden years lolling on a lanai with his fetching wife, Cindy. There was nothing he could hope to accomplish in the Senate, where he had toiled for most of his adult life. Most of his party had turned on him, leaving him with only the support of Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman, as long as he threatened to invade every Mideast nation he could find on a map. But no, he decided to stay.
Then, for some reason that is impossible for a non-psychiatrist to discern, he decided to run for re-election in 2010. His campaign slogan that year was ‘Let’s build the danged fence.’ I’m guessing that Election Day 2010 was the last time that he thought about the danged fence; for all I know, it was the last time that he was in Arizona. After all, he had junkets to travel to foreign capitals, where some unwary foreign leader might think that he was relevant.
None of us expected to hear from him much during this year’s election campaign…and fittingly, he was silent, until the Benghazi killings. Finally, it was time for Big John to spread his wings. He blamed everyone he could think of, with the possible exceptions of David Petraeus, head of the CIA, which was in charge of intelligence prior to the attack, or Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, who was responsible for the Ambassador and the others who were killed. No, these two were his friends.
So, McCain spent the rest of the campaign as well as the first few weeks this month blaming Susan Rice for repeating claims provided to her by the CIA on television. After all, she didn’t check out the intelligence briefings provided her. Then, it was revealed that Methuselah McCain had an ulterior motive for the big stink. In January, under GOP rules, he will lose his assignment as Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee because of term limits. So, Ulysses McCain sought to create another committee to investigate Benghazi, of which he would naturally chair. However, other Republicans vetoed this plan.
He had threatened to filibuster Rice if she were nominated as Secretary of State, but then when he counted votes, he found out that less than 40 of his fellow Republican Senators would play his reindeer games. So now, she will meet with him, and they’ll take some photos to add to his collection, and everything will be copacetic.
Then, unfortunately, Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday asked McCain to be a guest this Sunday. This was catnip to the Arizona Senator. So, when Wallace asked him about abortion, he responded, “As far as young women are concerned, I don’t think anybody like me – I can state my position on abortion, but other than that, leave the issue alone when we are in the kind of economic situation, and frankly, national security situation that we’re in.”
Now, Republicans have already signaled an end to their fight against gay marriage. If they also stop talking about abortion, what is left to make their base in the Bible Belt continue to support them? Florida and Virginia have voted for Obama twice, without the Bible Belt’s fervent supporters they will soon lose Georgia and North Carolina. What would the base of the party be then…a few states in the Rockies and Plains and a few Gulf States, none of which have many people.
So, now is the time to get out, Senator. People still remember your heroic service in Vietnam. Arizona has a Republican Governor who could nominate a successor for you. So, go lounge in the desert and drink a Bud or two.