John McCain, the status quo candidate for ‘post-policy nihilism’ and congressional gridlock

Senator John McCain, who embraced the xenophobic racist bigot Donald Trump and held on tightly during the GOP primary, consistently endorsing Trump after every misstep and every outrageous statement, now wants to get some “separation” because he believes that Trump is going to lose and will be a drag on the GOP ballot.  John McCain wins his primary, promptly gives up on Donald Trump:

McCainWantedLiterally one day after winning his primary, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave up on Donald Trump. In fact, McCain now sounds a bit like he’s betting on Trump losing — or, at least, looking like a loser for the rest of the campaign season — to help him win a sixth term in the Senate. In a gauzy, five-minute YouTube video released Wednesday, McCain looks directly at the camera and says: “My opponent, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, is a good person. But if Hillary Clinton is elected president, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check — not a rubber stamp — for the White House.”

What McCain is actually saying is that he wants to continue the gridlock in Washington that has so angered the American people. He is the status quo candidate for a dysfunctional gridlocked Congress that doesn’t get anything done because of ideologues like him. McCain won’t even agree to a confirmation hearing for Judge Merrick Garland as the U.S. Supreme Court struggles without a ninth justice.

Never forget that the dysfunction of Congress was an intentional strategic decision by GOP conspirators to become an obstructionist party to block any legislative proposal from President Obama and a Democratic Congress on Inauguration Day in 2009. The Republicans’ Plan for the New President; Robert Draper Book: GOP’s Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration.

partyofnoEver since the Tea-Publicans took control of Congress after the 2010 midterm elections, they have been engaged in “post-policy nihilism” in which “Republicans are no longer being guided by any real policy ‘asks,’ but instead are chronically positioning themselves only in opposition to the president.”

Congressional Tea-Publicans do not take public policy seriously. Nor are they concerned about responsible governance. Hence the government shut-downs and threats of government shut-downs, threats of defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States, an unprecedented “blockade” of judicial nominees, etc.

Tea-Publican’s only goal is to obstruct a Democratic president and Democrats in Congress from passing any of their legislative priorities solely for the sake of ideological opposition — scoring political points in the media’s “who won the day” narrative reporting, and using it for fundraising among the rubes back home — but not addressing the unmet needs of the American people.

The American people are angry about the dysfunctional less-than-less-than-do-nothing Tea-Publican controlled Congress over the past six years. And John McCain is telling you that he wants to continue this dysfunction indefinitely. He is selling a product that Americans have grown tired of and no longer want. Americans want a functional, responsible government again.

If you want to see the serious issues confronting this country addressed, voters have to elect a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress and Senate, like they did in 2008. That Congress was the most productive since the Congress of 1965-66.

This is the only way to break the “post-policy nihilism” of the GOP. Send the GOP back into the wilderness and force them to reinvent themselves and to become serious about public policy and responsible governance again. A massive GOP defeat is the best thing for them, and for the country.

NB: By the way, Johnny, that graphic is how you can do a wanted poster without the violent imagery of a bullet hole in Ann Kirkpatrick’s chest. I’m still waiting to hear your apology and your condemnation of the people responsible for that ill-conceived  poster.

UPDATE: Political scientist and high priest of Beltway centrism, Norm Ornstein, has an op-ed at the Washington Post on this topic. Memo to GOP: Forget your obstructionist policies. They backfired. (ecxerpt):

We know that Republican congressional leaders, on the night of President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, chose a deliberate policy of uniting in opposition to all of his initiatives, even before he served a full day in office. Now we have a pair of blue-ribbon establishment Republicans fundamentally suggesting the same approach — one that has contributed to the decline of the Republican brand, the rise of Donald Trump, the weakening of GOP leadership and the growth of know-nothing radical anti-government sentiment — months before the election of a president.

To be sure, that delegitimizing approach had big payoffs in the historic midterm gains of the Republican Party in 2010 and 2014. Hamstringing government while trashing any policies that actually get enacted almost inevitably works against the party of the president, which is held responsible for action and inaction in Washington. And the same approach might well pay off in 2018.

But the strategy backfired in the presidential contest in 2012 and has helped create the disaster the party faces this year. And the price the country, and the party, will pay will be fearsome. The challenges facing the United States are real and broad.

* * *

Focusing on short-term tactical gains instead of building a problem-solving party and attending to the pressing needs of the nation should be the purview of ideologues and partisan hacks, not veteran Washington actors. If that mind-set prevails, even if it reaps rewards in 2018, the nation will suffer[.]

3 Responses to John McCain, the status quo candidate for ‘post-policy nihilism’ and congressional gridlock

  1. Can anyone name one thing McCain has done that benefited Arizona in his 30 yrs as a senator? He’s a Sunday show gadfly, with no ideas to improve anything about American life.

  2. I hate to say it but McCain is right when he says, “Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check — not a rubber stamp — …”. That’s exactly why we should all vote for Kirkpatrick. Think of the disaster that would occur if Trump is President with a Republican Senate and House. After all, based on how he says he’ll vote McCain wants The Donald to be Pres.

  3. It’s not just about obstructing, it’s about obstructing and then trying to pin the blame for lack of progress on the Democrats. McCain is one of the chief proponents. Party ahead of country. It’s the exact reason that congressional approval ratings are at an all time low. I’m guessing this is not what the founding fathers envisioned.