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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Liberals, moderates, sensible conservatives and all working Americans should be appalled by the recent actions of Maine’s new Tea Party Gov. Paul (“ I got 38 percent of the vote!”) LePage. First, he removed from the state’s Dept. of Labor a mural honoring—scandal!—Maine’s Labor history; and now, with his GOP legislature, LePage is rolling back child labor laws.

Let’s party like it’s 1893.

Remember when Maine represented solid, moderate, common sense and decency? Remember when the state voted for Barack Obama by 17 points over John McCain? Remember Ed Muskie? Lest we forget Maine’s two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe; they may drive liberals crazy at times. But they are bona fide moderates—perhaps the only GOP moderates in the Senate—though we can be sure Scott Brown will move to the center as he runs for reelection in deep Blue Massachusetts.

Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995)

No one better personified Maine’s moderate tradition than its great, four-term (1949-73) GOP senator, Margaret Chase Smith—the inspiration for Lacey Davenport in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury. Her husband, Rep. Clyde Smith, was a Republican supporter of the New Deal. And less than two years into her quarter-century tenure in the Senate, Margaret Chase Smith was one of few legislators with the courage to stand up to the Red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy. In June 1950—at the height of McCarthy’s power—she delivered, on the floor of the Senate, her “Declaration of Conscience.” While arguing that the “ineffective” Democratic administration of President Harry Truman needed to be defeated, Sen. Smith added:

“Yet to displace it with a Republican regime embracing a philosophy that lacks political integrity or intellectual honesty would prove equally disastrous to this nation. The nation sorely needs a Republican victory. But I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of CalumnyFear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.

 

I doubt if the Republican Party could — simply because I don’t believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest.”

 

The Four Horsemen of Calumny. Wow. They don’t make ‘em like Maggie anymore—or “Moscow Maggie,” as the McCarthyites branded her after her brave stand. One can only imagine what Sen. Smith would think of  Sarah Palin. And Michele Bachmann. And Newt Gingrich. And Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter. And Fox News….

And….

Paul LePage.  His removal of the 36-foot mural—which he claims was biased toward organized labor and at odds with his pro-business philosophy—was an insult, to be sure. But the child labor legislation is disastrous. The law would allow children under 16 to work up to 24 hours a week—in addition to school, homework and, if humanly possible, any extracurricular activities. Leaving aside the potential for exploitation—the whole reason for child labor laws in the first place—these young Mainers would be allowed to work for $5.25/hour, $2.25 under the minimum wage.

Maine’s 7 percent jobless rate is slightly below the national 8.8 mark. But it’s still too high. Now, with an infusion of young “talent,” any adults applying for low-end employment will have to compete with underpaid kids—an entire new pool of cheap labor.

After all, who needs illegal immigrants when you have “legal” 8th-graders?

There is an old expression, “as Maine goes, so goes the nation.” It refers to Presidential elections. Let’s pray it doesn’t apply to labor laws.

The results could be catastrophic, for children and adults alike.

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President Obama’s address on Libya last night, and the response to it, reminds me that we live in a country that has seen too many John Wayne movies. Or Clint Eastwood movies. Or…

You get the idea. Our culture—and I think this spans the political spectrum—celebrates, even worships, the lone wolf hero. Or superhero. The man of action, and few words, who’s not much for book larnin,’ but possesses some innate “common sense” and god-given impulse to do the right thing, especially if it means shooting up the place.

What we deeply distrust is anything that smacks of intellectualism. That’s fine for the effete Brits and French, but to study too much, reflect too much—and think too much—well, that’s “dithering.” Intellectual = ineffectual. A sign of weakness.  Not “manly.” “And therefore downright un-American.

By extension, we also live in a culture of absolutes. Black and white. Right or wrong. There are no grays, no shades, no nuances. Complexity—moral, political, economic—does not exist. If it doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker or in a sound bite, well, we just can’t get our minds around that. Or, at least, we don’t want to stop and think long enough to get our minds around it.

In our political discourse, we have oversimplified this dynamic to the point where to much of the public, subconsciously or not, Team Right represents our American Man of Action; and Team Left—well, a bunch of diffident “Nancy boys.” Maybe even French.

Stanley Kubrick brilliantly caricatured the two extremes in Dr. Strangelove. On the Right, was Sterling Hayden’s Gen. Jack (“our precious bodily fluids) Ripper and George C. Scott’s Gen. Buck (“no more than 10 to 20 million dead, tops”) Turgidson; on the Left was mild-mannered President Merkin (“Hello…Dmitri?) Muffley, loosely modeled on Adlai Stevenson.

As we approach the 2012 election campaign, the GOP and its media noise machine are turning themselves inside out to portray Barack Obama as the ineffectual intellectual.  It takes some doing, because simultaneously they’re trying to paint him as a Scary Black Guy—go to Barnes & Noble and check out Gangster Government : Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy, the cover of which features our president as, well, a Scary Black Guy.” (The publisher wisely refrained from calling the trashfest Gangsta Government.)

Of course, the real government gangsterism going on right now is in GOP-dominated statehouses. But why quibble?

In any event, the Right is contorting itself to depict President Obama as two people—on national security, he’s Urkel, while domestically, he’s Tupac.

He’s neither, of course. Last night, to me at least, he was a strong,  enlightened leader. Once again, he was the Adult in the Room—especially compared to the clownish roster of GOP 2012 presidential hopefuls.

One can certainly debate his strategy, policy and timing on Libya—history will deliver the verdict—but it’s clear that there was no dithering; nor was there any of the knee-jerk Ramboism the Right is so in love with. God only knows what Mideast military misadventure John McCain would have us mired in right about now.

Even to supporters Barack Obama’s rational pragmatism, his instinct for consensus-building, gets maddening—and renders absurd the whole “Gangster” canard. Perhaps, as Paul Krugman puts it, POTUS is a lousy negotiator, giving too much away, too early, in an attempt to be preemptive.

That’s not weakness. Excessive realpolitikiness, maybe. On Libya, President Obama strove to act as quickly as he could—with international consensus, learning the lessons of the past, when unilateral Western intervention in the Mideast only engendered more resentment and, at worst, terrorism.

Might the result have been more effective a week earlier? Perhaps. But maybe that just wasn’t possible. And politics, is, after all, the art of the possible.

Yes, one can debate specifics. Certainly, President Obama has made missteps—particularly “optical” ones, when he’s appeared detached and tone deaf. But on balance, I’m betting history will look back on him—hopefully after January 2017—as a president who proved that thought and action are not mutually exclusive.

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One of the reasons 67 or so million of us voted for Barack Obama in 2008 was his cool, intelligent, rational demeanor, a welcome change from years of GOP saber-rattling, fear-mongering, bumper-sticker politicking and faux-patriotic bombast. Obama’s Zen focus and “no drama” credo contrasted sharply with John McCain’s erratic truculence; the McCain-Palin ticket promised an itchy finger on the button, with a grinning, winking idiot in the wings.

But at this time of crises, upheavals and catastrophes, domestic and foreign, the President and his political handlers seem to have missed something crucial in his job description. And I say this as a strong supporter, who thinks he’s done an excellent job substantively, and would rather have him in the White House than any Republican, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. In an interview with Matt Lauer during last year’s BP oil disaster, POTUS said the presidency “is not theater” and that he “doesn’t always have time to perform for the benefit of cable news shows.”

There is something admirable in that, I suppose. But I think President Obama has it wrong. Look back over the past 90 years, since electronic media brought the presidency into America’s living rooms. Who were the most successful chief executives, electorally and in terms of achieving their goals?

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

As far apart as they were ideologically, those two Presidents shared one common gift: They were masters of political theater, using their office not only as a “bully pulpit,” but as a stage. They grasped that a flair for the dramatic was an indispensable quality in a leader. As Jonathan Alter recounts in The Defining Moment, his excellent book on Roosevelt’s election and early presidency, FDR once said to Orson Welles, “Orson, you know, you and I are the two best actors in America.”  And Reagan, of course, actually was an actor.

Privately, both those men are said to have shied away from intimacy; there was something unknowable about them. But publicly both knew how to bond with the country, to be empathetic, to make Americans feel that they cared (Bill Clinton, another two-term President who remains a political rock star 10 years after leaving office, may be the grand master of empathy).

FDR’s speeches and “fireside chats” were tours de force that rallied the nation; not only did he try endless strategies to lift America out of the Great Depression he made sure Americans knew it—made sure it looked like he was doing something.

As for Reagan, he, was the Great Communicator—he, too, knew how to instill confidence. And his “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech was so effective that some worshippers credit him with winning the Cold War single-handed.

Both presidents made missteps (as a liberal, of course, I’ll argue that Reagan made more of them). But in the minds of all but the ideologues on either end of the spectrum, they are remembered for their successes—and perceived successes.

With his disdain for political theater and public show, and apparent preference for behind-the-scenes problem-solving and negotiation, President Obama is dismissing the “making it look like you’re doing something” part of the job—and he’s missed several opportunities to do so. As Rahm Emanuel famously said, never let a crisis go to waste. The past two years have brought huge crises that cried out for the president to show some stage presence— something more than the occasional briefing to announce that he’s “monitoring the situation.”

The BP oil spill was a golden opportunity for President Obama to show that he’s not George W. Bush, to immediately say he would take control, to declare war on the disaster, to get down there, roll up his sleeves—and yes, do some photo ops. Instead, he took a couple of family vacations. And while a presidential vacation—especially in this communications age—is always a working one, you have to look like you’re engaged.

The pundits call it “optics.” The explosions in the Mideast and the Japanese catastrophe were two other recent instances that cried out for a show of passion. Instead, we saw President Obama offer up his college basketball picks and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

Domestically, the president has been less than Rooseveltian in conveying his impassioned determination to solve the jobs crisis—or look like he’s solving the jobs crisis.

As for the upheavals in the Midwest, where Republican governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Snyder seem determined to crush the middle class under the weight of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, I understand why President Obama has been laying back, not injecting himself into these state fights. It has allowed the blossoming of a huge movement that has energized the Democratic base, and pulled blue-collar and middle class “Reagan Democrats” away from the GOP.

But something like Snyder’s attempt to turn Michigan into a corporate monarchy seems to beg for some kind of comment or show of interest. Still, the jury’s still out—this may be one instance where the President’s detachment works, as GOP overreach makes the party toxic in the electorally critical heartland.

History may prove that on substance, President Obama has generally followed the right course. But in the short term, if purely out of political self –interest, he could learn a few things from Roosevelt and Ronnie about White House stagecraft.

Mr. President, tear down this wall—the wall between you and the rest of us.

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One of the most entertaining shows in American politics at the moment is the spectacle of conservative intellectuals like George Will and Charles Krauthammer, among others, desperately trying to lock Sarah Palin in the attic like the mad wife in Jane Eyre. When Republican and independent voters hit the pillow at night, these small-government sages want them fantasizing about the vast, sweeping forehead—and the considerable brain underneath—of Mitch Daniels, not SarahPac’s sophomoric smirk.

You could have called it. With the 2012 Presidential race looming, lamestream Republicans are trying with all their might to push Palin under the bus. With her approval ratings at an all-time low, they’re ganging up to finish her off. Even Roger Ailes has criticized her for that grotesquely narcissistic display of victimhood in the wake of the Tucson tragedy. You can just see them all huddling with Karl Rove, planning their lines of attack.

The reasoning is obvious: Palin is utterly unelectable. To thoughtful advocates of conservative political philosophy, she is beyond an embarrassment. And to everyone outside her aggrieved, white, fundamentalist, know-nothing base—in other words the current base of the Republican Party—she is at best a figure of fun, at worst a vicious, hate-mongering moron.  Indeed, from the moment a desperate John McCain chose Palin for the 2008 ticket, some grownups on the Right cringed. Remember when a live mike during an MSNBC commercial break caught Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy essentially saying the Palin pick had doomed the GOP?

And that was before they knew the monster McCain had loosed upon the world. Before they knew that Sarah Palin would suck the air out of all American politics to the right of Bill Clinton, and become the GOP rock star. The face of the party. And that she would become a media-enabled juggernaut, stopping at nothing to fuel her own celebrity and wealth.

Now they want desperately to put her back into the bottle.

Too late, guys. And you should know by now that the one thing NOT to do to Palin is attack her—otherwise you’ll wind up being called “impotent” and “limp” and you’ll have her in your face for a few more news cycles.

The real problem is that Palin does strike a chord with the hardcore right wing base. Today’s ABC-Washington Post poll tells the story: Nationally, Palin’s approval ratings are in a bus station toilet; among Republicans generally, she’s lost a great deal of ground; but among conservative zealots, the kind who vote in primaries, she’s stronger than ever:

“Palin has a 58 percent net favorable rating among Republicans, and a 37 percent net unfavorable rating. While that rating is still positive, it’s the worst she’s had with Republicans since she emerged on the national stage; her previous low was 63-31 percent…”

But don’t get too cocky, Mitt, Newt and T-Paw:

“Among strong Tea Party supporters, strongly favorable views of Huckabee and Palin are highest, at 45 and 42 percent, respectively; strongly favorable views of Gingrich and Romney drop off in this group to 35 and 31 percent, respectively…..” And among “Republicans who say they are “very” conservative. Palin and Huckabee (at 45 and 44 percent) again attract much higher strongly favorable ratings among strong conservatives than do Gingrich and Romney (30 and 28 percent).”

Another revealing trend in the poll is Mike Huckabee‘s continued high rating: It explains his recent descent into wingnut birtherism—obviously Huck saw a recent survey showing that 51 percent of Republicans think President Obama is foreign-born. That underscores the can’t-live-with-’em-can’t-live-without-’em dilemma that drives the conservative intelligentsia nuts: They can expound on Adam Smith and Edmund Burke and Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman all they want—Republicans need their Yahoos, their Ignoramiat. You can’t win primaries without them. Since they’re your base, you can’t compete in general elections without them, either. And yet ultimately, elections are won in the center—which recoils at extremist wingnuttery.

Of course, the whole GOP has moved sharply to the right and arguably dragged the political center with it.  There are the radical plutocrats like the Koch Brothers, who bankroll stooges like Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Snyder; the Teabaggers and the Christian Theocrats, groups that overlap with the Yahoo-Ignoramiat Palinistas—those aggrieved white know-nothings who revel in their reactionary ignorance while wrapping themselves in Jesus, Old Glory and the Constitution—well, at least the Second Amendment.

And don’t underestimate the racial element. Ever since the GOP pursued its “Southern Strategy” Republicans have captured the white vote, usually by healthy margins.

% Votes White Republican Democrat Other
1976 89 52 48
1980 88 56 36 8
1984 86 66 34
1988 85 60 40
1992 87 41 39 21
1996 83 46 44 9
2000 81 55 42 3
2004 77 58 41 1
2008 74 55 43

These stats are heavily skewed by the South, of course. Consider that Barack Obama won just 9 percent of the White male vote in Mississippi against 91 percent for John McCain (of course the black vote was similarly imbalanced). But John Kerry didn’t exactly tear it up, losing 18-81 against George W. Bush in Ol’ Miss.

The problem that by pandering to whites, painting the Democrats as the party that takes hard-earned money out of your pocket and gives it to drug addled “welfare queens,” suggesting President Obama is an un-American “other,” Republicans made their own bed. Those aggrieved, poor and middle –class whites were ripe for a demagogue, and Palin has more than filled the bill. They love her. Attack her, you attack them.

And then you set up one of the central themes of her victimhood politics: The Washington elites—conservative ones in this case—versus the 5-college Real American ignoramus. Them versus Us. And now Rush Limbaugh has come to Palin’s defense, which makes it worse—attack her, you attack Rush. And that’s something you just don’t do.

Palin may well not run for president in 2012.  For one thing, it would certainly entail a huge pay cut. But she’s not going anywhere.  Even if she doesn’t enter the race, she’ll continue to be a huge, air-sucking distraction, with her inane, snarky Tweets and comments, her feuds, her breathtaking ignorance.  And she will overshadow everyone in a blandly uninspiring GOP field.

So conservatives: Own Sarah Palin. She’s all yours.

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Thus far, however fleetingly, the crisis in Egypt has inspired a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington. From John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, to James Baker, to John McCain, even to Dick Cheney, experienced GOP leaders have either supported President Obama’s efforts to ease the situation, or at least refrained from blasting him.

Enter Sarah Palin, in all her aggressively arrogant ignorance. Having jumped the shark on the Tucson tragedy, with her jaw-droppingly narcissistic, “blood libel” video, followed by the equally insane and self-absorbed WTF interview with Sean Hannity, the reality star and former half-term governor now calls upon her vast archive of foreign policy expertise to expound on Egypt. Naturally, it is a knee-jerk salvo at President Obama.

In an interview with CBN’s David Brody, SarahPac suggests that Egypt was POTUS’ 3 A.M. Phone Call, recalling Hillary Clinton’s famous commercial during the 2008 presidential primary campaign, which suggested Obama was too green to handle national security crises.

Quoth the Sage of Wasilla:

“Nobody yet has explained to the American people what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that, that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt.

“And in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just in Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House.”

Strength and sound mind there in the White House. Obama, Clinton and the rest of their team are deep amid delicate diplomatic negotiations over the future of an ancient sovereign nation, one with intricate, complex problems and a society starkly different from our own. They are trying to walk a tightrope, as Hosni Mubarak—an indispensable ally, whose oppressive 30-year regime has fostered torture, rape and murder—inevitably relinquishes power. They are trying to maintain a precarious stability in a region that could easily explode into chaos, extremism, and anti-Western fanaticism.

And Sarah Palin—who probably can’t find Egypt on a map, much less see it from her house—believes the President should be sharing a little more. Two weeks into this dauntingly complicated crisis, she wants O to spill. She wants him to spell out exactly who’s going to take over for Mubarak, even though no one here or in Egypt can predict the outcome of a situation that seemingly changes from minute to minute.

Palin fears, as many of us do, the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood. But if you stand for democracy and the right of Egyptians to determine their own destiny—as we say we do—well, you have to live with the outcome.

Does Palin think we can impose our will on Egypt? Shall we invade this country of 80 million and turn the Pyramids into a Christian theme park. Sarahland?

Now imagine John McCain had won the 2008 election.
Imagine, if you dare, a Vice-President Sarah Palin. Imagine this woman—who in at least one speech has referred to a hypothetical, what-if, “Palin-McCain” administration —imagine this woman playing second banana. Do you think she’d be able to cork her verbal and ideological diarrhea? Of course not. She’d be going before the cameras or on social media constantly, upstaging her boss at every turn. Giving her own alternative State of the Union address, her own domestic and foreign policy commentary on a daily basis, making Joe Biden appear discreet and George W. Bush look like Disraeli.

Now, imagine Sarah Palin privy to inside information during a foreign policy crisis. We all want transparency in government, but there are times when negotiations are so sensitive, the margin for error so minuscule, times when one false move, one careless word by the U.S. can spark disaster—that posting the details as your Facebook status update just isn’t the brightest idea.

As they said during World War II, “loose lips sink ships.”

Imagine Palin Tweeting D-Day.

Or the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In other news, Palin’s attempt to trademark her name has been rejected, at least temporarily.

She forgot to sign the paperwork.

Strength and sound mind.

In the words of Keith Olbermann, “The woman is an idiot.”

Please, GOP, please nominate her for president in 2012.

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While angsting over 2012, I’ve been fretting that President Obama will lose some of the big ticket states, like Fla. and Ohio, as well as some of the erstwhile Red states he snagged, like NC and Indiana. Plus, the census added 6 electoral votes to the “McCain” states, which would have shrunk POTUS‘ total from 365 to 359.

The old maxim used to be that to get to 270 and win the presidency you had to take two out of the trinity of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course Obama redrew the electoral map in 2008 and drew a whole lot of new states into the mix—indeed, he could have lost Fla., Ohio and Pa. and still come home with a victory.

Anyway, I did some math. Nate Silver I’m not, but it appears to me that the key to victory for O. is to hang on to Pennsylvania and Virginia. Under that scenario, unless I’ve miscalculated, POTUS could lose Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire and still get a second term.

Of course you can mix and match—for instance,  sub wins in Colo (9) and NH (4) for Va. (13) ( Indeed, unless Romney gets the nod, I don’t see any of the other GOP hopefuls taking NH). Or Nevada, which I have Obama winning, with NH or Colo.

This assumes a lot, naturally. That the economy improves, that unemployment creeps steadily down (even if it doesn’t slip below the magic 8 percent by November 2012, I think voters will give Obama another chance if the trend is consistently downward.) And that Obama holds fast in places like Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and NJ.

But Pennsylvania is the keystone in more ways than one, and if you add Va. I think the odds of an Obama win are better than pretty good. Not as good as if he’s running against Michele Bachmann. But not so bad.

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Dancing With The Stars reject, political prop and Planned Parenthood Poster Child Bristol Palin has reportedly bought a $172,000, 5-bedroom house outside Phoenix and is considering attending Arizona State University—the school that refused to confer an honorary degree on President Obama because he was an underachiever.

This is the final straw.

Arizona. Must. Leave. The. Union. Now.

Bristol’s move is the latest abomination in a remarkable year that saw the Grand Ass Canyon State edge out South Carolina as the most embarrassing of the nation’s 50. And that took some doing.

What’s the matter with AZ? Where do we begin?

1. Naturally, with infamous Immigration Law SB 1070, otherwise known as the “Papers, Please” Law, which orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally.

Authored by GOP State Sen. Russell Pearce, a virulent xenophobe known to pal around with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, the draconian bill has solidified Arizona’s status as America’s capital of anti-immigrant hysteria. It’s not racial profiling aimed specifically at Hispanics, though. Heidi Klum stands exactly the same chance of getting pulled over by Tucson cops as do the Chilean miners. Honest.

2. Governor Jan Brewer

The 66-year-old Tea Party Republican ascended to the governorship when Janet Napolitano was tapped to be Homeland Security secretary. Brewski (maiden name: Drinkwine—go figure) signed SB 1070 into law—with relish—and rode it to a landslide electoral victory in 2010. Sure Brewer suffered a notorious “brain freeze” during a televised debate; sure she concocted a wild fantasy about headless corpses discovered in the desert near Arizona’s Mexican border. But Arizonans voted her in.

Since then, Brewer has distinguished herself by instituting Arizona’s version of death panels. To help make up for a $2 billion budget shortfall, she cut $1.2 million in funding for live-saving transplants. This though she received $185 million in federal stimulus—a $50 million chunk of which went to bolster the state’s private prison system.

PS: Brewskie has well-known ties to prison-industry lobbyists.

3. The Incredible Shrinking Sen. John McCain

Embittered by his 2008 election loss to Barack Obama, the 74-year-old erstwhile maverick has put on a spectacular show of infantile petulance, stamping his feet and waving his arms while whining on the about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and opposing the Dream Act, which he co-sponsored with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (who also opposed it).

Onetime admirer Joe Klein describes McCain’s fall in this Time Magazine takedown:

“…because of the anti-immigrant mania, this flagrantly cynical and cowardly politician, would deny similar status to young people who–through no fault of their own–were brought to this country as children, grew up as Americans and love the country enough to serve it. If the Dream Act were passed, we would have gained an estimated 65,000 valuable, patriotic and productive citizens–college graduates, military service-members–each year…I used to know a different John McCain, the guy who proposed comprehensive immigration reform with Ted Kennedy, the guy–a conservative, to be sure, but an honorable one–who refused to indulge in the hateful strictures of his party’s extremists. His public fall has been spectacular, a consequence of politics–he “needed” to be reelected–and personal pique. He’s a bitter man now, who can barely tolerate the fact that he lost to Barack Obama. But he lost for an obvious reason: his campaign proved him to be puerile and feckless, a politician who panicked when the heat was on during the financial collapse, a trigger-happy gambler who chose an incompetent for his vice president. He has made quite a show ever since of demonstrating his petulance and lack of grace.”

On top of all this, McCain dismissed NJ Rep. Rush Holt’s bill that would provide outreach and counseling in response to the alarming rise in suicides among military veterans.

Not to mention he loosed Sarah Palin upon the world.

4. The Junior Jackass from AZ: Sen. Jon Kyl

Senate Minority Whip Kyl competed fiercely with colleague McCain for their state’s Ass Canyon Award (an honor bestowed on AZ’s most gaping a—hole.) JK finished with a flurry, leading purely partisan opposition to the New START treaty, DADT and the Zagroda Bill to offer health care for 9/11 first responders.

But Kyl really made his mark by whining publicly about having to work Xmas week and the week after—even to the point of accusing Majority Leader Harry Reid of dissing Christianity.

5. The Arizona Voter

You guys elected these bozos.

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