On Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) indulged in his favorite pastime–going to the media and criticizing his fellow Republicans. Speaking to CBS, McCain said the GOP was “dysfunctional” and blamed Sens. Cruz and Lee for driving wedges between Republicans over their fight to defund ObamaCare.
“We are dividing the Republican party,” McCain said. He continued, “I think that it argues for us to be more united and spend our time against our adversary because we all share the same principles and values and I’d like to see us do that.”
Obviously, McCain has been struck by a very bad case of “do as I say, not as I do.”
After Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a 13-hour filibuster on the President’s use of drones, Sen. McCain and his sub-altern Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took to the Senate floor to denounce Paul’s speech. McCain even called Paul and his allies “wacko-birds” who were exerting too much influence in the upper chamber.
In the weeks leading up to the Senate vote on the continuing resolution, McCain and other Republicans made the rounds of the Sunday shows repeatedly to criticize Sen. Cruz. Although McCain likely wasn’t involved, a Republican office followed his lead and forwarded opposition research on Sen. Cruz to Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
After Cruz finished his marathon 22-hour floor speech against ObamaCare, McCain swiftly took to the floor with very sharp criticism of Cruz. There were no doubt many Republican Senators who disagreed with Cruz’s tactic, yet they didn’t feel a compulsion to engage in a very public fight with him.
Who, exactly, is being dysfunctional here?
These examples aren’t isolated incidents. McCain has a long history of publicly lashing out at any Republicans who disagree with him. When he was advocating military intervention in Syria, he showed open disdain towards Republicans who questioned the wisdom of yet another foreign intervention, especially since it wasn’t clear there were any good guys to back.
Any fissures in the GOP that exist would probably heal quickly if we could just somehow enforce an embargo on McCain appearing on Sunday news shows.