McCain doesn’t fol­low his own lofty ad­vice

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Be­fore the in­fa­mous and blood-cur­dling, whipped-up fear of Y2K, I told a friend who worked for Congress in Washington that I was think­ing about back­ing John McCain for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. He said, “You don’t want to do that. McCain is crazy.” I have seen in spades that he was right.

For his for­ti­tude and suf­fer­ing in his mil­i­tary ser­vice to the United States, McCain de­serves all the glory, hon­ors, ac­co­lades and all other words of praise that can be handed out. Nev­er­the­less, his po­lit­i­cal machi­na­tions are just as un­der­handed and mean-spir­ited as any other mem­ber of the U.S. Se­nate. His ac­tions af­ter his speech laud­ing work­ing to­gether and plead­ing for in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ments prove that point. His first vote af­ter mak­ing his dra­matic re­turn to the Capi­tol was in fa­vor of mov­ing to of­fi­cial votes to makes changes to the col­laps­ing Oba­macare. Good for him. But his last act was a “No” vote that killed all leg­is­la­tion for the present — even the tini­est in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ment — to make any changes in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s seizure of Amer­i­can health care and ev­ery­thing re­motely con­nected to it. The House has passed a health care bill. With McCain’s vote the Se­nate would have passed its health care bill. A con­fer­ence com­mit­tee would have ham­mered out a com­pro­mise, which McCain praised in the feigned ho­li­ness of his speech. Both houses of Congress would then have had a chance to vote on a less-than“pure vic­tory” bill. Again, some­thing McCain praised as the epit­ome of gov­ern­men­tal comity.

I see McCain, in his speech and votes, pol­ish­ing his own im­age as a mav­er­ick and a “party of one.” I see, too, that he re­turned to Washington with a se­cret score-set­tling mis­sion in mind. By cast­ing the de­cid­ing vote against the ex­tremely wa­tered-down com­pro­mise on health care im­prove­ment, he got a “pure vic­tory” over mem­bers of his own party. He got re­venge in a “po­lit­i­cal triumph” over Pres­i­dent Trump who dissed him dur­ing the nom­i­na­tion cam­paign. All his pi­ous mouthings about work­ing to­gether to ad­vance in­cre­men­tal im­prove­ments are just so much hot breath. GER­ALD HOL­LAND Ben­tonville

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