The courage of John McCain

Meanwhile, a fellow admirer of John McCain shared this with me, so I share it with you.

An excerpt:

National Review
McCain’s Courage
A rare American politician

By: Tom Coburn
    As the American people, elected officials, and commentators reflect on the heated immigration debate that came to a temporary close in the Senate this week many will ask, and have asked, why U.S. Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) staked out a position that may, in retrospect, be seen as devastating to his presidential ambitions. I hope the American people, at least, step back from the obsessive play-by-play pre-season election analysis and reflect on Senator McCain’s actions for what I believe they were: One of the purest examples of political courage seen in Washington in a very, very long time…

I couldn’t agree more. And I’ll say the same for Lindsey Graham.

20 thoughts on “The courage of John McCain

  1. LexWolf

    Don’t ever post stuff likle that again, Brad. It’s enough to make me barf and start calling myself Ready To Hurl 2.

  2. bill

    When will Lindsey summon up the courage to admit that he’s a homosexual who’s voted in favor of every piece of anti-gay legislation that’s come his way?

  3. Jimmy Valiant

    Lindsey was certainly a profile in courage when he went in front of the racist organization “la raza” (which means “the race”), and told them that he was going to “shut the bigots up” (referring to people who actually think that people should not break the law in order to become citizens).
    What do you think about Lindsey’s actions at the national council of la raza?

  4. Brad Warthen

    How many members of La Raza can vote in S.C.?
    Among the people who CAN vote in S.C., did Sen. Graham’s efforts on the bill help him or hurt him?
    Do you think he knew in advance how constituents would react? I’m sure he did. Even if he didn’t, he couldn’t mistake the tidal wave of opposition (the one Jim DeMint was eager to ride). And did he back off? No.
    That’s political courage. That’s doing what you believe is right in spite of the cost to you of such a stance. Graham and McCain have repeatedly demonstrated remarkable political courage, on this and other issues. They have done what they believed to be right, and explained their actions with intelligence and conviction.
    You can dismiss that all you want, but you are wrong to do so.

  5. Hal Jordan

    But Graham and McCain didn’t support the immigration bill because they think it’s right. It isn’t right, and they don’t think it is. They are supporting it because they have two constituencies – the constituency they care about, and the constituency they depend on for votes. The consituency they care about wants a continuing stream of workers with little bargaining power, that will accept any terms set by the employer. These workers can be used to distort the market for wages, and depress wages across the work force. The Republicans only cared about one feature of the bill – the guest worker program – and put in the other stuff to get as much support as they could from people who actually cared about giving a break to illegal aliens.
    Graham and McCain were willing to do anything they had to do, to alienate anybody they had to alienate, to get that guest worker program, because the people whose opinions they care about wanted it. The fact that many of the people who voted for Graham were among the group who would be harmed by the guest worker program didn’t matter to him because he doesn’t care about them. He only cares about getting their votes, he doesn’t care about protecting their interests.
    What Graham did was to ignore the wishes of the people he swore to serve, and to advocate policies that would harm them – would, in fact, drive many of them out of the middle class – because that was what was wanted by another constituency, much smaller but much more important to him.
    I’ve heard that sort of thing referred to in a lot of ways, but never until now have I heard it called “courage.”

  6. Doug Ross

    Even a moron jumping off a 90 foot cliff could be called “courageous”… stupid but “courageous”. Lindsey Grahamnesty was not elected to be courageous. He was elected to vote on behalf of the people of South Carolina. If he can’t do that, maybe he should go be courageous somewhere else.
    As for McCain, the wheels fell off that bus weeks ago. He’ll be lucky to be in the race in February.

  7. Uncle Elmer

    Brad, I don’t equate courage with competence or brains. If Lindsey Graham wants to go baiting the uber-conservatives here in SC, well fine yeah he must be brave…but is it also smart? This stance hasn’t advanced the cause of resolving the problem of illegal immigration. In fact it’s shoved back now, maybe for a long time. This was a failure. If he was attempting to lead on this issue he wasn’t eloquent enough.
    McCain falls in the same category to me. Has it occurred to you that stubborn, “political courage” is actually the easy way out sometimes? It can be as reflexively non-thinking as the raw partisanship we can expect from Jim DeMint.
    Give me a politician who can broker a deal any day over courageous ideologues.

  8. Weldon VII

    I say, Brad. Your sycophant support of Lindsey Graham makes my teeth hurt. Who else but you appreciates the “courage” it takes to toe the Bush line and support a bad bill?

  9. Doug Ross

    “Buenos Dias! You have reached the office of Senator Lindsey Graham. Press 1 for assistance in Spanish. Otherwise, hang up you racist bigot. Muchas Gracias!”

  10. ed

    McCain was on the losing side in this debate because he was wrong and it was gratifying to see the citizenry in this country listened to for once. Period. To call McCain courageous because he stuck with a loser til the end and then didn’t whine about it too much is quite a stretch Brad. But then, you’re support for him is psychopathic and frankly pretty weird, so your finding him courageous is in character for you, I suppose. I am fantastically glad that he, you and butt boy Grahamnesty lost this one. And I don’t consider his actions courageous, just sad.
    Hal Jordan seems right about this, there DO seem to be two constituencies…one that Grahamnesty cares about and one he doesn’t. I am in the one that votes in senate races, and NOT in the one that he cares about, apparently. I think Hal is correct, but I don’t understand who the other constituency is. Guess I’m too dull. I know one thing though: I intend to be very clear and calculating when I vote against him in next years’ senate race. Ed

  11. Hal Jordan

    The constituency the Republican Party cares about is people like this, Ed, people like this:
    “I don’t know where opponents of this bill think we’re going to get all the labor to run our businesses,” said Harrah’s senior vice president, Jan Laverty Jones, a former mayor of Las Vegas. “This affects everyone.”
    That’s the sort of people the Republican Party cares about, Ed, people and businesses who have enough money to make large campaign contributions to Republican candidates. Those people want a reliable supply of cheap labor, and the fact that you tend to vote for Republican candidates and have your own needs and interests, and expect the candidates you vote for to look out for your interests, matters to the Republican Party not at all. Your vote matters to them, Ed, your opinion doesn’t. They care about Harrahs, who needs a reliable supply of low-wage housekeepers. They don’t care about you.
    If you think that Lindsey Graham is the key to this, if you think that getting rid of him is going to make any difference, you’ve got another think coming. None of them care about you. What mattered was that you and the other strong opponents of this measure managed to make your voices heard so strongly that the Republicans felt they had to listen – for now. That and the fact that the measures the Republicans needed were so unpalatable that they lost a fair amount of Democratic support.
    But if there’s any way for the Republicans to sneak a bill like this in again, they will.
    Graham and McCain are not fundamentally any different from any of the other Republican officeholders. None of them cares about you. Graham differs only in that he’s such a slave to George Bush, and so addicted to the fawning and bootlicking he gets from people like David Broder and Tim Russert that he’d rather listen to them than to you.

  12. Hal Jordan

    My conclusion was maybe incomplete. Should be
    “Graham differs only in that he’s such a slave to George Bush, and so addicted to the fawning and bootlicking he gets from people like David Broder and Tim Russert that he’d spend all his time listening to them and lose his career than spend time listening to you and keep it.”

  13. ed

    I don’t think he’s necessarily a slave to George Bush, I think he and Bush wound up on the same side supporting the amnesty bill for different reasons. Bush I think believes he’s right about it. Graham, as near as I can tell, loves being in the spotlight. He has become an absolute slave to whatever recognition and fawning attention he can get in the media, and it is sickening to watch. I don’t know, but he probably had this tendency in him all along, and probably hated the battering in the press he took as one of the House Managers during the impeachment of President Clinton, and so determined to do something about it. Other than for clinical and forensic reasons, I don’t think it much matters why he’s such a suck up. He just IS and what really matters is how this affects what he DOES. And what he’s doing is consistently HORRIBLE. I swear I do not understand how a steady supply of cheap labor benefits Graham. Surely Graham is intelligent enough to know that he comes from a very conservative state…it seems to me that he’d concentrate a little more on not completely infuriating the people he needs to vote for him to stay in office. How does anything he’s done in the last 1.5 years besides support the war do that? And what good is his insidious plan to get cheap labor if he is relegated to being a slip/trip and fall lawyer again in Greer South Carolina instaed of staying in the senate? Ed

  14. Hal Jordan

    Ed, Graham didn’t take any battering in the press during the impeachment. Do a little research, and you’ll see that the papers were fawning over him then. He was using his phony pose as a moderate, the same one he uses today, where he pretends to ponder an issue, and be torn about it, but always, always, comes down on the side of whoever he’s trying to curry favor with. Look at his role in deciding whether or not to allow the president to torture prisoners, or to imprison people without charges. He and McCain pretended to broker this “compromise,” in which the president got to do whatever he wanted to do. It was the same way with impeachment, he pretended to have doubts and hesitations, but never actually stood up to the Republian leadership.
    It doesn’t matter if you can figure out exactly what his plan is for sponsoring and pushing a bill purpose is to guarantee a supply of cheap labor. The fact is that the guest worker program DOES guarantee a supply of cheap labor, and Graham pushed it as hard as he could. He pushed it for some reason, whether you and I can figure out the exact reason or not. It isn’t necessary to be sure of the specific reason. Maybe he’s paying back campaign contributors. Maybe he’s currying the favor of people he identifies with (as opposed to the voters of South Carolina). I don’t know. But the fact is that he DID push a bill that tried to guarantee a supply of cheap labor, and depress wages for Americans. He did it for SOME reason.
    “it seems to me that he’d concentrate a little more on not completely infuriating the people he needs to vote for him to stay in office.”
    It seems that way to you, but he didn’t.
    “And what good is his insidious plan to get cheap labor if he is relegated to being a slip/trip and fall lawyer again in Greer South Carolina instaed of staying in the senate?”
    You want to know my answer? My answer is this. I don’t know. But my not knowing, and your not knowing, and the possibility that ít’s impossible to know, doesn’t alter the facts. The facts are that many, many big contributors to the Republicans pushed this bill because they wanted a supply of cheap labor, and Graham did his absolute best to deliver the bill.
    Why exactly did he do it? I don’t know. But he did do it.

  15. ed

    If Lindsey Graham is “paying back campaign contributors” as you suggest as a reason for his steadfast support for this ‘cheap labor’ bill, it goes to the heart of the discussion you and I had over the last week: The people and groups that politicians consort with during their campaigns actually DOES have an effect on what those politicians do once in office. I don’t know whether I buy this hypothesis generally or not. I don’t buy it for a second in Wingates’ specific situation. However, if it IS the reason for Grahams’ behaviour, what a cynical, mercenary and whorish way to conduct oneself in office!
    On the other hand, if he’s currying favor with people he values and identifies with more than those who elected him, or because he sees them as the future of this country, what must be his overall “vision” for our future as a nation be? If Lindsey Graham believes (along with others in congress) that fast-tracking criminals to citizenship and porous borders are the wise way to proceed, we’re in DEEP doo-doo. He must go. Ed

  16. Ralph

    Lindsey Graham has betrayed his conservative promises and has voted with the liberal democrats 18 times (from Jan 1st through Jul 1st). He said Ted Kennedy
    was a great man of principle and he has been on the wrong side of those values which are important to the people who sent him to congress.
    South Carolina has a choice !!
    Tim Carnes is running against Lindsey Graham and will return conservative integrity back into the representation that the people of South Carolina receives
    in the Senate.
    Vote for a change in 2008.

  17. bud

    Examples of “conservative integrity”
    . Mark Foley
    . Duke Cunningham
    . Jack Abramoff
    . Scooter Libby
    . Thomas Ravenel
    . Tom Delay
    With “integrity” like these guys bring to the table, who needs corruption.

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