The Huffington Post has a piece by Sam Stein titled Dems Fed Up With McCain: "Angry Old Defeated Candidate" - a sentiment I, as well as many here at DailyKos, echo:
"He is bitter and really angry," Bob Shrum said of McCain in an interview on Friday. "He is angry at the press, which he thinks is unfair. He is angry at Obama and angry at the voters. He has gone from being an angry old candidate to being an angry old defeated candidate."
And McCain was at it this morning on CNN with John King, who gave McCain a platform to swipe at Obama but did nothing to challenge McCain's bullshit:
KING: I just tried to get Robert Gibbs -- was this a skirmish over philosophical differences -- Republicans don't like this bill -- or was it the beginning of a partisan war? People in your party coming to the calculation let's just say no?
MCCAIN: I don't know the answer to that. I do say, in all candor, that it was a bad beginning. It was a bad beginning because it wasn't what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together.
Look, I appreciate the fact that the president came over and talked to Republicans. That's not how you negotiate a result. You sit down together in a room with competing proposals. Almost all of our proposals went down on a party line vote.
Now, I hope that with the next issue -- a TARP will be coming up again...
KING: More bailout money.
MCCAIN: More money. I hope the next time, we will sit down together and conduct truly bipartisan negotiations. This was not a bipartisan bill.
KING: Well, if we're going to do that moving forward, part of that is the spirit. You've given your promise right here you want to do that. He is going to be right here in your home state talking about foreclosures. It's a terrible problem. Will you stand with him and send a signal you're still willing to work with him, or does he have to prove something to you first?
MCCAIN: The president doesn't have to prove anything to me. I will be in another part of the state, which I had previous plans to be. But I'm pleased that he is coming here. People here in Phoenix and across our state are hurting very badly, the housing crisis. And I'm sure that he is very welcome here.
But the point is, this bill was not bipartisan. It was -- it is incredibly expensive. It has hundreds of billions of dollars in projects which will not yield in jobs.
Now, if you think we need to improve education, spend money for it, fine. But this was supposed to be a package that was going to create jobs. A lot of this package will not create jobs. A lot of the tax cuts we've tried before of just giving people some money, it hasn't changed the way that savings have been conducted by Americans.
So I'm not happy, and most of us aren't, at the lack of true bipartisanship in approaching this legislation.
I support President Obama's attempts to reach across the aisle. Unfortunately, I blame him and his advisers for putting too much emphasis on bipartisanship being an end rather than a means. McCain has grabbed onto the President's effort and has argued mostly on process in an effort to tear down President Obama. McCain appears to relish saying, in essence, "I would have done this differently. I told ya so that you voted for the wrong guy." Of course, McCain's words are mostly bullshit. Look at this portion of the interview:
KING: Because your state is hurting. You have 6.9 percent unemployment. You're third in the nation when it comes to foreclosures. From a percentage standpoint, your governor has the biggest budget shortfall, right now, because of the recession, than any governor in the country.
And the supporters of the White House say this bill will bring more than $10 billion and 74,000 jobs to your state.
Could there be a point in your reelection campaign where you have to say, you know what, the president was right and I was wrong?
MCCAIN: I don't think so. We are laying a debt -- we are committing generational theft. We are laying a huge deficit on future generations of Americans.
This morning on Meet the Press, Ron Brownstein made the following point:
"During the Senate debate, 36 of the Senate Republicans voted for an alternative that would have cut taxes over the next decade by $2.5 trillion, [and] reduced the top marginal race to 25 percent," said the Atlantic's Ron Brownstein on "Meet the Press." "For John McCain -- who voted for that alternative of a $2.5 trillion tax cut over the next decade -- to talk about generational theft, I mean, pot meet kettle."
In addition, here is McCain once again critiquing President Obama's transition:
KING: One of the things you said repeatedly during the campaign for presidency was, he's a nice man, Senator Obama, but he's not ready. Is this proof of you that he does not have the experience to be the chief executive?
MCCAIN: No. But it does show that what I would have done -- and I hate to keep saying it that way -- is get outside the Beltway; get outside of Washington. Get people who have succeeded. Get the Meg Whitmans and the Carly Fiorina and the Fred Smiths and the John Chamberses. Get people who haven't been inside the Beltway, who haven't been part of this incestuous relationship that has caused the special interests and the national interest to somehow be distorted to a degree that the American people have lost confidence in what we do in Washington.
That's what I -- I think is important. Get people who haven't been inside, who haven't been part of the creation of the problem of a crisis of confidence.
This from the man who used Phil Gramm as his economic advisers and would have appointed him Treasury Secretary had he not made his remarks about America being a nation of whiners. And who was McCain's second choice for Treasury? John "$1,400 Trash Can" Thain. Also, this is the man whose campaign was run by lobbyists and he's preaching about the need not to let special interests run the government? McCain's chutzpah makes me wanna vomit. But even worse perhaps is John King's lapdog interview that doesn't challenge McCain on any of his points. Steve Benen makes some excellent point about McCain's effort - which is getting a lot of help from the media - to spin the President's victory into a defeat:
As part of his ongoing offensive against the man who defeated him, John McCain continued to lash out at President Obama yesterday, blasting the economic stimulus package poised to become law. As the Senate debate was wrapping up, the Arizona Republican said, referring to the White House, "I hope they've learned a lesson."
On its face, I find this rather amusing. Obama got what he wanted -- an ambitious package with the spending-to-tax-cut ratio he envisioned from the outset. "I hope they've learned a lesson" is the kind of phrase that applies when one fails to get what they want. It's like telling the coach who just won the Super Bowl, "If you do things differently next time, you'll get a better result."
In the John King interview, McCain - again with an assist from King - also criticizes certain procedural aspects of how the recovery bill was passed and complains "That's the old business as usual." It's unbelievable the degree to which McCain is practicing the same business as usual and practicing the typical Republican habit of projecting his own behavior onto the other side.
I admit I'm a partisan Democrat. I admit my values are different from Republicans. Nevertheless, I like to think that I try to see when the other side makes good points or act in good faith. But I just don't see it. In fact, I haven't seen as much bad faith from the other side as I am seeing now. It makes me hate Republicans more and more. And McCain is showing himself to be no better than his party's members. I never want to hear it said that McCain is a moderate, a maverick, or behaves in a bipartisan manner. That's just utter fantastical bullshit.
Update [2009-2-15 17:15:17 by John Campanelli]: CNN.com front pages this story: GOP senators say Obama off to bad start. They also have a poll that asks: Is President Barack Obama, as Sen. John McCain says, off to "a bad beginning"?. Just shows how out of touch CNN and the GOP are - over 60% vote "No". Add your vote. (Scroll down and the poll is on the right side)
Also, write to John King and tell him what an awful leading interview he conducted. Here's my short e-mail I sent:
Concerning John King's interview with John McCain:
Mr. King's interview with John McCain was an embarrassment. Mr. King fed McCain GOP talking points and never once challenged Mr. McCain's points and distortions.
Mr. McCain talked about the stimulus bill's "generational theft" and yet John King did not ask if McCain's own tax cuts were not worse since they would cost $2.5 trillion dollars over several years.
I could go on and on about what a softball interview Mr. King conducted (he has a history of conducting such fawning interviews with McCain) but I sense CNN will be receiving many complaints that make more points than i do in this short missive.
By the way, as Glenn Greenwald points out, King has a habit of conducting fawning interviews of John McCain. Here is part of King's response to Greenwald's piece:
I don't read biased uninformed drivel so I'm a little late to the game....
McCain, for better or worse, is a very accessible candidate. If you did a little research (there he goes with that word again) you would find I have had my share of contentious moments with him over the years...
You clearly know very little about journalism. But credibility matters. It is what allows you to cover six presidential campaigns and be viewed as fair and respectful, while perhaps a little cranky, but Democrats and Republicans alike. When I am writing something that calls someone's credibility into question, I pick up the phone and give them a chance to give their side, or perspective.
That way, even on days that I don't consider my best, or anywhere close, I can look myself in the mirror and know I tried to be fair and didn't call into question someone's credibility just for sport, or because I like seeing my name on a website or my face on TV.