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John McCain
John McCain, has-been, scolding someone for something.
Sen. John McCain, failed presidential candidate and bitter old man, has become increasingly shrill in attacking the man who defeated him in 2008. President Obama, he says, is solely responsible for the pending cuts in spending dictated by the law that Congress passed last year. The Budget Control Act resolved the standoff created by Republicans when, for the first time in history, they refused to raise the debt ceiling limit. In order to keep the U.S. from defaulting and the global economy out of free fall, Obama and Congress agreed to steep cuts, including cuts to defense.

And McCain is still pissed about it, and still refuses to acknowledge that it was Republican hostage-taking and refusal to consider tax increases that created this mess.

“I really don’t think the president understands the importance of national defense,” McCain said Thursday on FOX News’ “On the Record with Greta van Susteren.” “He certainly hasn’t shown it to my satisfaction.”

McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Obama had signaled he would only negotiate on the cuts if Republicans agreed to increase taxes.

“That is not the way you seriously negotiate,” he said. “That’s not the way Ronald Reagan negotiated. That’s not the way Bill Clinton negotiated.”

Reagan didn't have to negotiate that way because he had a Congress that agreed with the need to raise taxes when faced with deficits. He did so about a dozen times, raising what would be the equivalent in today's dollars of $300 billion annually, "more than what many Democrats are now seeking as part of a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling." Same for Bill Clinton, who left office with a budget surplus, in large part because of tax increases on the wealthy and the booming economy.

What's more, the bipartisan Super Congress had its chance to come up with alternative cuts to the automatic cuts that the law prescribed. It's certainly not the president's fault that that committee failed. McCain knows all that, but he's not going to let that get in the way of his bitching. But is it principle that's driving McCain, or is it sour grapes that's driving McCain almost to the point of treason against his president?

"[I]t’s the president’s leadership—I’d like to be president. I tried that once. But the fact is we need the president’s leadership, and it’s nowhere to be found. It’s almost dereliction of duty.”
Nice, McCain. What a way to end a Senate career. At least he'll find haven on the Sunday shows, the last bastion of has-been politicians.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 09:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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