July 29, 2017

Lots to catch up on now that things have entered into post-Goodboys mode, but I’m going to start with politics:

Don Surber is absolutely right when he writes that the latest episode involving the GOP’s pathetic attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare and Arizona senator John McCain illustrates everything that is wrong with Washington these days. No one, from the White House on down, is covering themselves in glory, no one wants to play the role of grown-up in the room, and no one seems interested in rising above party politics.

The GOP had seven – count ‘em, seven years to work with healthcare practitioners, lawyers, drug manufacturers, insurance companies, average everyday citizens, and officials at every state and local level to craft a truly modern, creative, and practical approach to overhauling our approach to health care and how folks pay for it, and they did nothing. The Democrats, of course, either wouldn’t or couldn’t help even as they saw Obamacare start to implode because of party politics. And neither party seems interested in doing anything that would push forward President Trump’s agenda because he’s an existential threat to the “UniParty” in Washington that wants only to stay in power, maintain the status quo, and keep the spoils system going.

Enter the latest efforts by the GOP to pass an obviously-flawed bill that does nothing except make it appear to voters that they are moving the ball forward on health care so that they don’t have to do anything else to rock the boat going into the midterms. Recalcitrant senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Dean Heller of Nevada feel the whole thing is bullshit and refuse to play along. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is clueless and unwilling to crack the whip over this, so it comes down to McCain, a vile and petty politician interested only in maintaining his political power and his reputation as a “maverick” when in reality all he cares about is getting attention and playing to the media whenever possible.

Originally, the word was he had minor surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. Then it was revealed to be much more serious, and the whole media establishment suddenly comes down as if it’s the Lord Jesus Christ and the end of democracy that the life of such a “hero”, “statesman”, and “fighter for the common man” might be in grave danger. Statements of thoughts and prayers pour in from all over, giving McCain even more of the only thing in his life he thirsts for and lives for – more attention. The spotlight is firmly on him: what will he do? How will he vote? Surely, he’ll go along with the GOP’s plan, right? After all, he based practically his entire re-election campaign in 2016 on his promise to lead the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, right?

And then the moment comes, and what does McCain do? Plays the same role as a mean and petty politician he always had. He blasts those who have the nerve to criticize Washington, then, when the defining moment arrives, where, in Tin Cup lingo, you define the moment or the moment defines you, he walks into the chamber, signals his vote with a simple thumbs down then walks back out to head back to Arizona for cancer treatment.

That is the real John McCain, and that’s the way something as important to the GOP’s fortunes in the 2018 midterms is viewed by the Republican senator from Arizona. It’s f**k you to Mitch McConnell, the GOP House, and, in a way, the American voters themselves. Because, in the end, it’s all about him, just as it always has been. And it’s emblematic of everything that’s wrong with Washington – a bunch of self-serving, pompous elitists who play the game solely for the game’s sake, praying that in 3 1/2 years the Trump nightmare will go away, another Washington insider will be elected, and everyone can go back to their bread and circuses as if nothing matters, nothing has happened, and nothing threatens them to be responsible or accountable to the voters who put them there.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 10:46 | Comments (0)
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