McCain’s maverick image was crafted in those early years of the Bush administration, when the senator clashed repeatedly with the House Republican leadership and, occasionally, with Bush. In the view of House Republican leaders, McCain was all too willing to team with Democrats in both the House and the Senate to stick it to them.The only thing I picked up from this column is that a lot of the GOP's problems began with McCain's bipartisan bullsh--t. Still, savior of the GOP he may be. But it won't come through the fire as a conservative party. Note that Feehery calls them "GOP" and "Republican" converts, not conservatives. Anyone buying into McCain's lies and pander hook, line, and sinker has got a big shock coming that will make them feel like idiots. When they're sitting at White House dinners next to Ted Kennedy, Justices Ginsberg, jr. and Souter the II, along with the leaders of LaRaza, and listening to their "Learn Spanish Rápido" lessons, while squinting under the harsh light of fluorescent bulbs they'll wonder what the hell they were thinking. Of course by then they won't be able to speak out about it because the internet, talk radio and the rest of the First Amendment will be chained up by McCain-Feingold.
But all of the House Republican leaders from that period — Hastert, Majority Leaders Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, and Rep. Thomas Reynolds — have departed the stage or are about to leave, while McCain is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. And McCain has done his part to mend fences with most House Republicans. He was right on the Iraq war, being the first to complain about the incompetence of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the need to increase our presence in Iraq.
He has come out strongly against tax increases, enough to earn the endorsement of Grover Norquist.
And looking back now, McCain was right on some of the issues on which he clashed with House Republicans. He was right in his instincts to be more bipartisan. McCain was right to want to reform earmarks. He was right about the political potency of climate change. He was right to call for more intense oversight. He was right to team up with Lieberman, who has turned out to be a true patriot who cares intensely about protecting this country from terrorism.
Now McCain finds himself in an interesting position, as savior of the Grand Old Party, and House Republicans in particular, amid the doldrums of three straight special election losses in former party strongholds (including Hastert’s old Illinois district).
Historical irony being what it is, a new crop of House Republican leaders are now trying to tie their fortunes to McCain. They understand that the man their previous leaders so loved to hate may be the only one who can save the Republican brand, badly damaged by an unpopular president and a seemingly endless series of GOP scandals.
So, love him or hate him, the House Republicans have now converted to the McCain vision of a reformed party. They see him as their only salvation this November.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Hell no! Not me! You crazy? Never in a million years. However some new GOP leaders are apparently bending over for the RINO, says John Feehery in his Politico piece: John McCain's GOP Converts: