25 September 2013

Cruzing for a McCain bruising?

Senator McCain listened to more of Sen. Cruz's tirade than I did, and apparently heard nothing in it to change his previous characterization of his fellow Republican as a "wacko bird." The Arizonan told reporters this afternoon that he confronted Cruz after the speech to complain about the Texan's perceived equation of those who didn't approve of his anti-Obamacare tactics with the British Tories who appeased Nazi Germany before 1939. One would hope that McCain objected as well to the implicit equation of Obamacare, however much he opposes it as a Republican, with the annexation of Austria and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. After reading this account of McCain's objections, I can't really tell. The way he saw it, Cruz's analogy trivialized the struggle against Hitler. He took it as an insult to the people who actually fought against Nazism, including McCain's own ancestors, even after Cruz informed him that he had meant the analogy to apply only to "media pundits" who had criticized Cruz's tactics. Tea Partiers will no doubt take this as fresh proof of McCain's obsolescence, if not his senescence. Elder Republicans like McCain "don't get it," as far as the radicals are concerned; his quibbles only demonstrate the extent to which some Republicans have become creatures of "Washington" or irredeemable members of the "political class." Outside the Republican bubble, people may wonder who's "appeasing" whom in Washington, in the historical sense of the word.

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