John McCain returned to the Senate for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer. McCain had some strong words for Trump and his Senate colleagues. Surely, many will speculate on the ‘motives” of his words. But many will agree, at least most of his words rang true with a very large portion of Americans. The biggest “call out” McCain made was when he scorned the way the Senate has been led astray trying to do things outside of regular order and with only their own party on board. That criticism was directed at both sides, and many believe, that it was well deserved for both to take. He also directed his guns at his GOP colleagues, telling them that they are the president’s equal, not his subordinates or lackeys:
“This place is important. The work we do is important. Our strange rules and seemingly eccentric practices that slow our proceedings and insist on our cooperation are important. Our founders envisioned the Senate as the more deliberative, careful body that operates at a greater distance than the other body from the public passions of the hour.
“We are an important check on the powers of the Executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and in many respects to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal!”
Check out that clip below:
Those themes ran through McCain’s address throughout. Here are some other pieces of advice the Senior Arizona Senator had for his colleagues and the President …
On GOP accomplishments so far this year:
“We’re getting nothing done. All we’ve really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Our healthcare insurance system is a mess. We all know it, those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it. Something has to be done. We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”
“Incremental progress — compromises that each side criticize but also accept, just plain muddling through to chip away at problems and keep our enemies from doing their worst isn’t glamorous or exciting. It doesn’t feel like a political triumph. But it’s usually the most we can expect from our system of government, operating in a country as diverse and quarrelsome and free as ours. “
On Both sides being culpable as well as taking personal responsibility for what has happened in the past:
“Both sides have let this happen. Let’s leave the history of who shot first to the historians. I suspect they’ll find we all conspired in our decline – either by deliberate actions or neglect. We’ve all played some role in it. Certainly, I have. Sometimes, I’ve let my passion rule my reason. Sometimes, I made it harder to find common ground because of something harsh I said to a colleague. Sometimes, I wanted to win more for the sake of winning than to achieve a contested policy.”
More on that personal culpability:
“It’s a privilege to serve with all of you. I mean it. Many of you have reached out in the last few days with your concern and your prayers, and it means a lot to me. It really does. I’ve had so many people say such nice things about me recently that I think some of you must have me confused with someone else. I appreciate it though, every word, even if much of it isn’t deserved.”
One doesn’t have to agree with every word McCain spoke to see this was an American Patriot calling out to his fellow Senators and citizens for us not only getting ultra polarized but downright tribal anymore.
And yes, not every issue can be resolved. Some differences will always remain for varying reasons. It might be time for many Americans in and out of the government to serve themselves a slice of humble pie. Things have gotten ridiculous and out of hand in ways that won’t necessarily be solved by flipping a Congressional House or even the Presidency.
Liberals, in all this, probably shouldn’t fret. Surely, McCain has also been fully behind the Russian investigation and following it where it leads. He is suggesting we maybe walk and chew gum collectively for a change. Keep in mind, the EPA didn’t go away because Richard Nixon left office in disgrace — nor did advancements in things like affirmative action. Yes, the Democrats are in the minority, but with the fractures in the GOP, they might find opportunities to flip the script and actually get something done that benefits the people. They also might have at least one ally in John McCain on the other side of the aisle.
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com