There was a report from Bloomberg of "audible gasps on the Senate floor" as John McCain voted NO on the Obama Care skinny repeal bill. Gasps, really? I would've gasped had he done anything different. McCain was simply, predictably, being McCain. This is the same McCain who continually tries to sabotage Donald Trump. This is the same McCain he's been for at least 25 years.
Consider a little history for context sake:
The Arizona Senator and I first crossed paths during the 1992 Campaign between incumbent George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. McCain was emerging as a media darling during this time, putting his days in the Keating Five Savings and Loan Scandal behind him. The Keating Five? Oh, McCain and four Democrats, of course. Some things never change. Certainly not McCain.
Meanwhile, Clinton's team of James Carville and George Stephanopoulos had put North Carolina squarely in the cross hairs as a must-win state in 92, and a series of odd events had landed me as Communications Director of NC Bush Quayle. Thus, as a small government pro-liberty Reagan conservative, I was in the service of a mushy moderate President who was determined to distance himself from Reagan, along with his rhetorically challenged VP. It was a root canal experience, let me tell you.
Team Bush was struggling because they couldn't, or wouldn't, run clearly to the right of Clinton and expose the differences. When Ross Perot entered the race, he further muddied the waters because his agenda agreed with the conservative agenda about 75% of the time, yet he clearly despised Bush more than he wanted to defeat Clinton. Whatever Perot's motivations were, the result was that the 92 election was an ideological mess, and Bush was not a man who even understood that, let alone overcame it.
To make things worse, enter John McCain, who was riding his war hero story, and a questionable passion for the pro-life position, into stardom on the right during this time. A big part of McCain's self-serving strategy was to ingratiate himself to the liberal media by trashing other Republicans, which he did often. So, paradoxically, he gained credibility on the right, by trashing the right, because he became the only man (ostensibly) on the right that the media liked, and we were desperate on the right to be liked by anyone in the media. Consider: talk radio was new and small, CNN was the only cable channel, and Andrew Breitbart was just starting to emerge from his "hippy dippy" liberal youth (his words).
The Mainstream Media still ruled the roost, and McCain's message to them was that Bush "must stop being so extreme," as in so extremely conservative. The exact opposite was true. Bush wasn't nearly conservative enough, nor capable of articulating those views on which he was conservative. Clearly McCain knew this, wanted Bush to lose, and to climb the ladder in the vacuum a Bush loss would create. And the media was all too happy to help. I was forced to try and use whatever media influence in North Carolina I could muster to overcome McCain's message, which is why I remember it like yesterday.
And yes, I fully understand that now, everybody on the planet is onto McCain's schtick. Most of that didn't really happen until at least 2000, and into 2008 and beyond. In ‘92 however, I was on a lonely planet. I even got into a heated dispute with the host on the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show in early 1993 about this. Gordon was still drinking the McCain Kool Aid, as were all of his listeners.
Now back to the future: everyone knows what's in the Kool Aid now.
So here we are, with McCain shaking off the effects of cancer to cast a vote that ensures we probably won’t get the same treatment he did. The John McCain who sabotaged the so called 'skinny repeal' vote over Obama Care, and who fought openly with Donald Trump months ago, is exactly the same John McCain he has always been. He not only trashes conservatives at every opportunity, he then takes credit for being this courageous "maverick," even as everybody knows that trashing conservatives to the media is the easiest, most gutless thing a person can do.
Almost everything about McCain's carefully crafted image is a lie. It always has been. And now, in a somewhat cruel irony, McCain has access to massive amounts of Obama Care-exempted health care, while voting to make sure you and I remain trapped under this failed disaster. In other words, McCain is just being McCain. This is who he's always been.
He "reached across the aisle" in the 1980's to enrich himself while the Savings and Loan scandal was bankrupting average Americans. He reached across the aisle in the 90's to help Bill Clinton. He reached across the aisle in 2005 and 06 in the name of comprehensive immigration reform. He reached across the aisle to help foist the corrupt Dodd-Frank bill on us. And on and on it goes.
Now he's reaching across the aisle in service of a corrupt, lobbyist contrived and bureaucrat enforced abomination called ObamaCare. Of course he is. This is who John McCain is, and always has been.
Edmund Wright is a contributor to Breitbart, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, and author of 2013 Amazon Best Selling Elections book, WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again.