“Wacko birds”: McCain and staff keep dumping on Rand Paul

posted at 10:39 am on March 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

At this point, you’d think he’d tone it down if for no other reason than that he’s doing Paul an incredible favor by continuing to pound on him. The optics simply couldn’t be better. An unsuccessful former party nominee who’s pushing 80 and known for being the most enthusiastic interventionist in American government, tearing a guy apart for making a basic constitutional point about not assassinating American citizens? What?

Don’t forget to send him a thank-you card, Rand. First, from BuzzFeed:

“Either they were drinking a lot at the Obama party or they’re just completely dismissive of what was going on,” said one senior Republican strategist. “They’re living in an alternative universe. I don’t get it at all. You have a party where there’s all this talk about how divided the establishment is from the grassroots, and then you have John McCain and Lindsey Graham come out of left field with this. People are just scratching their heads.”…

Another GOP operative called Graham and McCain “just completely out of touch.”…

“Senator McCain is obviously well aware of the politics of this – he just doesn’t care,” said one McCain aide. “He’s doing what he thinks is right. Unlike many of these guys, he’s actually been involved in a few national security debates over the years. He knows that jumping on the Rand Paul black helicopters crazytrain isn’t good for our Party or our country, no matter what Twitter says.”

Next, via HuffPo, sweet thoughts from the man himself:

“They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain said. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”

“I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not,” he continued.

I asked McCain to clarify who, specifically, he was talking about.

“Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever,” McCain said…

“On some issues [McCain] sees him as a fellow maverick, but on some issues I think that pisses [McCain] off, having a maverick against John McCain,” said the Paul adviser, who asked to speak frankly in exchange that he not be identified. “I think he thinks Rand wants his way too much, like on [National Defense Authorization Act] … but I don’t think he thinks he’s doing it just to do it.”

It’s only the “wacko birds” who get the media megaphone? McCain, famously, has been the most ubiquitous guest on Sunday morning political talk shows for years. But wait, one more. This one’s my favorite just because it’s so revealingly petty:

McCain was quick to dismiss Paul’s nearly 13-hour effort since other Republican senators also came to speechify, giving Paul a slight break, even if the Kentucky Republican was unable to excuse himself to even use the restroom.

“Usually, traditionally it’s been one person, makes it a lot easier if you have other people talking for him,” McCain said.

He stood there for 13 hours without a bathroom break and spoke for the vast majority of it — on topic too, not by reading the phone book — but because Ted Cruz chewed up a little bit of time, the whole thing’s illegitimate.

Needless to say, if you want to marginalize Paul and the libertarians, the worst possible moment to do it is when he’s asking for a simple acknowledgment that the president can’t liquidate American citizens suspected of plotting terrorism on American soil without some sort of due process. Of all the civil-libertarian positions one could take on drones, that’s the most modest — no doubt deliberately so, as Paul knows that Obama’s refusal to grant even that much makes him look like Cheney on steroids and reduces his anti-Bush counterterror rhetoric circa 2007 to a joke. You would think Maverick might at least seize the opportunity to note that the guy who beat him five years ago did so in part by campaigning on a lie, but that would mean giving an inch of ground to the isolationists on his own side. So instead he sides with O even though everyone from Reince Priebus to Fox News to the Ron Paul fan base to Jon Stewart is patting Paul on the back, and inexplicably he insists on being nasty about it just in case anyone who enjoyed Paul’s performance hasn’t been completely alienated by McCain yet. Question for my fellow hawks: Is this really the hill to die on vis-a-vis paleocon/libertarian foreign policy? Arguing in favor of a president’s power to fire missiles at an enemy combatant on U.S. soil even if he’s a U.S. citizen and isn’t engaged in terrorism at the time when the FBI could just as easily go in and grab him? If that’s a “wacko bird” position, then a lot of people who agree with it will be left wondering whether the entire mainstream rap on libertarians and paleocons as being “fringe” and “extreme” is a lie. Maverick and Graham need to learn to pick their battles. Exit quotation via Newt: ““What I find sad about Sen. McCain’s recent comments both to Ted Cruz, when Ted Cruz was frankly raising legitimate questions [about Benghazi] and with Rand Paul, is, you know, when I first knew John McCain in the House — he was a maverick. In the Senate, for years, he was a maverick.” Yep. He’s not the maverick here anymore. That’s why he’s being so petty.


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Who needs Dark Lord Sauron’s spokeskid, Gríma Wormtongue a/k/a Jay Carney, to go after the Hobbits when Saruman will do it for him?
Resist We Much on March 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Good one. I liked it much.

SparkPlug on March 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Well, you know how it is:-)

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Heck, I don’t even remember some of my own :)

Schadenfreude on March 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM

This IS a war, NOT a law enforcement action. The 2 “Americans” that have gotten snuffed by the drones (Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan) got all the due process they deserved.
This is what McCain is trying to remind people and what Rand Paul seems to be skating over.

V7_Sport on March 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I’m sure someone else has reminded you that you evidently missed the entire reason for the Rand filibuster.

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

MarshFox on March 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Hang in there.
Thanks for all and I’m glad for your transition.

Schadenfreude on March 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I’d like Senator McCain to listen to this….then do it.

My tribute to this man, one hell of a guitarist, who
just passed away 2 days ago…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRV6fwUZwBk

ToddPA on March 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Senator McShamesty, 2008: “Sarah Palin is more than qualified to be President.”

Senator McShamesty, 2013: “Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are ‘wacko birds.”

OK, Proggies, when was Senator McShamesty lying?

Resist We Much on March 8, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Breitbart.com is being unfair to Mike Lee for some reason. Somebody at BigJournalism should find out why.

FloatingRock on March 8, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Yes they are. I’m not registered there and don’t know if you need to be to contact them.

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

All is well indeed, however my travel agent(US Gov) has deemed that you and I should not get a chance to meet in person as they have me laying over in Charlotte vice Atlanta, never fear my new assignment gives me some latitude and we may indeed get that chance still in the future.

MarshFox on March 8, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I am proud to be a Wacko Bird.

John the Libertarian on March 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Heh. Man,…you have some strange hobbies!

a capella on March 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Well this was as good as it s gonna get for Tweedledee and Tweedledum, aka, McCain and Graham. McCain I think is an easy read, Graham is not.

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

MarshFox on March 8, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I figured that may be the case. Safe journeys. See ya soon. ; )

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

a capella on March 8, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I’m a GUUURRRRL.:)

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

McCain must believe our founders were paranoid. Which, they were paranoid. Rightfully so – of government overreach and a too powerful executive. Good God man. This is EVERYTHING our Republic was founded upon.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Yes you are. ; )

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Got turned down for another job today, time to start my underground business me thinks. (actually it’s already started)
I’ve done it before, will do it again.
Welcome to Obamanomics.

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM

McCain is a Trans - gendered Partied Democrat.

Czar of Defenestration on March 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Yep, I fail to see what it is about this that is all the rage. I get the rage part. Fingers crossed for your success! ; )

Bmore on March 8, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Not to slow your roll or anything, but Benedict Arnold was tried and convicted in Abstinence absentia because he managed to escape, he died in England of Edema at the age of 60.

SWalker on March 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Let’s leave his…private…life out of this, ‘kay?

Dunedainn on March 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Bah, way late to the thread but…

“He knows that jumping on the Rand Paul black helicopters crazytrain isn’t good for our Party or our country, no matter what Twitter says.”

Poor Mav. He’s surrounded by tea party hobbits flying black choppers in his mind. Better buy back some of those SAMs from the Libyans Mav. Before they realize you gave them shoddy used pinball machine parts for the bombs. Oh wait, perhaps thats why Benghazi happened… but we’ll never know, because “what does it matter!?”.

Careful there Johnny Maverick. You’re attitude is writing checks your body can’t cash. You screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog doo out of Hong Kong.

Quick get your daughter to flash her bewbs on twitter and claim discrimination.

oryguncon on March 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The point is, who gets to decide who’s a threat to the United States and deserves some drone’n. I don’t have a problem with us taking out an American overseas doing the terrorist thing, but what happens when The Lightbringer decides that all Americans carrying or owning a certain weapon are open season or even those that don’t agree with his idiocy. Heck Big Sis has already put Vets on notice that they’re not to be trusted and their mental status is suspect. The left forgets that someday we will have a leader that will decide that drone’n needs to be done if say a person belongs to a gay bathhouse in Chicago or something. The left likes it now cause it’s their Jesus picking the targets, but what happens when it’s not and they are in the cross hairs.

jaimo on March 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Heck, I don’t even remember some of my own :)

Schadenfreude on March 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM

LOL, …in the heat of battle, that is easy to do:-)

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 6:37 PM

If I told the treasonous old bass turd to FOAD, would he drone strike me? I think if he could, he probably would.

S. D. on March 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

McCain has really exposed himself on this one. He comes across as a bitter, old, camera and microphone-hogging statist. He and his buddy, Flimsy Graham, need to get off the stage.

TarheelBen on March 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Needless to say, if you want to marginalize Paul and the libertarians, the worst possible moment to do it is when he’s asking for a simple acknowledgment that the president can’t liquidate American citizens suspected of plotting terrorism on American soil without some sort of due process.

Bingo.

I’m not a libertarian at all. I think they’re wrong on drugs and marriage, and often times too loose on abortion, terrorism, and illegal immigration. But what Rand Paul did was so finely tune and so narrowly define his question by specifying the location, status, and activity of the person involved, that anything but an absolute, unequivocal ‘no’ from the administration would be an outrage. Rand Paul picked out a position that should be one of those areas of universal agreement, and spoke in a passionate and principled way.

That said, Rand’s still nuts about the Lochner bit he tossed in during his remarks, but on balance he was magnificent.

Stoic Patriot on March 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Say what you want about Newt he gets it.

MontanaMmmm on March 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

…I think we should all encourage Senator Senile to leave the party…he also needs to STFU and spend his time mumbling to Megan

KOOLAID2 on March 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Watching this idiot blow a gasket on the Senate floor when Lindsey Graham gets primaried next year is going to be outstanding.

alchemist19 on March 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Illinidiva on March 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I think you give Sen. McConnell too much credit and Sen. Paul to little. Sen. Paul didn’t not represent it as a spur of the moment decision but he was more prepared than any of the current administrations current crop and the ones equal to join him. Every department seems to be incompetent under this president.

Cindy Munford on March 8, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Quick get your daughter to flash her bewbs on twitter and claim discrimination.

oryguncon on March 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Makes me glad I don’t tweet. She probably has “right” and “left” tattooed on them so she doesn’t forget which is which.

bw222 on March 8, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Wacko Birds: McCain & Graham

Effective: Rand Paul

RealMc on March 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

That’s it. The last quiver of doubt. Dropping McCain. What a cranky ole hasbeen.

avagreen on March 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Newt Gingrich blasts John McCain, supports Rand Paul

Newt is spot on right here.

#StandWithRand

Freeloader on March 8, 2013 at 10:01 PM

I’m not a libertarian at all. I think they’re wrong on drugs and marriage, and often times too loose on abortion, terrorism, and illegal immigration. But what Rand Paul did was so finely tune and so narrowly define his question by specifying the location, status, and activity of the person involved, that anything but an absolute, unequivocal ‘no’ from the administration would be an outrage. Rand Paul picked out a position that should be one of those areas of universal agreement, and spoke in a passionate and principled way.

Stoic Patriot on March 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Beautifully said, Stoic.

Rand put Odumbo & Co. in a box and booby-trapped the only way out. And what really has them so flipping angry is he’s shown on national TV that he is smarter and a better orator than the golden boy of the Jacka$$ Party ever will be.

MelonCollie on March 8, 2013 at 10:34 PM

This IS a war, NOT a law enforcement action. The 2 “Americans” that have gotten snuffed by the drones (Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan) got all the due process they deserved.
This is what McCain is trying to remind people and what Rand Paul seems to be skating over.

V7_Sport on March 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

And Abdulrahman al-Awlaki the 16 year old son of Anwar, also a US Citizen, did he get all the due process he deserved?

Well his father was a bad man, so we needed to have him assassinated two weeks later, while he was eating dinner… because…

Because what? If your dad does something bad we kill you without checking what you’re doing?

I guess we can kill anyone who was ever even remotely associated with a terrorist, and everyone they know as well. Why not? THIS IS WAR!

Hey, if we get to 7 degrees of separation we can kill everyone… that’ll make us all safer.

Heck, blow up the planet to keep us safe; nothing is too much to do in WAR! right?

gekkobear on March 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM

I hope Rand Paul pokes his finger in McCain’s eye every chance he gets.

Sumrica on March 9, 2013 at 1:35 AM

And let’s please remember who joined Sen. Paul and Sen. Cruz during the “wacko” filibuster. Sen. John Thune, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Tim Scott and, oh yes, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Wackos” each and every one of them.

He’s gone too far. McCain is letting his personal pique and myopic world view cloud his already questionable judgement. It might be time for Sen. McConnell to have a sit down and reign the maverick in.

DannoJyd on March 9, 2013 at 1:45 AM

Cuckoo for cocoa puffs??

Count me in with the wacko birds!

Sherman1864 on March 9, 2013 at 3:01 AM

We all elect the 535 who represent us but the wacky we elect appoint thousands of staff who do the work they find impossible to do. My source google (number of staff for congress)

mixplix on March 9, 2013 at 5:18 AM

And Abdulrahman al-Awlaki the 16 year old son of Anwar, also a US Citizen, did he get all the due process he deserved?

Well his father was a bad man, so we needed to have him assassinated two weeks later, while he was eating dinner… because…

Because what? If your dad does something bad we kill you without checking what you’re doing?

I guess we can kill anyone who was ever even remotely associated with a terrorist, and everyone they know as well. Why not? THIS IS WAR!

gekkobear on March 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM

This is a good point. There is no real justification for launching missiles in territories where we are not actively prosecuting a war.

The “on US soil” part of it was a classic gaffe by Eric Holder who walked right into the cross-hairs of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

One democrat senator did ask Paul about the legality of killing Bin Laden and Paul said “Touche”. He agreed. That was problematic because we were not waging a war in Abbottabad and even if Bin Laden was “plotting”, plotting is not an imminent threat. By all accounts he was watching porn.

There were plenty of ways of dealing with Bin Laden, just as we did with the other Hussein dictator – get rid of him without dirtying your hands. And we all remember that pinnacle of foreign policy of Hillary who cackled as Ghadaffi was butchered on video.

We have a mob in the whitehouse that uses the military as if they were doing drive-bys in Chicago. The president’s assertion of the right to assassinate (the means do not matter) globally is a great threat to US prestige and world peace.

virgo on March 9, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Most believe the old “war horse” McCain is worried that some of the new senators are stealing his time on the senate floor. We welcome new blood in the foot dragging, long winded, no action, senate.

Amazingoly on March 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

This IS a war, NOT a law enforcement action. The 2 “Americans” that have gotten snuffed by the drones (Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan) got all the due process they deserved.
This is what McCain is trying to remind people and what Rand Paul seems to be skating over.

V7_Sport on March 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I’m sure someone else has reminded you that you evidently missed the entire reason for the Rand filibuster.

bluefox on March 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Hmmmm… that conversation above just about sums up the debate between a senile old fool who should be primaried if in case he dares to run again for the Senate and a genuinely concerned Patriot who wants to draw a line in the sand on where Presidential authority ends…or God forbid, transitions to tyrannical powerlust.

McSHAME and Gramnesty should have their careers cremated the next time they dare to run for the Senate, if there is any justice in this world ***

*** I am Hindu and do believe that we live in the Kali yuga… so sadly i wont be surprised if there are enough idiots in Arizona as well as South Carolina to re-elect these two power thirsty RINOs

For the first time i am glad that MCSHAME LOST in 2008 – and thats a lot coming from a person who flat out despises that piece of garbage who goes by the name of Barack Hussein Obama

nagee76 on March 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

The greatest thing that could possibly happen will be the next time McCain is up for re-election, and he finds out much to his chagrin that the good people of Arizona have also been waiting for his re-election bid to come up, so as to retire his sorry rear end from office.

I personally hope they broadcast live when he finds out he lost in a landslide to whoever was running against him and he ends up throwing a full blown screaming hissy fit the size of Godzilla.

pilamaye on March 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

They always say that the truth will finally prevail and I think it has once again. McCain is a petty, opportunistic politician who has finally been shown for what he is. Not only that, he attacks a man for standing on principle when it was impossible for him to do that when he was running for the highest office in the land. He has ascended to a point of his own irrelevance!

Pardonme on March 9, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Mac needs to learn that sometimes the best thing for him to do is stand there and smile… with his mouth closed.

RalphyBoy on March 9, 2013 at 7:09 PM

McHSamnesty has never been a maverick. Since entering politics, he’s always been a petty opportunist who has been willing to betray his country for personal advantage.

The man should just be honest and change his name to Quisling. It would even better if he would just shut up, go home, and stray there. Even better if he would take Maggie with him and lock her up.

Quartermaster on March 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

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