Worth mentioning, especially as Maverick prepares to either run for another term in the Senate or retire. The action by the Maricopa County GOP in censuring John McCain was designed to convince him to choose the latter, but how realistic is that? Matthew Boyle reports on the resolution adopted with “sadness and humility”:
“As leaders in the Republican Party, we are obligated to fully support our Party, platform, and its candidates,” the formal censure resolution reads. “Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own. That has not happened.”
The resolution continues by stating, with “sadness and humility,” the Republicans in the county “rise and declare” that McCain “has amassed a long and terrible record of drafting, co- sponsoring and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats, such as Amnesty, funding for ObamaCare, the debt ceiling, assaults on the Constitution and 2nd amendment, and has continued to support liberal nominees.”
That voting record from McCain, they say, “has been disastrous and harmful to Arizona and the United States.”
McCain was elected, the Republicans say in the censure resolution, by campaigning “as a conservative” and making promises during his various reelection campaigns “such as the needed and welcomed promise to secure our borders and finish the border fence, only to quickly flip-flop on those promises.”
The Republicans say that McCain “has abandoned our core values and has been eerily silent against Liberals, yet publicly reprimands Conservatives in his own Party.” Therefore, the Maricopa County GOP leadership “censures Senator McCain for his continued disservice to our State and Nation.”
The censure states that formally, “until he consistently champions our Party’s Platform and values, we, the Republican leadership in Arizona will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. Senator.”
Not to toss a lot of cold water on this effort, but …. just how does McCain’s track record on these points differ substantially from 2010, when he ran and won his fifth term in office? By that time, McCain had fronted the GOP effort to partner with Ted Kennedy on immigration reform for four years, and at least played footsie with the notion of joining his friend John Kerry as his running mate in the 2004 election. McCain has been re-elected twice since that widely-reported and less-than-energetically denied phase of his career, from which he bounced back to win the 2008 presidential nomination.
Maricopa County includes metropolitan Phoenix, the most populous part of the state (and where I lived briefly during McCain’s first term in the Senate), but Maricopa isn’t Arizona in toto. Arizonans tend to be fiscal conservatives and more libertarian on other points, strong on defense, and thanks to a growing Hispanic population, less hard-line on immigration than one might think (clearly, considering McCain’s success there). Like much of the interior West, they tend to like people who can’t be pigeonholed into one set category, preferring individualism over lock-step conformity. Even after all of McCain’s heterodoxy on immigration and his loss in the 2008 election, he won his 2010 Senate race by 25 points, and won all but two counties — including a 29-point win in Maricopa County.
His potshots at Ted Cruz and Rand Paul won’t help in 2016, but then again, they probably won’t hurt as much as the activists hope there, either. He’ll find a way to find common cause with the Tea Party between then and now, probably on spending issues, and mitigate any intraparty challenges, unless he decides not to run at all. However, given McCain’s personality, these kinds of censures might just convince him to go one more round just for satisfaction’s sake.
Besides, don’t we want him around until Katie Pavlich can unseat him in 2022?