As an astute reader pointed out yesterday*, Senator McCain who has represented Arizona for 30 years is being challenged from the right. The Maricopa County Republican Committee voted by a wide margin to censure Sen. McCain for not representing conservative issues. The final count was 1,150 to 351. Contrast this with his 100% conservative rating by the American Conservative Union and in 2011 his voting record made him one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate. McCain is not a RINO…he’s not even a moderate conservative. He is to the right of Attila the Hun.
However from the Tea Party’s extreme positions, he is a liberal. So they’re using the local Republican committee to flex their muscles and falsely label McCain as a liberal because he dared to compromised with the President and, you know, help to govern the country. They’re so blind and adamant in their condemnation they had this to say:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that until he is 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.
Sounds like another Tea Party hostage situation to me. And the timing is funny (as Alopecia pointed out). As the censure vote was going down, the news of McCain’s letter to Homeland Security expressing his concerns with Border Security came out. A careful reading of McCain’s letter and Immigration Reform position (which is also currently at odds with the Tea Party members in the House) seems to indicate that McCain is actually closer to the middle position on this particular issue now than local Republicans would probably like him to be.
But this is nothing new. McCain has a pattern of moving left and right on this issue depending on whatever he thinks is in his political interests. A couple of years ago he was virulently opposing everything the President wanted. He and Senator Jon Kyl (since retired) refused to address comprehensive Immigration Reform until the Border had been made secure against “violence” supposedly spilling over into the U.S. Now he wants to deal with comprehensive Immigration Reform and is concerned that there are too many ineffective assets deployed on the Border and that they are too militarized.
This is all part of a power play. The old school Republicans are fighting with the Tea Party and this is one delightful result. I don’t think they’ll hurt McCain come 2016 because he doesn’t need their money or their support really. The geriatric vote will keep McCain in office until he is mummified by the Arizona climate (similar to Sheriff Arpaio). But I can always dream. In the meantime, get out that frosty beer mug and pop some popcorn because it’s going to get interesting in the wild wild far right west.