Will McCain’s legacy change American politics?
Senator John McCain returned to the floor of the senate this past week to cast two very different, but equally decisive votes. First, he voted to put the GOP’s plan to replace Obamacare up for discussion. Then he voted against the bill that, he says, isn’t good enough for the American people.
Questioned about his vote, and openly criticized for “not supporting his party,” here’s what Sen. McCain had to say:
“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to Obamacare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing, and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace. We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of [our] nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve…”
Republicans say McCain was disloyal
These comments followed McCain’s speech directly to his senate colleagues, where he, essentially, told them to stop posturing and start actually getting things done for the American people. Those sentiments were cheered on Main Street USA but were not taken kindly by dedicated partisans on either side. Some Republicans said McCain was disloyal, while Democrats accused McCain of hypocrisy. Both said the veteran senator was the one posturing.
It’s possible that’s true. McCain has a reputation for talking tough but eventually falling in line. But it’s also true he didn’t this time on this issue. That may indicate that, as he knows he may not have much more time, McCain is done playing the political game. It’s entirely possible – and some are saying probable – that McCain knows he’s dying and wants to go out as he came in, an American hero.
Politics Stand Divided
There’s no doubt the country is dangerously politically divided. While some are making hay of these divisions, pushing out constant messaging that thrives on the anger and makes the animosity worse, many others are fed up. They want the American government to function again, and this is the group that is most loudly lauding McCain’s comments.
Will this be a tipping point? At this point, it’s too early to tell. Could go either direction. But McCain may end up being the harbinger of a turning point in American politics. It really depends, as it always has, on which message resonates the loudest with the most people