To no one's surprise, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) announced his intention to run for re-election. After a distinguished military career and 5 ½ years as a POW in Vietnam, McCain retired from the military and entered politics. McCain was initially elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, followed by his first Senate election in 1986. Since his initial election to the Senate, McCain has won re-election four times.
For John McCain, 34 years in Congress will not be enough, so he wants another six years as U.S. Senator. In fact, he told one reporter that his Senate career was "just getting started." If elected again, McCain will be 86 at the end of his next term.
It is clear that the voters of Arizona need to put this "maverick" Republican out to pasture.
McCain is known as a war hawk and along with his ideological soul mate, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), has pushed for aid to "moderate" Syrian rebels even though their track record of success has been very suspect. In fact, some of those "freedom fighters" that McCain met with turned out to be members of ISIS. On this issue and many others, McCain's judgment is very questionable.
McCain has made a career of blasting his fellow Republicans and seeking "common ground" with Democrats. During the debate on the Obama administration's drone policy, McCain referred to his conservative Senate colleagues such as Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) as "wacko birds." Rarely, if ever, has McCain directed such disparaging language toward Democrats.
Throughout his career, McCain established close friendships with Democratic Senators such as Secretary of State John Kerry and the late Ted Kennedy, both from Massachusetts. In fact, McCain infamously partnered with Kennedy to push comprehensive immigration reform. Their bill was never actually passed, but it inspired other pieces of legislation that pushed amnesty as a solution to the illegal immigration problem. Since that time, McCain has tried to move to the political right by adopting a tougher stance on border security, but Arizona voters should not be fooled by his convenient election year conversions.
McCain also partnered with another Democrat, former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold to pass campaign finance reform that banned large campaign contributions to party organizations. However, it just created a vast network of independent political organizations that legally accepted unlimited political contributions outside of public scrutiny.
McCain pushed many of these initiatives to gain favor with Democrats and the media, which he often uses to criticize his own party. During his two presidential races, McCain tried to present himself as a moderate reformer who would be a different type of Republican nominee. This generated very positive coverage from the media and it lasted until the second McCain actually became the GOP nominee. At that point, his friends in the media turned on McCain and became the equivalent of blocking backs for his opponent, Barack Obama.
In the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama destroyed McCain in the general election, proving once again that moderate GOP presidential nominees are easy for Democrats to defeat.
McCain has recently tried to adopt a more conservative stance by opposing the nomination of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. However, it is an obvious maneuver to win support in Arizona. Already Tea Party groups are getting ready to oppose McCain and this effort needs to be successful.
The only way to change Congress is to change the people who have created our problems and given the nation a debt of over $18 trillion. The ideal solution is congressional term limits. In the meantime, the old political dinosaurs such as John McCain need to be defeated.