by John Hawkins | December 15, 2004 8:40 pm
Anyone who regularly reads RWN knows that I genuinely dislike John McCain. Take a look at what you’re about to read and you’ll get a pretty good idea of why I feel that way…
“Personal grudges between House Republican leaders and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led to a series of legislative maneuvers in the last days of the session, sources say.
McCain threatened to hold up every piece of legislation in the Senate while House leaders refused to go along with McCain’s pet project of establishing a national boxing commission. The dispute kept the Senate in session past 10 p.m. on its final legislative day, signaling that intraparty squabbles will prevail when Republicans return with a stronger majority next month.
…In the end, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and McCain reached a deal on the boxing bill. McCain, in turn, allowed a package of telecommunications bills to clear Congress. According to a Senate Commerce Committee spokesman, McCain received assurances from Hastert “that boxing legislation similar to that passed by the Senate in the 108th Congress would receive fair and prompt action” by the House “before the first August recess.”
The spokesman added, “Senator McCain takes this offer in good faith and has always taken Speaker Hastert at his word.”
But relations between McCain and Hastert have not always been warm. Last spring, Hastert joked that he didn’t know McCain was a Republican. Asked about a comment by McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, about tax cuts and the need for sacrifice during war, Hastert responded, “If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda [military hospitals]. There’s the sacrifice in this country.”
McCain responded that he fondly remembered a time when Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility. “Apparently those days are long gone for some in our party,” he said.
House and Senate aides familiar with the legislative dispute said it had little to do with the boxing bill’s substance or with the telecom bills to which McCain attached it. Some Capitol Hill insiders suggested House leaders refused to take up McCain’s bill to retaliation for his vote against energy legislation, a high leadership priority last year.
“The word I got from my lobbyists was that it was payback on McCain for the energy issue that they held that up,” said one telecommunications industry source. “Word was the House didn’t want to vote on it as a stand-alone. Privately, it was because there was just payback there. They didn’t want to give in to McCain, and they were just pissed off about the energy vote.”
A House Commerce Committee aide denied that, saying, “We’ve heard it … but I don’t think there’s any truth to it. I hope we don’t get to the level where we don’t vote on people’s bills because they voted against our bills.”
Among bills that have passed the House are measures by Sens. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and McCain, all of whom voted against cloture on the energy bill.
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) has a bill to create a national boxing commission, and other House committees were reluctant to move Senate legislation at the end of a session.
Nevertheless, when McCain learned that House leaders were refusing to act on his boxing bill, he attached it to every remaining bill in the Senate, including bills dealing with universal-service transactions and other telecommunications issues.
House Republicans balked. “We wanted the telco bills to move forward as telco bills — not as something that’s diluted [with] the boxing bill whose relevance was questionable,” the Republican committee aide said.
McCain finally relented, but not until Hastert told Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) that the House would take up the boxing bill. Aides said Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.) helped negotiate the solution.”
First, we had McCain piddling around with steroids in baseball, now it’s a national boxing commission. Is McCain a US Senator or some sort of US sports’ Czar? What business does a US Senator have getting involved with either of these issues? Watch out or McCain might try to legislate your kid’s dodgeball game next.
Then, when something interferes with McCain’s silly little pet project, he throws a tantrum. He attaches his bill “to every remaining bill in the Senate” & then threatens “to hold up every piece of legislation in the Senate”….all over a BOXING BILL???
On top of all that, note that McCain went out of his way to slam Donald Rumsfeld this week by saying he has “no confidence” in him, he’s been feuding with Dennis Hastert, and according to this article, he’s fighting with Republicans in the House…but he gets along with John Kerry well enough to have serious discussions about whether or not he’ll become his VP.
In my view, McCain is a mediocre, narcissistic, buffoon who has become prominent in large part because of his willingness to trash other Republicans in an effort to get the liberal press to praise him as a “straight talking” “maverick”. The only thing that could be more horrifying than having this doofus as a prominent Republican Senator, would be to have him running for President where he’d likely have half the base hating his guts by November 2nd, which would lead to Democratic victory. And the only thing worse than losing with McCain would be having a doddering, country club, RINO like McCain in the White House fighting for abortion, illegal immigration, and of course, let us not forget what appears to be the most essential part of McCain’s agenda, his precious %$%$%%$%$^$%^ boxing commission!
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