By DEXTER DUGGAN
PHOENIX — Sen. John McCain keeps having problems with fences, not only leaving them porous to alien invasion on his home state’s southern border, but also refusing to mend them with his own Arizona Republican Party.
After Arizona’s state Republican committeemen censured him recently for breaking faith with party principles, McCain didn’t make a move for reconciliation or apologize for perhaps going astray. Instead, he doubled down in defiance — just like the behavior of his “bromance” buddy, Barack Obama, against American voters.
The resounding voice vote against McCain on January 25 by state leadership sounded as if it was about two-to-one. Two weeks earlier, on January 11, a recorded censure vote by precinct committeemen in McCain’s home county of Maricopa was overwhelmingly against the veteran senator, 1,150 to 351.
The margins to the verdicts weren’t even close. Yet McCain attributed the result to “a very extremist element” in the state GOP.
And, according to the Associated Press, McCain said the repudiation made him feel more likely to want to run for another Senate term in 2016, when he turns 80 — in effect relishing a race to rub Republicans’ faces in it.
Finally, news of the repudiation went national, but there was no gleeful spin to the reporting — as there would be if, say, Texas Republican leadership said Tea Partier Sen. Ted Cruz was a traitor.
However, McCain’s media friends delayed as long as they could at spreading the embarrassing word of developing events — a reminder of the corrupt media-liberal alliance, in Arizona and elsewhere.
Some web-only Arizona sites quickly posted news of the overwhelming Maricopa County smack-down on January 11, but establishment media exemplified by the state’s largest daily paper, The Arizona Republic, a leading booster of McCain, avoided reporting the story for as long as it seemed they could without looking sillier.
This only boosted web traffic by curious readers to news sources like The Wanderer. Our Maricopa County McCain censure article (“Censure of McCain Should Warn Pols Against D.C. Deals”) was the dominant story for hits at our site that week. It received considerable traffic from Washington, D.C., as well as Arizona.
In late January, instead of saying he’d like to mend fences and work out any misunderstandings with his state leadership, the word from McCain’s corner derided “wacky” GOP action. This was an echo of McCain’s attacks on “wacko bird” Republican U.S. Tea Party senators last year that he later felt he had to apologize for.
The senator usually is absent from Republican meetings in his hometown Phoenix area, even though other state and federal GOP officeholders regularly show up to engage with constituents.
McCain’s lambasting of conservative Republicans while deferring to liberal Democrats is one of many longstanding complaints against him in the Grand Canyon State, and elsewhere.
His aversion to “moral issues” is legendary, but it always seems there’s something international he can get involved in. As of January 29, the first four news releases at McCain’s senatorial web site concerned the Philippines, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Syria.
One might take pride in a U.S. senator who doesn’t confine his interests only within his state’s boundaries, but one may think that Arizona is the littlest of McCain’s considerations as he treats himself as a world player.
A January 26 article at the Arizona Daily Independent reported that while Arizonans prepared to head off to the state gathering to censure McCain, the senator met with globalist left-wing billionaire George Soros in Switzerland.
Some of these Arizonans may have to watch their budgets or stay within fixed incomes, the Daily Independent said, but Soros is chairman of the notably profitable Soros Fund Management.
And McCain is more than financially well-off.
Does McCain have no understanding of the consternation he creates when he dashes off to help a radical Democrat like Obama while treating traditionalists like yesterday’s coffee grounds?
Last summer, as The Wanderer noted at the time, McCain got in a chummy “bromance” with Obama to help with the president’s agenda, including passing “comprehensive immigration reform,” even though Obama was wallowing in a reputation of lawlessness and lying.
On the weekend television talk last August 11, Washington commentator George Will said that “the well has been poisoned irremediably” by Obama “insisting on his unilateral, anti-constitutional power to rewrite laws and to simply not enforce portions of laws he doesn’t like.” Yet McCain was snuggling right up to Obama at the White House.
By the time the state GOP repudiated McCain at its annual meeting on January 25, six of Arizona’s 15 county GOPs also had done so. Although Arizona is the sixth-largest state in area in the U.S., its counties are few but mostly large.
The immediate past chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, conservative Catholic Rob Haney, told The Wanderer in an e-mail on January 28:
“The revulsion over the liberal slant on major issues by Sen. McCain is not of recent origin. There was a recall attempt in 2001 and a censure by the Maricopa County chairmen in 2005. McCain sympathizers and operatives kept a lid on these efforts, but the disgust with McCain’s actions [has] only grown.
“The censure by six of 15 counties and the state . . . GOP censure are just the lid being blown off McCain’s great deceiver pressure cooker after overheating all these years. Platform Republicans are fed up with his conservative campaign rhetoric versus his post-election liberal Democrat votes,” Haney said.
“Many more people have been exposed to McCain’s treachery and have had enough. Second Amendment defenders universally detest the man’s deceit with a passion. His attempt to close gun shows with his ‘close the loophole’ fabrication in the McCain-[Joe] Lieberman bill and his lies about illegal immigration, with his repeated flip-flops to get elected, have turned traditional conservatives against him,” he said.
“His pro-abortion position on embryonic and fetal-tissue research, as well as his flip to support homosexual issues and marriage, have turned social conservatives against him,” Haney said.
The current Maricopa County GOP chairman, A.J. LaFaro, also a conservative Catholic, told The Wanderer on January 29 that McCain and his surrogates are trying to silence his foes.
“It’s unfortunate liberal individuals like John McCain, [former GOP Sen.] Jon Kyl, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, and DuVal’s campaign manager, Grant Woods — who is a Republican — would use Saul Alinsky tactics to try silencing the millions of people in America and Arizona who disagree with them, with their progressive socialist bullying tactics,” LaFaro said.
“Maverick” McCain often has been the liberal media’s favorite Republican precisely because they regard him as an irritant to and betrayer of conservatives, yet the same media now profess amazement that allegedly marvelous conservative McCain could dare be censured by his Arizona neighbors.
Contrary to McCain’s current claims of strong conservatism, LaFaro said that as of January 29, the Arizona senator was rated only at 43 percent by Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the national conservative Heritage Foundation.
In the Arizona congressional delegation, this figure put McCain between McCain’s protégé, “moderate” freshman Republican Sen. Jeff Flake at 58 percent, and radical left-wing Democrat Cong. Raul Grijalva at 17 percent.
Timothy Schwartz, chairman of Arizona’s Legislative District 30, developed the censure against McCain. The Maricopa County GOP web site quoted him as saying at a news conference after the January 25 action:
“For many years our citizens have attempted in vain to get the senator’s attention. We’ve made countless phone calls, written letters, and attended town halls. But Sen. McCain has ignored the people he represents. Washington’s power lure has thoroughly corrupted. But Arizona cannot be ignored any longer.
“Those in our party who refuse to listen are becoming fewer every day,” Schwartz said, “but those who care about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment — well, our numbers are swelling, and we’re becoming tired of ‘business as usual’ in Washington, D.C. . . .
“Yet Sen. McCain does not listen to his constituents back home, and will not even listen to his own party. He goes to Washington with an agenda of his own. That must change,” Schwartz said.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice-presidential running mate in 2008, came to his defense on her Facebook page, writing that although she has some disagreements with him such as illegal immigration, she stands for loyalty.
Palin wrote on January 27: “We live in a time of diminishing virtues because of societal influence towards total self-centeredness. This is unfortunate and makes raising families, conducting business, and governing that much more challenging. I know how important the virtue of loyalty is because in politics it’s pretty much nonexistent. I stand on that most important virtue and answer those asking today, ‘Yes, I am proud to have been asked to run with him in 2008, and he is my friend’.”
The editorial board of the web-only Arizona Daily Independent commented on January 29 that while Palin feels she owes McCain loyalty, “to the grassroots, John McCain has not been so generous. In fact, his machine has squashed the hopes and dreams of individuals and communities across the state of Arizona. His machine determines who will and who will not get the chance to represent the people who live in this diverse and wondrous state.
“He deserves no loyalty, and he has given none,” the editorial board said. “Instead, he has hurled epithets and dropped bombs on the people of this state, and more importantly, he has done so to the people who elected him. . . .
“We understand loyalty; we value loyalty,” the editorial said. “But what about being loyal to the Constitution and public service? What about his loyalty to his constituents, who believed him when he said he was going to build that dang [border] fence?…
“Sarah — Perhaps it is about time some loyalty was shown toward the hard-working men and women of this state, with McCain doing the virtuous thing of standing by the principles he campaigns on,” the editorial concluded.
The censure resolution acknowledged an obligation to support Republicans but concluded that “with sadness and humility, we rise and declare” against him.
The resolution began by stating, “As leaders in the Republican Party, we are obligated to fully support our party, platform, and its candidates. 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 Sen. McCain would return to our party’s values on his own. That has not happened.”
The senator, the resolution said, “has amassed a long and terrible record of drafting, cosponsoring, and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats, such as amnesty, funding for Obamacare, the debt ceiling, liberal nominees, assaults on the Constitution and Second Amendment.”
The resolution censured McCain “for his continued disservice to our state and nation,” and, “until he consistently champions our party’s platform, we, the Republican leadership in Arizona, will no longer support, campaign for or endorse John McCain as our U.S. senator.”
The Republicans didn’t complain that McCain was “insufficiently conservative,” as the Associated Press claimed. They said he cast his lot with the liberals.