Mc Cain’s Flavor of New Age McCarthyism
Bye A C
Susan Rice should have known better, and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified. I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), to Fox News on the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Since becoming a politician, McCain has described Teddy Roosevelt as being one of his heroes to the press. And while Roosevelt’s love of war does coincide with McCain’s longing for military action as the first line of defense, Joe McCarthy is the closest kindred spirit McCain has in his political career.
McCarthy, like McCain, was a war veteran, which he touted in his political campaign to become a United States Senator – the farthest up the political ladder he went in his career, like McCain. McCarthy also had an arguably questionable moral history prior to becoming a politician. Before enlisting in World War II, he was an attorney who gambled on the side. But it was his judicial career that was especially known to be controversial. Judge McCarthy had a reputation for speeding up hearings, and offered quick divorces to politicians he knew personally in the political party he favored. He was an alcoholic throughout his adult life, and it is believed that his alcoholism attributed to his death from acute hepatitis.
But the most pertinent similarity that these two men share is their strong desire for profound influence over the country and their ability to use the fears of the time as leverage to realize this goal. The fear of McCarthy’s day was known as the Red Scare, where Americans were afraid of Communism during the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the late 1940’s. The public was deeply concerned that there were Soviet spies that had infiltrated the United States. McCarthy self-appointed himself as the head hunter of Communist defectors, regardless of whether or not he had sufficient proof, McCarthy successfully ruined the lives and careers of high-ranking U.S. officials, government employees, writers, actors and other American citizens.
McCain suffered a bitter defeat in 2008, which is clear considering he has chosen to oppose all of the current president’s proposed legislation. But before completely losing his voice among the public amidst his defeat, he realized, as other politicians also have, that today the public is afraid of terrorism. And the best way for him to hold power is to talk to the press to target his opponents in hopes of dousing their political careers as unqualified protectors against terrorism.
While serving as McCain’s opponent’s senior foreign-policy advisor in the 2008 presidential campaign, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice criticized McCain as being “dangerous” and “reckless.” Later, in 2012, after she relayed the talking points given to her by the CIA about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi to the press, McCain successfully removed her from the running for Secretary of State by repeatedly going to the press reporting that she was unqualified and even “not very bright” for not stating that it was a terrorist attack even though the CIA had not given her that information at the time.
Ironically, when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice passed along incorrect intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, McCain and Graham responded to any criticism stating, “To attack her personally is way out of line.” Also interesting is that while McCain finds a Rhodes Scholar and Oxford alumnus who served under the Clinton administration and later as New Age Mc Cartyismthe U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations unqualified for Secretary of State, McCain supported that Sarah Palin, an Alaskan governor who attended six universities before obtaining her bachelor’s degree with a history as a sportscaster, was qualified to be vice president of the United States. I suppose she won the Miss Congeniality award in the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant.
McCain strongly opposed Chuck Hagel, the current president’s nominee for secretary of defense. Hagel was a fellow Vietnam War veteran who served alongside his brother. Once after helping his wounded brother from an explosion he had a resolution, which he describes, “I remember sitting on that track, another track, waiting for the dust-off [helicopter] to come and medical evacuation, and thinking to myself, you know, if I ever get out of all of this, I am going to do everything I can to assure that war is the last resort that we, a nation, aren’t called upon to settle a dispute it unless it’s a last resort.
Hagel initially supported the Iraq War, but opposed the surge in 2007. McCain admittedly held this against him and rallied support to stall Hagel’s acceptance. Unfortunately for McCain’s track record, he failed to ruin Hagel’s chances at being sworn in, but he didn’t go down without making full-hearted attempts at soiling his reputation. He was the most vocal United States Senator throughout the process.
Nonetheless, a significant difference between McCarthy and McCain is that, in time, the Senate began to censor McCarthy. Enough of his antics had been exposed and his fellow politicians were tired of hearing what he had to say. But although McCain has said some outrageous comments that are potentially damaging to the reputation of his party, he is both allowed and encouraged to continue to speak.
“I do not believe that Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense.”
– Senator John McCain (R-AZ), to CNN’s “State of the Union” show.
If a politician becomes a constant critic of a President and his appointments he must be able to expose and defend his own actions.