Although he’s usually busy playing poker on his smartphone or supplying arms and money to known agents of al-Qaeda to help them wage war in the Arab world, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain (shown on right) might want to pay more attention to the battle brewing in his own backyard.
Most the combatants back home in the Grand Canyon State come from within his own party — Republicans who believe the self-described “maverick” has violated several GOP articles of faith.
Over the weekend, the blog maintained by the Maricopa County (Arizona) Republican Party read like a digital 95 Theses, enumerating the ways the establishment’s favorite hawk has gone astray.
From his advocacy of the offer of amnesty to illegal aliens to his constant calls for the use of the U.S. military as the world’s police force, McCain’s record is all the ammunition his detractors need.
The “briefs” posted by the Maricopa GOP ooze with frustration with the senior senator’s haughty attitude. The lead memo on September 7, for example, calls McCain out for failing to adequately publicize his town hall meetings or to even notify local party leaders.
There Is Lots Of Chatter Regarding The Short Notice The Public Had On Sen John McCain’s sudden, overnight called Town Halls in Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott this past week. Even with the short notice, people who became aware and did attend were plenty vocal. Briefs has confirmed reports that ... McCain’s office didn’t bother to notify AZGOP Robert Graham, nor Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman AJ LaFaro. Now if that isn’t a slap in the face of two top Arizona GOP elected officials. Surprise, surprise — few county, legislative district chairman and precinct committee weren’t aware in time to go either... You know those folks who are expected to whip up the troops to walk the streets and get out the vote to get him elected to his esteemed office. Such arrogance is wearing very thin with Grassroots party works.
Later in the blog, links are provided to stories reporting on flack McCain is taking for his pro-intervention position with regard to Syria.
One of the links points to an article containing data that prove senators who approved a strike on Syria “got more defense contractor dough.” Topping the list, the site reminds readers, is John McCain, who cashed a defense industry check for about $176,000.
It’s not just the Arizona Republican brass that has had enough of McCain, however. As these links listed on the site indicate, the rank and file is fighting made, as well.
Reportedly, some of McCain’s colleagues on Capitol Hill are opening the newest front in the battle to restrain or replace the five-term senator.
A high-ranking Republican source close to the state’s U.S. congressional delegation told Breitbart News that the state’s Republicans believe McCain is abandoning both conservative and centrist Republicans to support policies that are out of line with the GOP. “There is a growing concern among Arizona Republicans that McCain is increasingly out of touch, and out of step, with conservatives and moderates,” the AZ GOP source claimed. “His constant war mongering, demand for amnesty, praise for Obama and Napolitano, demands for higher spending while attacking conservatives has convinced many he lacks core principles.”
The Breitbart report goes on to say that Arizona’s “entire GOP congressional delegation” — with the exception of freshman Senator Jeff Flake — “stands against McCain.”
As is the case with his Republican cohort in the war drum corps, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (shown on left), Republicans in McCain’s home state consider his views on amnesty, Syria, drones, the NDAA, the expansion of the surveillance state, etc. to be unforgivable sins and worthy of excommunication.
While internecine name-calling and belligerent blog posts may not be worrisome to McCain, the reaction of the grassroots in the GOP should concern him. The story of one woman’s lambasting of McCain at one of his under-publicized town hall events is demonstrative of the growing irritability with McCain, particularly with his foreign policy positions. Standing just feet from McCain, the lady took the microphone and read what amounts to no less than an indictment of McCain and the infamous “Gang of Eight” he leads. She said:
Senator McCain, given the fact that wars cost billions of dollars and kill people, and the fact that there is a two-digit unemployment rate in America’s inner cities among black-skinned people like President Obama, an increasing use of food stamps strongly encouraged by the president, government-run schools that are more concerned with promoting anti-Christian beliefs and values, and the brainwashing of our precious children to have slave-like mentality, the aborting of millions of helpless babies by Planned Parenthood, why don’t you and the Gang of Eight apply the same war-like vengeance and effort to dismantle the Department of Education, remove government regulations that inhibit economical progress, stop giving illegal aliens citizenship so they can vote for a dictator in America and stop the crimes perpetrated by often skill-less invaders and let my people and all American citizens thrive?
McCain, although noticeably irked, played off the lady’s legitimate questions with a joke and a remark recalling his own failed presidential aspirations.
The joke seems to be on him, however, given the number of similar scenes that played out in almost every venue he visited. For a sample, go to YouTube and search for “McCain town hall meeting.” The results should be enough to send McCain running for the Right.
Like Graham, McCain counts with a bulging campaign coffer and with the powerful campaign infrastructure that is a perquisite of being one of the establishment’s favorites.
As 2016 draws nearer, it will be worth noting if McCain marches toward the Constitution and traditional conservative values, hoping that voters will forgive his prodigality and forget his choosing of Obama over his oath of office.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at