Who is the John McCain of the Democratic Party? The “maverick” who disagrees with his or her party’s orthodoxy and is willing to confront it? Is there such a figure?
Instead, an analysis of Congress by the Lugar Center found that, of the top 10 most bipartisan U.S. senators, just one—Joe Donnelly of Indiana—is a Democrat. Overwhelmingly, most of the “reaching across the aisle” is reaching from the Right.
In a piece that almost reads like parody, for example, the Washington Post just ran an article entitled “Five of John McCain’s most courageous political moments.” At the top of the list: The speech he gave when he lost to Barack Obama. (“Of course the media loved McCain,” one longtime Republican told me this week. “He’s a Republican who lost.”)
All the other moments involved McCain either attacking a Republican or defending a Democrat.
The media can’t stop admiring the many times Sen. McCain took to the floor of the Senate to criticize Republican positions on issues like immigration or campaign finance reform. OK, fine. So where is the Democrat who’s done the same?
Can you imagine a Democratic senator giving a speech condemning the #AbolishICE, open-borders wing of his or her own party? Making the case, as economists have, that large-scale immigration by low-skill workers hurts the wages of Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder? A speech arguing, as labor unions did for decades, that the Democratic Party should be the party of strong borders in the name of economic justice?
That speech will never be given, because there isn’t a single “maverick” on the Democratic side of the aisle to give it.
A speech like that would actually help create the sort of bipartisanship we’ve been celebrating in the life of Sen. McCain. The tricky part: Finding a Democrat with the courage to give it. They would be ostracized from their own party.
Don’t believe me? Ask Joe Lieberman. In 2000, he was the Democrat’s nominee for Vice President of the United States. In 2006, he was driven out of his own party in a primary and had to run as an independent to hold onto his Connecticut U.S. Senate seat. What was Lieberman’s alleged sin? Working too closely with Republicans. One in particular: Sen. John McCain.
They’re fine with self-seeking schmucks like McCain, right up until they’re no longer useful to them or threaten them in any conceivable way. Then the knives come out again, until such time as the phony “Maverick” can be made use of once more. The Real Right ought to start treating its conciliatory “bipartisan” turncoats just like the Left does theirs…and the NeverTrumpTards would be a fine place to start.