Robert administers some due and proper Last Rites.
John McCain venerated the state, of which he was a product. His grandfather and father were admirals in the navy. He was a graduate of the Naval Academy and spent his entire career working for the government. His philosophy was consistent: there are no constraints on the state. As was his ambition: the accretion of state and personal power. Championing government both at home and abroad, he achieved bipartisan splendor.
He never met a US war, actual or prospective, he didn’t love. (Although he sort of admitted after the fact that Iraq might have been a mistake, and he came out against torture.) His was the deciding vote against repealing Obamacare. That put him at the Olympian summit of uniparty bipartisanship: the indefatigable champion of the warfare state, the welfare state, the surveillance state, and anything else the state might want to do.
That is why the flags flew at half-mast, his body lay in state in the US Capitol, Democrats and Republicans issued gushing commemoratives, and the mainstream media flowed with his praises. Powerful people’s florid eulogies were the verbal equivalent of the military’s twenty-one gun salute. McCain was the exemplar of the uniparty’s only consistent principle: the expansion of government and its power.
Which would go a long way towards explaining this tripe:
Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney next to each other at John McCain’s funeral… seems so much how Washington used to be, and is no longer. When America hears these stirring patriotic songs today, do they even hear the same words?
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) September 1, 2018
Actually, with the Uniparty now fighting Trump The Disrupter tooth, fang, and claw, it is EXACTLY how Washington still is now, how it has been for a long time. “Used to be” just flat isn’t so, and if it’s ever forced to progress to “no longer” it won’t be cause for lamentation except among Uniparty asswarts like McCain and Co; the Deep State malefactors they enable and protect; and the media spirit squad that cheers them on. To wit:
Now they’ve laid John’s body down, sad old men and women who run this town. Their sadness was feigned. One of the treasures exchanged for power is the capacity for honest and wholesome emotion. It’s all unbounded ambition, bloodless calculation, and reflexive insincerity. The “sad” is from the perspective of the wise and ethical. Many of the “mourners” are so warped, so corrupt, and so beyond redemption that they evoke profound despair among those who see them for what they are.
The “old” is real. The powers that be look and talk old. Their philosophy is ancient, tottering like Hillary Clinton falling into her van. For centuries, beneath the religious and patriotic dross, might wielded by central authority has made right. That philosophy and its adherents won’t go without an epic tantrum befitting the late McCain, but forces of decentralization beyond their control have been unleashed. The order they worship is Rome’s unaffordable, unmaintainable subjugation of its empire, undone by barbarians outside the gates and corruption within.
The future belongs to chaos as the unsustainable old order collapses. Someday an entirely different order and ethic, based on decentralized liberty, may prevail…somewhere.
This weekend John McCain has been laid to rest. Not, unfortunately, what he represents…but that will follow soon enough.
Unfortunately, they aren’t all old, and therefore won’t die soon enough. Or not naturally, anyway; they’ll have to be helped along somehow.
Update! Related? Oh, you just bet your ass it is.
The Senate adjourned this week amid self-administered backslaps for “working hard during August” (they worked a grand total of 6.5 days) and donning self-congratulatory laurels as they praised themselves for implementing “major Republican priorities.”
But for anyone paying attention, the Senate’s latest “work” session had all the characteristics of the 115th Congress: wildly exaggerated rhetoric, few actual results, a lot of excuses, and a stunning lack of urgency to accomplish anything they promised voters.
The duplicity of Senate Republicans is now a recurring theme. They claim to stand for something on the campaign trail, but then fail to support it when they get to Washington—instead hiding behind procedural excuses and “strategies” that are never intended to amount to anything.
In the case of Paul’s amendment, the Senate’s leadership claimed a vote would be counterproductive to their strategy of addressing the issue with the House in conference. Never mind that the House hasn’t even passed their Labor-HHS bill, or the fact that zero spending bills have been conferenced successfully and sent to the president.
Moreover, the outcome of the spending process, as outlined above, will not be 12 individual bills enshrined in law. It will be yet another thousand-page, trillion-dollar December omnibus. But that painfully obvious fact didn’t stop the Senate’s leadership from trying to convince conservatives that the leadership’s palpably insincere strategy was actually meaningful.
This reflects the approach of Senate leadership to nearly everything that conservatives and Trump supporters care about. Obamacare? “Well, we tried,” is the response. Meanwhile, senior Senate Republicans keep trying to bail out the failing law.
Time and again, Senate leadership has given lip service to our priorities while trying their hardest not to work with the president to accomplish real change.
And no, Senate leaders are not engaged in some masterful sort of grand strategy on behalf of voters’ priorities. This is not tactical brilliance or a game of four-dimensional chess incomprehensible to mere mortals. There is not some year-end master stroke that is going to emerge from the leader’s office in December to solve all the Senate’s policy problems. This is exactly what it appears: political cowardice.
I maintain that it isn’t really cowardice; it’s deception, deflection, and skullduggery, stalling for time until Trump either knuckles under and gets with the standard DC business-as-usual program or is removed, by whatever means they can contrive.