Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rejuvenation of John McCain

The titular head of the Republican Party, known for his short-fused temper, has exploded after two and a half years of volcanic quiescence.

John McCain, who had to placate far-right opposition to keep his Senate seat last year, is finally blowing his lid over “Tea Party Hobbits” for their “foolish” and “deceiving” behavior in pushing a balanced-budget amendment.

Moreover, he has also freed himself from being polite about his disastrous running mate by blasting “the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees,” two Sarah-Palin backed candidates in 2010.

It may come as a surprise to Palin as well as Mitch McConnell and John Boehner that, by tradition, the presidential nominee of a defeated party is considered its titular head and spokesperson.

Not that such an arrangement has always been honored without resistance or deviation. In 1964, retired President Eisenhower, in six hours of frank political talk, could not bring himself to mention his Vice President, Richard Nixon, by name.

Instead, he kept referring to him with distaste as “the titular head of our party,” based on Nixon’s 1960 loss to JFK.

Present-day GOP leaders don’t seem to have any more respect for McCain, but for former admirers in his Maverick days, it’s good to see that there are limits to where his backsliding has taken him. They can thank the Tea Party for rejuvenating him.

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