Tuesday, September 4, 2018

John McCain and the Political Establishment

When you turn a solemn occasion-- some would say, the most solemn occasion-- a funeral, into an opportunity to bash the President of the United States, you can expect some blowback. In truth, once you cross the line from solemnity to trash talk, you open the doors to a reaction. When you breach decorum, you provoke a response.

Normally, at a funeral we want to remember the deceased at his best. And yet, when the deceased, through his own instructions, wants to show himself off at less than his best, we are within our rights to draw attention to the full record.

In brief, when various individuals took their turns at the podium of John McCain’s funeral to score cheap political points, they invited others to respond in kind. See these posts, from Gateway Pundit and The American Thinker, via Maggie’s Farm.

As you know well, the Establishment struck back against Donald Trump in the McCain funeral. David Goldman examines the record of said Establishment. It does not look very good:

America had no military competitors of importance when George W. Bush took office in 2001, and an edge in high technology that made the American economy seem insuperable.

Since then:
  • China has taken America’s place as the leading exporter of high-tech equipment;
  • America faces credible military competition from China;
  • Real median household income hasn’t grown since 2000;
  • The civilian labor force participation rate has fallen from 67% in 2000 to 63% today;
  • Productivity growth has languished at 1% a year since the global financial crisis;
  • US federal debt has between 2000 and 2018 has doubled as a share of GDP;
  • The American economy became “cartelized, corrupt and anti-competitive,” dominated by a handful of tech monopolies who combined to crush competition.

Is that all? Not quite.

Goldman denounces the wasteful and unsuccessful Bush freedom agenda, an agenda that McCain supported. And, let’s not forget the banking crisis of 2008, one that Goldman calls a “financial fraud”, one that exposed McCain’s ineptitude as a presidential candidate. During and after the crisis the Establishment circled the wagons. No banker was punished.

Bush, supported by Senator McCain and the Republican mainstream, spent $5.6 trillion chasing the phantom of democracy in the Middle East, not to mention more than 6,700 American dead, more than 50,000 wounded and millions of lives disrupted.

That is why American voters elected Donald Trump in 2016. The bipartisan Establishment had circled the wagons to protect itself from accountability for its blunders. The same pool of public officials managed a failed foreign policy, and the same revolving door of bankers and regulators bailed out the banks.

Not a single banker of stature was prosecuted, let alone served jail time, for the biggest financial fraud in history. So effectively had the Establishment suppressed dissent and policed its own ranks that any criticism of the Bush Administration’s “freedom agenda” meant instant ostracism.

And Senator McCain happily supported the Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt. In that he aligned himself with the Obama administration policy and, strangely enough, with George W. Bush’s Director of the CIA, Michael Hayden. It was not their finest hour.

Goldman explains:

In 2012, Senator McCain backed the installation of a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

In July 2013, more than 30 million Egyptians – a majority of the adult population – demonstrated against the country’s Muslim Brotherhood government. Under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s military took control of the country, which was nearly out of food. Al-Sisi saved Egypt from starvation and chaos.

Senator McCain sadly denounced the military takeover as a violation of the democratic process. Technically speaking it was a coup against an elected government, although under emergency conditions and with massive and visible popular support. So beguiled was McCain with the prospect of a democratic Islamic regime that he never accepted that his illusion had vanished.

Sometime later I spoke with George W. Bush’s Director of Central Intelligence, General Michael Hayden. “We were sorry that [Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed] Morsi was overthrown” in July 2013, Hayden explained. “We wanted to see what would happen when the Muslim Brotherhood had to take responsibility for picking up the garbage.”

“General,” I remonstrated, “when Morsi was overthrown, Egypt had three weeks of wheat supplies on hand. The country was on the brink of starvation!” “I guess that experiment would have been tough on the ordinary Egyptian,” Hayden replied.

You get the picture. The Republican Establishment has much to answer for. It has chosen instead to direct its ire against Donald Trump. In effect, one of the strangest aspects of the McCain funeral was that, in the name of a great Senate maverick, the funeral became a defense of the political Establishment.


Anonymous said...

And we, “The Crazies,” as McCain called us, aren’t the ones still trying to curry favor with the Big News Media, even after death.

Donald Trump may not be the pinnacle of virtue, but at least he doesn’t spend every waking moment trying to play this choreographed persona the way John S. McCain III did.

People wailing about the Russia narrative should do some reading about the real corruption of the Keating Five and the financial devastation real Americans have experienced ever since under too-big-to-fail corporate banking.

The GOPe sold America down the river.

Sam L. said...

This is part of why I dislike and distrust the GOPe, and will not contribute money to them.