Tuesday, February 07, 2006

reminder: John McCain is still an asshole

You know from last month that I’ve got less than warm feelings for Senator McNasty, but the racy rationalist has now chosen to reveal his very poison pen (no, not that one) to a fellow Senator.

On a weekend when his party was air-testing the “Hillary Clinton is too angry to be president” message, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain publicly rebuked Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) in what Matt Stoller called “the single most bitter, nasty letter I have ever seen from any Senator.”

Obama had approached the Senator from Arizona about working together on ethics legislation, and then sent a letter asking if McCain would think about co-sponsoring a plan drafted by moderate Democrats.

"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform were sincere," McCain writes.

When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter. . . . I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again.

And just to make sure Obama really, really understood how he felt, McCain closed with:

I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.

And McCain’s motivation in breaking with the time-honored tradition of not publicly criticizing other members of the millionaire’s club? Atrios puts it this way:

The real subtext of this story is that McCain wants an opportunity to preen in front of the cameras and an adoring media as he waxes nonsensically about ‘reform’ for months as we head into the presidential primary season. Oh, and that McCain is pretty much an asshole.

Pretty much.

(t.o.t.h. to Shakespeare’s Sister for turning me on to all this)


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