While he will always deserve honor for his combat bravery, conservative Americans are finding fewer and fewer reasons to praise Sen. John McCain for his service as an elected official. Since a failed presidential run in 2008, the Arizona politico has increasingly voiced his disapproval of true conservative policies – and the Tea Party movement that champions them.
In a recent Fox Business Network interview, McCain refused to acknowledge the fact that his popularity is suffering. Surrounded by supporters, he has apparently become insulated from the prevailing sentiment among his right-wing constituents.
He cited a “bogus poll out there” that indicated his approval has slipped even further recently. Though he did not specifically identify the source, he was likely referencing last week’s Public Policy Polling study that found his approval rate is the lowest of any American senator.
“I can sense the people of my state,” he contended. “When I travel around, which I do constantly, they like me – and I am very grateful.”
Of course, people are generally cordial around high-profile figures, even those with whom they might disagree. For McCain to disregard empirical evidence based on his own anecdotal experiences indicates a potential disconnect from reality.
His true intention in touting his own ostensible popularity, it seems, was found in his revelation that he is “seriously considering” seeking yet another term in the Senate. Another presidential bid, however, is not in the cards.
McCain did not stop with mere self-congratulation. He also used the interview to target conservatives in his party – including Sen. Ted Cruz – and even the lionized face of the modern right, Ronald Reagan.
“All of these people at the CPAC will claim that they are Reagan Republicans,” he said. “Did they forget that Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to three million Americans? Do they forget that he did raise taxes, that he made an agreement with Tip O’Neill on Social Security, that Ronald Reagan said [the] 11th commandment is you don’t speak ill of your fellow Republicans?”
His selective history lesson, it appears, was intended to excuse his moderate leadership and penchant for capitulation.
After more than three decades in elected office, it is perhaps understandable that McCain is unwilling to concede he has fallen out of favor with many in his party. If he decides to seek yet another term in the Senate, however, it might take a disastrous showing at the polls to send the message home.
–B. Christopher Agee
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom