U.S. Sen. John McCain's vote today against a small-business jobs bill is a prime example of his failure as a national leader. He continues to play the petty politics of sour grapes after losing the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama.
America has a storied tradition of failed presidential candidates putting politics aside and standing tall as statesmen in times of crisis. Republican Bob Dole supported then-President Bill Clinton's military efforts in Kosovo. Former vice president Al Gore stood with then-President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
But McCain's petty approach to politics looks out for only one person--himself.
McCain, operating from the same political playbook he has followed since his bitter defeat in 2008, followed 37 other Republicans in filibustering H.R. 5297, which will extend $42 billion in credit to small businesses to help get America back to work. It only passed the Senate because two outgoing Republicans gave in to their consciences and supported the measure. Ohio's George Voinovich, one of the Republicans who voted for the measure, appropriately summed up the obstruction by his GOP brethren as political posturing the country can't afford.
McCain's Republican colleagues only offered amendments to the bill that had nothing to do with its substance, Voinovich told the Washington Post.
"We don't have time for messaging," Voinovich said. "We don't have time anymore. The country is really hurting."
McCain, totally insulated from the effects of the recession in any of his eight houses, continues to show his willingness to let the economy wither just to improve his party's political standing in the upcoming mid-term elections.
"So much for "Country First,' " said Bill Romjue, campaign manager for Rodney Glassman, who is challenging McCain in the U.S. Senate race. "His strategy is simply to bet that if America fails, voters will blame the president and not the right-wing Senate minority, which has used its power to block all efforts to come to the rescue of the American worker. The economic crisis facing American families is real and severe. Yet John McCain appears not to care."
McCain's vote against the bill also demonstrates that Arizona needs a U.S. senator who will serve the people of Arizona, not his own partisan goals.
Since the beginning of the recession, nearly 300,000 Arizonans have lost their jobs.
"Every single day I hear from voters who are either desperately looking for work or know someone who wants a job that doesn't exist," Glassman said. "Members of John McCain's party are cynically using America's pain to get back into power, just so they can pursue the same policies that caused the Great Recession. My first order of business in Washington is going to be putting Arizona and America back to work, so that not even John McCain will have to wait too long to find a new line of work."