The struggle between Republicans and Democrats isn’t entirely fake, but there is much less substance to it than is portrayed in the infotainment industry. Much of the real struggle (not all) is between the American populace and the political ruling class. They are substantially one party and they know they are one party. Dividing into teams is a way of dividing the opposition (us) so they stay in power.
The theory articulated above has been said before by many people and mocked as untrue by many people. I bring it up as an issue worth revisiting in light of Politico’s recent story that McCain is Obama’s “newest ally.”
“…during one of Obama’s toughest times as president, there was McCain, sitting down last week with him in the Oval Office for a private strategy session. At the urging of new White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who has sought better ties with Republicans, Obama has had more substantive discussions with McCain in the past five months than he did in his first four years in office, according to associates of both men. Suddenly, the two are working together on issues ranging from immigration to the deficit. ‘I’m getting nervous,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest friend in the Senate. ‘I told Denis McDonough, “I don’t know what you’ve done: You’ve hijacked him.”’”
Ha ha. Let’s all have a good chuckle. “Hijacked.” How funny.
The supposed differences between McCain and Obama have mainly been cover for Obama to continue Bush’s wars while pretending to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. No matter how much Obama expands the drone war and other interventions that are neither right nor affordable, McCain was out there trying to pretend that Obama was not being aggressive enough. He was understandably upset about Benghazi but he was himself a great advocate of our intervention there which empowered the terrorist forces that killed our ambassador.
But that game is no longer working.
“Others think that McCain is driven by his latest grudge: a desire to beat his new Senate adversaries, the conservative firebrands Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, all of whom are determined to thwart the Obama agenda and share views — particularly on war policy — that run counter to McCain’s.”
This isn’t just about a grudge. Rand Paul’s anti-drone filibuster exposed Obama as a dangerous war usurper. It ended the “Democrats are anti-war” myth. Even if Rand Paul is really more amenable to the GOP mainstream than was his father, Ron Paul, the fact remains that he has exposed the Republican/Democrat Punch and Judy show on foreign policy and war for the game that it is.
Furthermore, the Tea Party was never part of McCain’s agenda. While Politico portrays McCain’s opposition to Ted Cruz and Mike Lee as mostly emotional, I think McCain is making a political calculation. If the Tea Party will not go away then McCain is going to work with Obama to defeat their agenda.
So while the media will portray McCain as changing his stance, I think it is closer to the truth to say that McCain’s public opposition to Obama is no longer fooling as much of the electorate. McCain sees no need to hide his common ground with Obama.
That common ground, now being publicly admitted, provides a teachable moment for us about the two-party system in the United States.