It is fitting that Senator John McCain chose to denounce President Trump’s foreign policy at Munich, Germany, site of the 1938 agreement that saw the allies surrender Czechoslovakia to Hitler, for like Chamberlain, McCain’s betrayal is neither principled nor intelligible. As his speech and recent behavior makes clear, McCain intends to do everything he can to destroy the Trump presidency, if for no other reason than to reassure himself of his continued relevance and moral superiority.
McCain began his speech by thanking Chancellor Angel Merkel for being “the conscience of the West,” a clear signal that he supports her policy of unrestricted Muslim immigration. A poll released ten days ago by a London-based think tank, shows that 10,000 respondents from 10 European countries favored an outright ban on further Muslim immigration by 55% to 20%. Clearly, those suffering from increased crime and terrorist attacks do not favor the Merkel policy, but McCain was just getting started.
He said that in his four decades of coming to the Munich Conference, at no time was the consideration of “whether the West will survive” more “deadly serious” than today. McCain believes that the West is in greater danger now than when the Soviet Union was at its height, an assertion that is absurd to anyone who lived under the threat of nuclear war.
McCain does not believe the West’s survival is in question because of radical Islamic terrorism, but rather because of the West’s measured response (i.e. Trump’s executive order on immigration). McCain bemoans “clashing ethnic and nationalist passions,” “an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism,” and “hardening resentment…[towards] minority groups, especially Muslims.” To McCain, popular resistance to flooding the West with war-torn peoples at odds with Western values and societal norms is tantamount to Nazism.
McCain claims to be “alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies…[and] alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism.” While McCain does not mention Trump by name, there can be little doubt that he conflated the President with the odious mantle of propaganda and dictatorship, portraying him as an American Vladimir Putin.
McCain is especially enraged at Trump’s attempt to defuse tensions between Russia and the United States, and believes wholeheartedly in the Leftism meme that Trump conspired with Putin to steal the presidential election. McCain is demanding a bipartisan select committee look into Trump’s ties to Russia, and hopes to pressure the Justice Department into appointing an independent prosecutor. McCain is reprising a strategy he previously deployed against Bush, when the 9/11 Commission he helped create, degenerated into a partisan witch hunt, featuring Fannie Mae rip-off artist Jamie Gorelick, and the cheap grandstanding of the execrable Richard Clarke.
The gruel of Russia “hacking the election” is so thin that a starving zek in the gulag might look askance at it. The narrative is that Trump promised to do Putin’s bidding if the Russians helped get him elected. This help took the form of hacking into Hillary Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails. The only trouble was there wasn’t much there, save for some office gossip – nothing that would account for a 74-vote margin of victory in the Electoral College. Furthermore, there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, other than a single public speculation Trump made in jest regarding Russia supplying the 33,000 emails destroyed by Hillary Clinton.
While much has been made of Michael Flynn’s firing as National Security Advisor, his only offense was to have misled Vice President Pence regarding discussions with Flynn’s Russian counterpart on American sanctions. The discussions themselves were an integral part of Flynn’s job and entirely aboveboard. We know this thanks to wiretapping by Obama intelligence officials illegally listening in on the calls. Obama’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates – since fired by Trump for public insubordination – considered the discussions to be a “potentially illegal” violation of the Logan Act.
The Logan Act forbids private citizens from interfering in foreign policy, but to apply that to the NSA of an incoming administration is insane. It is, however, entirely consistent with the Alice in Wonderland mentality that has gripped official Washington. McCain, who stated that the hack was “more serious” than a terrorist attack, merely echoed the language of people like Thomas Friedman, who called the revelation of Podesta’s emails a “9/11” and “Pearl Harbor scale event.”
Fellow New York Times op-ed writer Nicholas Kristof entitled his weekly, “How Can We Get Rid of Trump?” The answer is by declaring Trump insane or impeaching him, a feel-good alternative reality in vogue among the Left. Trump-hating journalists are John McCain’s best friends, and he did not take kindly to Trump insulting them at a press conference. On Meet the Press, McCain told ex-Sen. Harkin (D-IA) aide, now host, Chuck Todd, that without a free press, “dictators get started,” while hastening to add that he wasn’t talking about Trump. Obviously.
Perhaps McCain’s hatred of all things Trump is best illustrated by his efforts to spread the ridiculous story that Trump had cavorted with prostitutes and urinated on a bed where Obama had slept in a Russian hotel. McCain dispatched a senior aide to London to make contact with the source, who had unsuccessfully peddled the story to Trump-hating media. McCain then gave the supposed dossier to FBI Director Comey, presumably hoping that leaked word of the FBI examination might lend it some shred of credibility.
Despite his professed passion for national security, McCain doesn’t seem to mind the torrent of classified leaks designed to smear and hobble the incoming administration. As reported in New York Magazine, McCain “made a surprisingly impassioned case for [the leaks],” saying “How else are the American people going to be informed?”
McCain seems to regard himself as a kind of shadow secretary of state. When leaked conversations between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull showed Trump’s obvious annoyance at being sandbagged by an Obama promise to take Muslim refugees, McCain took it upon himself to call the Australian ambassador; then he issued a press release praising himself for it.
Plumbing the depths of McCain’s murky narcissism for clues to his motivations may be an exercise in futility, but it’s a safe bet that we are witnessing merely the opening actions of the Senator’s dirty war against a Republican president, whose only real crime is that he is not John McCain.
The author has worked on numerous statewide political campaigns in Virginia, South Dakota and Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in The Federalist, the Daily Caller and other sites. He currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area. Follow him on Twitter @PHGuthrie