The unobservant senator

THE UNOBSERVANT SENATOR…. Just think, if John McCain wasn’t on one of the Sunday morning talk shows every other week, we wouldn’t be able to hear insightful whining like this.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ripped into the president on Sunday for abandoning his pledge to foster bipartisanship in Washington, accusing Obama of creating a more toxic political environment than that which existed during the Clinton administration.

“In some ways, of course, yeah,” McCain told Fox News Sunday when asked if the Obama White House was more partisan than Bill Clinton’s. “At least under Hillarycare they tried to seriously negotiate with Republicans. There has been no effort that I know of — of serious across the table negotiations — such as I have engaged in with other administrations. And that was the commitment that the president made.”

That McCain actually seems to believe this demonstrates just far gone the poor guy really is.

In April, President Obama met with GOP leaders in the White House, and started talking about the kind of concessions he was prepared to make as part of a bipartisan compromise. He asked what Republicans might be willing to do in return. They offered literally nothing.

Since those meetings in the Spring, McCain and leading Republicans have trashed reform, lied to the public, whipped up angry mobs, and done everything possible to derail the larger effort. At one point, leading Republican negotiators started opposing ideas they’d already endorsed. By the fall, the Senate GOP leadership said plainly that no matter how many concessions Democrats made, Republican would still oppose health care reform.

All the while, President Obama encouraged the bipartisan “Gang of Six” talks, even though they needlessly delayed the process by months, and showered Olympia Snowe with attention and power, prepared to give her practically anything she wanted.

But this White House hasn’t “tried to seriously negotiate with Republicans.” Riiiiiiight.

It is interesting, though, to hear McCain compare the toxicity of American politics under Obama and Clinton — skipping right over the failed president in between. The comparison matters in large part because of the parallels — under Clinton, Republicans ran a scorched-earth campaign to destroy the president and his administration. Under Obama, Republicans are doing the same thing.

But it was Bush, Cheney, and Rove who deliberately chose a political strategy based on tearing the country in half, claiming the larger chunk. It was congressional Republicans who went to great lengths to ensure Democrats opposed legislation that could have passed with bipartisan support, because GOP leaders thought it would be easier to exploit divisions for electoral gains.

McCain’s attacks are the height of stupidity. He is either so confused that he no longer remembers the last 20 years of American politics, or he assumes Fox News viewers just won’t know the difference between reality and propaganda.