Third Party & Independents Archives

Where's The Sacrifice?

I admire John McCain. He is the lone Republican voice of rationality and sanity in a Party otherwise gone fiscally insane, and which has collectively climbed into bed with our befuddled President refusing to see the realities of the day. In a remarkable development (or perhaps not so remarkable given my opening sentence), Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, not the most dynamic or decisive leader the House has ever elected to lead them, both chided and made public sport of John McCain for not towing the party line.

Speaking to reporters yesterday the esteemed Speaker pretended not to know who the honorable Senator from Arizona was when questioned by a reporter about a recent statement by McCain in which he observed that “never before when we've been at war have we been worrying about cutting taxes”… and he went on to ask… '[w]here's the sacrifice?' "

According to the CNN report, as other House GOP members stood behind him laughing, Hastert, R-Illinois, then expressed doubt that McCain was indeed a Republican and the exchange with the reporter ensued when the reporter asked: "Can I combine a two issues, Iraq and taxes? I heard a speech from John McCain the other day..."

Hastert: "Who?"
Reporter: "John McCain."
Hastert: "Where's he from?"
Reporter: "He's a Republican from Arizona."
Hastert: "A Republican?"

Hastert went on the state:
"If you want to see the sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda. There's the sacrifice in this country. We're trying to make sure they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it. And, at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong."

No one has to speak to John McCain of sacrifice, and certainly not Dennis Hastert who seems to have sat out the war in Vietnam and knows nothing of “real” sacrifice. It boggles my mind that in face of record red ink and public debt that the Republicans in the House can be so irresponsible as to even suggest further tax cuts let along bring the measure to a vote. Are they living in the same world as the rest of us? But I digress…

Ordinarily I would applaud such acrimony within the Republican ranks, but not now, not at the expense of such an honorable man as John McCain. Quite frankly I do not understand McCain’s willingness to remain loyal to a Party so obviously adrift, so wantonly out of touch with most of it constituents save those who embrace religious fervor as you and I would embrace a loved one. I wonder—quite often now—if McCain’s loyalty to the Republican Party is not woefully misplaced, and I admonish him for not putting loyalty to country before Party. But perhaps the growing rift between himself and his lockstep brethren will finally push him to leave a Party that has been hijacked by those who no longer put the welfare of the nation ahead of those of special interests.

Posted by V. Edward Martin at May 20, 2004 10:00 AM