John McCain could be the Senate’s new Ted Kennedy

On Sunday, John McCain told George Stephanopoulos that “health care reform might be in a very different place today” if Teddy Kennedy were well enough to participate in the negotiations.

“He had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations, so it’s huge that he’s absent,” McCain said on “This Week,” mentioning his “personal affection” for Kennedy.

Over the last 24 hours, many other observers have noted Kennedy’s reputation for reaching across the aisle. Interestingly, the same used to be said about McCain.

When he ran for president, McCain’s reputation for a principled bipartisanship was intact. But since his defeat, he has bowed to the harsh nihilism that seems to be all that Republicans represent these days. They just want to defeat Obama and his policies. They don’t care about getting anything done.

If McCain really has such “personal affection” for Kennedy — or if he has a shred of concern left for his country — he ought to quit listening to the cynics of his party and start seriously negotiating on health care reform.

Teddy Kennedy earned his reputation for pragmatism when Democrats were out of power. The GOP needs the same sort of pragmatism now that they are out of power.

Even if few other Republicans follow McCain’s lead, he has little to lose with the party’s base, who never cared much for him anyhow. McCain might as well accomplish something worthwhile in his remaining years in the Senate.

126 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

August 27th, 2009
7:55 am

Cynthia, I know you don’t like McCain. But, comparing him to someone who committed murder is pretty low…even by your standards.

Zip

August 27th, 2009
7:56 am

By “principled bipartisanship” I guess you mean bending over and letting Democrats have their way with you. Sorry, not going to happen. We’ve been done that way a few too many times.

Wayne Peltier

August 27th, 2009
8:08 am

Perhaps the senator will accept a compromise on the capping of medical malpractice judgements. Conservative senators want for a plan that can pay for itself.
Remember there is the larger problem of recruiting our brightest scholars to invest in a medical education.

Mort Merkel

August 27th, 2009
8:24 am

Kyle Wingfield’s latest no longer says he will start blogging this month. Hmmmm. Something’s fishy in Conservative Idol winner-land. Maybe he’s heading back to the Wall Street Journal or the AP. Meanwhile, kudos to Cynthia Tucker for her fine blogging efforts.

Mort Merkel

August 27th, 2009
8:28 am

On topic … nihilists … heh, heh, reminds me of The Big Lebowski. I think McCain is feeling like a man without a country right now. The folks who … sort of … supported him have mentally checked out, except for trying to drag the country down. And, the Democrats seem glad to ignore them. Can’t have bi-partisanship between folks who don’t talk to each other.

jt

August 27th, 2009
8:33 am

Although McCain and Kennedy did share the same disdain for our constitution(Amnesty for illegal aliens, McCain-Feingold, Co-orp shakedowns, etc…..) , the similarities ended there.

McCain had a shred of decency before HE became a politician.

Kayaker 71

August 27th, 2009
8:40 am

Nothing should be done about a health care bill until we put a cap on malpractice liability with meaningful tort reform and stop giving free health care to all of the illegals in this country. That starts with rounding them all up and sending them home. These two moves could save enough money to put a dent in the debt in California and restore some dignity to our legal system. But politicians, even McCain, won’t spring for this because of possibly loosing the latino vote. It’s all about votes, pure and simple.

3rd Party Guy

August 27th, 2009
8:44 am

Peadawg, it wasn’t murder. A homicide (manslaughter maybe?), cowardice sure, not murder.

‘“He had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations, so it’s huge that he’s absent,” ‘

Translation: He could work it out so that the rich get richer, the deadbeats get what that have not earned, the middle class gets screwed, and future generations get to pay for it all.

Good Riddance to all of ‘em!

Turd Ferguson

August 27th, 2009
8:45 am

“They just want to defeat Obama and his policies”.

As usual Tucker wants to address symtoms not causes. The cause to defeat Obama and his policies is because his policies carry too many negatives for this Country and the MAJORITY of its citizens.

Tucker should be sharing her lunch with the Woodruff Park bums on a daily basis. After such then we might lend a more friendly ear towards her spewing of sillyness.

Peadawg

August 27th, 2009
8:51 am

“Peadawg, it wasn’t murder. A homicide (manslaughter maybe?), cowardice sure, not murder.”

The fact that he didn’t try to save her…I consider that murder.

norman ravitch

August 27th, 2009
8:54 am

Every tragedy made Ted Kennedy a better man. The years have shown, however, that John McCain just gets worse and worse.

jconservative

August 27th, 2009
9:08 am

John McCain’s vote on the Sotomayor nomination pretty much said that he is going to try & stay on the good side of the Republican base in Arizona. Apparently his private polling suggest that the threat of the loss of the Latino vote in Arizona would not outweigh the loss of the base support. So McCain will not be involved in a compromise until after the 2010 elections. After that you can probably count on him.
He has always consider his legacy to be bi-partisanship.

Kayaker 71

August 27th, 2009
9:10 am

Cynthia,

I have admired a few of the pieces that you produced for the AJC. I have disagreed with most. The one piece on the King family was a masterpiece. Time after time, even though this is a forum platform with opinion flowing freely, you still make statements like, ” harsh nihilism is all that the Republicans represent these days”.
My Webster’s dictionary defines nihilism as “a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded” … “a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth, especially moral truths”… “a program of 19th century Russia which advocates revolutionary reform using terrorism and assassination”. I am not sure that Republicans of today represent this type of outlook. If protesting a government that is wildly out of control is nihilistic, then we are in big trouble. Read about Van Jones and that “diversity dude” with the FCC and what they are advocating for our country. This is what we are protesting….. that and the fact that most of us don’t trust your Wonderboy and that bunch of idiots that he has surrounded himself with any further than we could toss them. Being critical of free speech is a bit of a stretch for someone in your position. Next time choose your words more carefully…. you should know better.

Flint

August 27th, 2009
9:23 am

Mccain could and really should finally declare what he is a liberal democrat, cross the asile and be done with it. I am tired of the RHINO republican in name only always going on about something he can not do anything for. Mccain is ineffective but, he loves the sunday morning talk shows. The trouble is very few conservatives pay attention to Mccain. Please join the democratic party or resign.

missmarple

August 27th, 2009
9:29 am

I think Kenney tried to attone for Chappaquidick every day of his life and I’m sure God forgave him a long time ago.

jconservative

August 27th, 2009
9:46 am

missmarple August 27th, 2009 9:29 am
“I think Kenney tried to attone for Chappaquidick every day of his life and I’m sure God forgave him a long time ago.”

As a Christian I would agree. Forgiveness is one of the foundations of the Christian religion. And I believe Christianity is the only religion that teaches forgiveness as a human behavior to which all should aspire.

Steve

August 27th, 2009
9:52 am

Peadawg,
You may consider it murder but the law and the courts dont and didnt. I bet you also think Obama was born in Kenya. Also, i bet you are one of those loonies demanding and shreiking to see Obama’s birth certificate.

Chris

August 27th, 2009
9:57 am

Health care, and management of the health care market (not health care system), are not government functions.

Mid GA Retiree

August 27th, 2009
10:03 am

Ms. Tucker comments that all Republicans want to do is “defeat Obama and his policies. They don’t care about getting anything done.” I believe the same could be said about Democrats during President Bush’s presidency. Neither party cares about governing…..all they care about is power, and our country is suffering because of it.

Dr. R

August 27th, 2009
10:04 am

We see here why a John McCain can no longer serve as a pivotal leader. When you walk any degree of middle ground these days, you only serve to alienate everyone on both sides. While Tucker refers to his “nihilism” and thinks of him as a right-wing extremist, those who do reside on that wing think he’s a liberal wimp too willing to be conciliatory with the other side. Sharp ideologies are required for election these days, and compromise is considered dealing with the devil. As a result, we shall forever remain entrenched in our separate camps, lobbing ordnance at each other and failing to reconcile ideals in any way. The era of the pragmatic politician has long passed. Witness the fact that the president, a part-time pragmatist at best, is facing more criticism from his own party faithful than anyone else over his attempts at give and take on health reform. If that’s the new playing field, don’t expect any kind of solution to this or any other problem. We’d rather go down in flames with our true believer bona fides intact than work to fix a problem. A pox on both houses.

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
10:17 am

Ask Robert Bork how bi-partisan Ted Kennedy was.

dw

August 27th, 2009
10:21 am

Ms. Cynthia,

Maybe they (GOP reps) don’t want to “get it done” because a large portion of country doesn’t want it. And they are the only politicans listening. The Dems are on autopilot. More government involvement in our lives. NO! Mandated public abortion “coverage”. NO! You libs love to spout “choice”, so you “choose” it, then you pay it. Not the government. Not my tax dollars. Mandatory end of life counselling. NO!
Optional counselling. MAYBE! On the whole subject of health care there needs to be discussion. But that means both points of view. Not the standard lib way or no way. And just because Senator Kennedy just died doesn’t mean this legislation should just “cake walk” pass as a legacy.

Call it Like It Is

August 27th, 2009
10:23 am

Cynthia’s comments should not suprise you, as she is a racist has they come.

What a Moron!

Enough Said!

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
10:33 am

Sorry to disagree with you Cynthia but McCain will never be up to the standards of helping the public in healthcare like Kennedy was. In the long run, McCain will vote no just like all the other Republicans.

Tracher

August 27th, 2009
10:37 am

don’t read cynthia if you don’t like what she has to say. i love how angry all of you conservatives are. it’s so funny. you guys act like a 5 year old who didn’t get her way. hahahahahahahahahahah (gasp) hahahahahahahaha. so entertaining.

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
10:39 am

Call it like it is: What was racist in her column?

as for DW: please point out where there is “mandated public abortion coverage” in ANY of the bills now being presented? And “end of life counseling” also has the option of “keep me breathing at all costs”.
Turn off Faux News for a while and breathe. There IS life out there.
Open your mind.

Peadawg

August 27th, 2009
10:43 am

“I bet you also think Obama was born in Kenya. Also, i bet you are one of those loonies demanding and shreiking to see Obama’s birth certificate.”

And how in the world did you come to that conclusion? LOL!!! Nice try but wrong!

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
10:44 am

ncgreybr – you and the looney left, with your weath envy, are free to help anyone you want with YOUR money. Keep your damn hands off MINE!

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
10:48 am

Also dw: “On the whole subject of health care there needs to be discussion. But that means both points of view. Not the standard lib way or no way.”

Unfortunately there can’t be “discussion” when one side is screaming looney tune slogans and trying to drown out the person moderating the discussion. You people have been told by EXPERTS that abortion is NOT in the bill. “Death squads” are NOT in the bill. “Forcing you to change your providor” is NOT in the bill.

You can’t point out where ANY of these things are in a bill yet you go on ranting over nothing. To discuss something take two people with the minds open.

JSon

August 27th, 2009
10:48 am

The Republicans want their way or nothing at all. I want the option to choose a public plan. We should have a choice. They can keep their corporate insurance that they love so much and keep those healthcare CEO’s making all that money. After years of dealing with insurance companies, if I have to choose between the two, I would much prefer to work with the govt.

ticklepile

August 27th, 2009
10:49 am

Keep your money evil rich, I’ll just delight in the image of your miserly soul burning in hellfire.

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
10:52 am

The evil rich: I have weath envy? And you know this by……? What is my net worth?

Fortunately for the rest of America, tax dollars are the governments, not yours or mine.

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
10:53 am

ticklepile….you don’t know I’m miserly. I just prefer to decide what to do with MY money, NOT YOU! Nimrod.

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
10:56 am

ncgreyby…wealth envy, redistribution of weath, call it what you will. Why else do you want to give MY HARD EARNED MONEY to some one else?

JSon

August 27th, 2009
10:59 am

Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser’s….

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
11:03 am

Json – Forget Ceaser, he’s dead. But, if 10% is good enough for God, then it should be just fine for the government….

Truth Seeker

August 27th, 2009
11:03 am

Yeah Yeah Yeah….Kennedy was also a great standard bearer for the Eviornmental Cause…..until the enviornmentalist wanted to put wind turbines off Martha’s Vineyard. Your great Senator (the Lion) got that quickly squashed because it would interrupt his view. He was a great liberal that wanted to right all the wrongs in the world…and like a true liberal he wanted to do it with other people’s money and not his millions that still smell of bootleg whisky from Daddy. Yeah he was a great man allright….I do not with death upon anyone…not even him. I feel bad for his long suffering wife and kids and especially for Carolyn because Uncle Teddy won’t have the best cookies anymore. I wonder if that is the line he used on Mary Jo.

Truth Seeker

August 27th, 2009
11:06 am

Json….do you want the option of a public plan to go along with your welfare check, food stamps, Clunker Money and the check OBama Lama is gonna send you for the next fabricated bailout?????

axon70

August 27th, 2009
11:07 am

If McCain’s new Kennedy…I guess, “Borack” is new Bush! Reagan! no…Nixon! yeah…Nixon!

Dont be so stupid!

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
11:09 am

the evil rich; I doubt if your money is “harder” earned than any of the rest of us. When it goes to the government in the form of taxes, it is the GOVERNMENT’S to spend as THEY see fit. Not like YOU see fit or like I see fit. I disagree with taxes being used to support a war that Bush started because “they tried to kill my daddy”. THAT is a “redistrubution of wealth” to Haliburton and Bush’s other friends. Did you complain about that “redistribution”?

Right now we ARE paying for the healthcare of people who don’t have it. When a person goes to the Emergency Room of a hospital and can’t pay, who do you think picks up the tab? Your fairy godmother? NO! TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL!

JSon

August 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Truth seeker, yes I sure do. I don’t mind contributing taxes to help those in need, because you never know when you might end up in need also. I belieive it is the spiritual way. I would like to be more concerned about others than trying to hoard as much money as I can. When you give freely, your supply never runs out…

Truth Seeker

August 27th, 2009
11:13 am

OK JSon…..give it all to me and see if it runs out.

itpdude

August 27th, 2009
11:16 am

McCain as the new TK? I don’t think so. McCain can’t even wax eloquent with a prepared speech.

the evil rich

August 27th, 2009
11:19 am

ncgreybr – your point is what? Because you sound like a wealth re-distributor. The things you talk about funding are NOT what taxes were originally for, but you liberals just keep adding things taxes can do, and I say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Live within a budget or don’t spend it, PERIOD! And, that was how I felt when Bush was in office.

Gregg

August 27th, 2009
11:22 am

@ the evil rich, Do you even understand what the health care debate is about? Do you know if a person goes to the emergency room now (whether illegal or citizen) and they do not have insurance, you are paying. There are three tenents to life in America (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness). Tell me how you can do any without adequate health. I have actually read a portion of the document in question and it calls for people on welfare to pay for a portion of the premiums instead of getting them for free as they do know.
Secondly, the redistrubution of wealth is the job of the government (ie. taxes, education). Think about the role of government. This is just like the stimulis money argument, every Republicans was against it. However when it passed they were the first in line trying to get the money for their states.
It is asinine the levels of games that ALL politicans play with us to keep their bases going at the other.

Gregg

August 27th, 2009
11:24 am

@ Truth Seeker did the Cash for Clunker get people to buy new cars when sales were down? Did it get more people hired to meet demand? Temp or not they got paid for an honest days work. Talk about the positive not the negatives all the time and someone may agree with your point if you can make a valid one.

M

August 27th, 2009
11:25 am

RIP Mary Jo Kopechne

RIH Ted the Murderer

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
11:26 am

Why is it so difficult to understand “public option”? It’s called “public option” because you have an OPTION! You can take it or you can stay with whatever insurance you already have. Personally I’ll trust a government “bureaucrat” over an insurance “bureaucrat” any day. They only thing the insurance guy is trying to do is save the company some more money.

Did you see the other night? The head of United Health care or whatever the name is, made 750 MILLION DOLLARS in the last 10 years! TREE QUARTERS OF A BILLION DOLLARS!

William

August 27th, 2009
11:34 am

I have nothing to say good about a man who did the things he did until he was 60 years old. The sad thing is that liberals gave him a bye for his behavior. I am glad the Kennedy dynasty is OVER.

Regardless who is negotiating with liberals, the liberals expect the other party to give up their values and beliefs and accept progressive liberalism–then it is called bipartisan. Sorry, I have to bow out of that! Liberals will fail as leaders! Time will prove me right! I only hope it does not take generations to recoup from this misadventure.

Wake up America! Obama is said to be forming a civilian army and it is said there is legislation to provide uniforms for them. SIECH HEIL! SEICH HEIL!

ncgreybr

August 27th, 2009
11:38 am

the evil rich: “The things you talk about funding are NOT what taxes were originally for, but you liberals just keep adding things taxes can do, and I say ENOUGH is ENOUGH.”

Well, I hate to break it to you but we are not 13 colonies like we ORIGINALLY were. The federal government is supporting the military NOT like the states ORIGINALLY were. Doctors are performing heart transplants not making house calls like the ORIGINALLY did. Healthcare professionls aren’t taking chickens in payment like the ORIGINALLY did. Taxes are used for aq lot of things they weren’t ORIGINALLY used for. Don’t mean to break your bubble but the United States have evolved. We’re not what we ORIGINALLY were.