In an apparent attempt to have a Senate career as old as the country itself, Sen. John McCain has announced that he wants a sixth term in the Senate. As a reminder, when McCain entered that august body, Ronald Reagan was president, the Dow Jones had just broken 2,000 for the first time, and Madonna had yet to hold her first world tour. Today, Reagan is dead, the Dow Jones is at 17,880 and Madonna qualifies for AARP membership.
McCain will be 80 years old on election day 2016. Of course, he’s been acting like he’s 80 years old for a long time. McCain’s shtick these days largely consists of shaking his fist at the modern world, particularly the whippersnapper in the White House who had the temerity to beat him in 2008. (The nation shakes its fist back at McCain for inflicting the train wreck that is Sarah Palin on it.)
If nothing else, we can count on McCain’s continued incoherence on gay issues. This is the man who famously lectured Ellen DeGeneres about why she shouldn’t have the right to get married and who remains implacably opposed to marriage equality. He was especially obnoxious about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, puffing himself up as an expert because he was a war hero (of the Vietnam War, not the Civil War) and knew that the Pentagon survey of military personnel a half century younger than him just had to be wrong.
On the other hand, McCain urged then-Gov. Jan Brewer to veto Arizona’s religious liberty bill last year. He also voted in favor of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), although he added amendments to extend religious exemptions. Just to prove that McCain can speak out of both sides of his mouth at once, he also speculated that bills like ENDA can lead to quotas and busing.
Of course, with time McCain may change his mind. Imagine how liberal he will be when he’s running for re-election in 2046.
Photo credit: Zach Frailey