Senator McCain, for all his long windedness, can be quite entertaining when the mood strikes him. He recently wrote a letter to Senator Obama, which I have taken the opportunity to translate for you. Enjoy.
Dear Senator Obama:
Hey pretty boy:
I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere.
Think you can get on Hillary’s ticket in two years? Better learn to play hardball, and right now. If you don’t, I’ll recruit Cheney to run with me and he’ll blow through you like he did with that prancing pony one-termer, whatsisname, Johnnie, Eddie, I can’t remember.
When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadershipâ€™s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable.
I quite simply concluded that in your youthful inexperience you thought you could actually change Harry Reid’s mind when it comes to reforming government. Think again: this is Congress, not Progress.
Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. Iâ€™m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I wonâ€™t make the same mistake again.
Again, the whole youthful-eagerness-to-change-the-world thing. Leave it to the old folks: we have more guile, and it trumps your youth, innocence, and bad haircut.
As you know, the Majority Leader has asked Chairman Collins to hold hearings and mark up a bill for floor consideration in early March. I fully support such timely action and I am confident that, together with Senator Lieberman, the Committee on Governmental Affairs will report out a meaningful, bipartisan bill.
Read that again, chumpy: Senator Lieberman. You’re cut out of the process, and even though you have the Chicago political machine keeping you in office, he’ll get the glory and headlines, not you. Sucker.
You commented in your letter about my â€œinterest in creating a task force to further studyâ€ this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The timely findings of a bipartisan working group could be very helpful to the committee in formulating legislation that will be reported to the full Senate. Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues. In fact, I urged Senator Collins to schedule a hearing upon the Senateâ€™s return in January.
A hearing which you will not attend, as I can only take your withdrawal as sincere. Cuts both ways, this political knife in the back does. But alas (for you), you won’t have any input in the report to the committee, which means you won’t have any real accomplishment to take to the voters in four years.
Lucky for you the Chicago machine is on your side.
Furthermore, I have consistently maintained that any lobbying reform proposal be bipartisan. The bill Senators Joe Lieberman and Bill Nelson
See above, re: headlines
and I have introduced is evidence of that commitment as is my insistence that members of both parties
Except for you,
be included in meetings to develop the legislation that will ultimately be considered on the Senate floor. As I explained in a recent letter to Senator Reid, and have publicly said many times, the American people do not see this as just a Republican problem or just a Democratic problem. They see it as yet another run-of-the-mill Washington scandal, and they expect it will generate just another round of partisan gamesmanship and posturing. Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body,
hope to exceed the publicâ€™s low expectations.
If you clear low expectations you can still say you exceeded them. In politics, this generates free polling points. Eventually, you might learn that.
We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.
Except for you rookies who think that you can beat us old codgers at our own game. It’s sort of like Ben Rothlisberger running in that “touchdown” this past weekend: you can’t really do it.
As I noted, I initially believed you shared that goal. But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your partyâ€™s effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isnâ€™t always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.
Look at this silver lining: keep at it, and by the time the Chicago machine reelects you in four years, enough Democrats will have lost you might actually make minority whip. Like I said, good luck in that.
United States Senate
Update: Obama duels with banjos.