Sen. John McCain has his nose so far up George Bush's ass lately it's a wonder he can still breathe. Like many, I've lost all respect for the guy who once had the balls to tell it like it is and stand up to the president. The quintessential Independent. The guy no one could own. Well that was then and this is now. With his eye on the 2008 presidential election, McCain has been selling himself faster than a hooker at a hardware convention.
McCain's latest pro-Bush salvo has been fired at former President Bill Clinton, for whom he blames N. Korea's recent nuclear missile test. Taking a jab at both Clintons, the Arizona Senator said: "I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other critics of the Bush administration policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton administration was a failure.... The Koreans received millions of dollars in energy assistance ... and what did the Koreans do? They secretly enriched uranium...We had a carrots-and-no-sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn't work, we offered another."
Sen. Clinton fired back in a statement: "Now is not the time to play politics of the most dangerous kind--with our policy on North Korea. History is clear that nothing the Bush administration has done has stopped the North Koreans from openly testing a nuclear weapon and presenting a new danger to the region of the world." Since 9/11, it continued, Bush "has allowed the 'axis of evil' to spin out of control. Our Iraq policy is a failure. Iran is going nuclear and North Korea is testing nuclear weapons."
And, the William J. Clinton Foundation issued its own statement, saying it was "unfortunate that anyone would attempt to rewrite history to score political points at a time when we need to address this serious threat. For eight years during the Clinton administration, there was no new plutonium production, no nuclear-weapons tests and, therefore, no additional nuclear weapons developed on President Clinton's watch." The statement also pointed out that former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Clinton's policy toward North Korea in 2001.
Over the past couple of years McCain has increasingly sidled up to Bush, shedding his once roguish Independent skin. The man they call the 'anti-Bush' has thrown his support to the prez most notably on illegal wiretappings, tribunals and torture, measures he first opposed (ironically as a much heralded torture victim himself) before being strong-armed by the Busheviks. He's clearly bucking for the president's affection and official seal of approval as the vast field of Republican hopefuls jockey for '08 positioning. Is McCain expecting Bush to hand him the political mantle? Has a secret deal to support a McCain candidacy been made in exchange for the seemingly unyielding support of a distressed presidency? So now we have McCain choosing to ignore six years of Bush's failed foreign policy only to blame Clinton instead for our N. Korea problems. If that isn't proof, I don't know what is.