Join 3,414 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


June 12, 2001
10:35 AM   Subscribe

Has John McCain gone too far? There's a grassroots movement in Arizona intent on yanking John McCain out of office. Apparently, the last straw for the conservatives there is that he supposedly dissed the President by not showing up to a picnic. They need 300,000 signatures in order to have a recall vote in November. It'll be interesting to see what happens with this.
posted by crunchland (49 comments total)

 
Of all the presidential candidates, McCain was the only man I would have been content voting for.
posted by tomorama at 10:42 AM on June 12, 2001


wait! did these people vote for the candidate, or just for the party he belongs to?
posted by rebeccablood at 10:45 AM on June 12, 2001


McCain is either the only viable candidate, or the most likely one for a third party, as he's one of the very few people in politics that, even if you don't agree with all of his policies, you can have a modicum of respect for the man himself.

I think the bush camp greatly fears running up against him in the next presidential race.
posted by dong_resin at 10:49 AM on June 12, 2001


so these AZ republicans are openly saying they don't want to be represented by someone who votes with a conscience and thinks for himself?
interesting.
posted by saralovering at 10:52 AM on June 12, 2001


Oh come on. How childish is that? He didn't show up for a picnic, so he has to leave office? Ridiculous. I lifeguarded a party at his house a few years ago, and met both him and his wife. Really nice people. Course, that might have just been because I had pulled their son out of the water after he fell in, but I like to think that they're always like that.
posted by crawl at 10:53 AM on June 12, 2001


wait! did these people vote for the candidate, or just for the party he belongs to?

They voted for a conservative (which McCain was once) and they no longer have one. McCain's slide to the left may have caused the media to swoon, but he's seriously jeopardized his chances at re-election.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:04 AM on June 12, 2001


Oh come on. How childish is that? He didn't show up for a picnic, so he has to leave office?

He didn't get invited to the White House so he quits the party! Ridiculous!
posted by ljromanoff at 11:05 AM on June 12, 2001


so these AZ republicans are openly saying they don't want to be represented by someone who votes with a conscience and thinks for himself?
interesting.


No, they're saying they voted for someone with a certain political philosophy that they shared and their representative no longer represents that.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2001


the picnic diss is the worst offense a person could make. he should be hanged from the nearest tree, and his carcass left to rot in the sun.
posted by tolkhan at 11:06 AM on June 12, 2001


I'm from PA and I would GLADLY trade Rick Santourum for John McCain any day. He's probably one of the only Republican who doesn't sicken me besides Christie Whitman/Tom Ridge/Colin Powell. It's so sad when Republican treat the moderates in their party this way. I hope they pay a price for eating their young.
posted by Rastafari at 11:15 AM on June 12, 2001


i was under the impression that AZ, once a very conservative state, has in the past few years become slightly more liberal. sounds to me like mccain's political philosophy is evolving with that of his constituents back home.
posted by saralovering at 11:16 AM on June 12, 2001


i was under the impression that AZ, once a very conservative state, has in the past few years become slightly more liberal. sounds to me like mccain's political philosophy is evolving with that of his constituents back home.

So now he's evolving to continue to represent his consistency? I thought he was an independent thinker.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:18 AM on June 12, 2001


So now he's evolving to continue to represent his consistency? I thought he was an independent thinker.

the two are not mutually exclusive.
posted by saralovering at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2001


So how many signatures to get a recall election for Zell?

His ideology seems to have changed drastically since he was governor, and many people that I know who voted from him are shocked at how far right he's become.

ljromanoff, you've made 4 of the 13 comments in this thread. Maybe you might want to wait a few minutes, let a few comments show up, and then debate us all together. Just a suggestion
posted by jennak at 11:31 AM on June 12, 2001


the two are not mutually exclusive.

True enough, so why do you dismiss those who wish to recall McCain as opposed to an independent thinker? They wanted an indepedent conservative thinker, which they once had and no longer have. I don't think they'll succeed, but it's an expression of democratic action just like McCain's election was.

I suspect that most of the criticism that this move has gotten/will get on MeFi is due to the political leanings of the people in question rather than the action itself. If Kennedy suddenly went all right wing (oh, to dream) on us and a recall drive started in Mass., the MeFi community would probably be thrilled.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2001


Fortunately, Bill Clinton never missed a picnic, or the Republicans would really have had an issue to impeach him.
posted by straight at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2001


I've lived in AZ for 7 years and McCain is to the left of many Arizonans (many of whom are seniors) even today. The other AZ Senator, Bob Kyl, makes him look like a liberal. Of course things are starting to shift because of Arizona's explosive growth over the last decade, but a move against McCain isn't surprising. Arizonans can be quick-tempered, and this was the Goldwater State, remember. The success of the medical marijuana referendum--which some lobbied vigorously against, mind you--was more a result of the Western Libertarian vibe than a sign of a move to the left.

On the other hand, this may well be instigated from outside the state.
posted by aflakete at 11:34 AM on June 12, 2001


So how many signatures to get a recall election for Zell?

His ideology seems to have changed drastically since he was governor, and many people that I know who voted from him are shocked at how far right he's become.

ljromanoff, you've made 4 of the 13 comments in this thread. Maybe you might want to wait a few minutes, let a few comments show up, and then debate us all together. Just a suggestion


To respond to your second comment first, your comment appeared while I was replying to Sara above - making it impossible for me to reply to both at the same time. Which amuses me as you've just proved the point I made in my last comment with your first suggestion.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:36 AM on June 12, 2001




Clinton won AZ in '96. Now, I am not foolish, I realize that's partially because Perot was in the race. But Perot pulled from both camps, took on the very left anti -NAFTA position. And Perot and McCain seem cut out of the same cloth.
posted by brucec at 11:40 AM on June 12, 2001


Make that '92
posted by brucec at 11:41 AM on June 12, 2001


It still puzzles me how John McCain has gotten a reputation for being a moderate Republican. He's always been a very reactionary Republican. Not toeing the party line is not the same as suddenly becoming moderate, or (dare I say it) liberal. He may be independently-minded and no pal of Dubya, but the man is a dyed-in-the-wool (R).

People are so desperate for a politician they can believe in that any pol who seems to have half a backbone is instantly promoted to Hero of the People. If my fellow liberals think Dubya's a curse, they ought not go looking for McCain to be any better.

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in a recall movement based on some disgruntled conservatives piqued about a party snub. When was the last time a sitting U.S. Senator was recalled? Certainly not any time in my conscious memory.
posted by briank at 11:43 AM on June 12, 2001


One can be an independent thinker (in the sense of not blindly voting with one's party on every issue) and still try to represent one's constituency. Indeed, since most states seem to have fairly balanced numbers of liberal and conservative voters, any good representative should probably avoid being too closely aligned to the side that happened to elect them, and one good way to find a more balanced attitude that blind liberalism or conservatism is to think for yourself.

That said, if a substantial number of voters don't feel that McCain is representing them properly, they've every right to call for a recall vote, to see if the population of the state as a whole agrees with them. And there's clearly more at stake here than just a picnic--McCain has expressed some unorthodox opinions that might very well disturb more conservative voters.

As for how liberals would react to a Democrat becoming more and more conservative--well, it's been happening, and people have complained (even to the point of voting for Nader for president). At the same time, though, I think we realize (as do most conservatives) that a candidate won't agree with us on everything, and that the sort of people that actually get elected tend to be more moderate than the extremes of either party. Personally, I'd be delighted to see everyone in the senate become either an anarchist or a Marxist--but I wouldn't expect them to stay in office long if they did.

(BTW, brucec: opposition to NAFTA was, oddly enough, an issue that the far left and far right often had in common, against the center.)
posted by moss at 11:48 AM on June 12, 2001


ljr: You vote for the person as much as an ideology or party. You get to know what the person is like (at least in a broad outline) after several terms in public office, whether he or she is susceptible to change, a maverick, etc. It's an imperfect system, but we've had representative democracy for quite a while now, or so I've read. If you want the person thrown out, you can wait until election time. Recalls should be reserved for only the totally or grossly incompetent and/or criminal. Arizona tried it with Gov. Evan Mecham for the latter, but then he was impeached first. Some of the recall stuff was ideological, unquestionably (and some just understandable disgust at, say, anti-Semitic remarks made willy-nilly), but Arizona has a history of being tough on corruption, more so than most states. It has a moralistic streak. Sounds, from all I've heard, that it can be extremely tough from a political standpoint (an impeachment and recall going on simultanously - I presume a military junta was being planned too), but that's another story.

In the McCain case, though, what a load of BS. This will come back to haunt Ariz. Republicans, and the party in general, so bad if they succeed in getting a recall vote.
posted by raysmj at 11:58 AM on June 12, 2001


Which amuses me as you've just proved the point I made in my last comment with your first suggestion.

I resent that, LJR. I said that Zell's ideology has changed. You're the one who contradicted yourself: you said that AZers want to vote him out because "they wanted an indepedent conservative thinker" and apparently he's not one any longer.

Wait....I'm confused. He sometimes votes independently, and this no longer makes him an independent conservative thinker? So what they really want is a Republican whipping boy, right?

Don't kid yourself, LJR (or any liberal who thinks McCain for president is a good idea), -- McCain is a true champion of campaign finance reform, but he still adheres to a very conservative ideology. McCain has hardly "gone all [left]" on you.
posted by jennak at 11:58 AM on June 12, 2001


addendum to previous post: Make that haunt "some Ariz. Republicans," since I doubt most of them are so politically near-brain dead as to seriously press for a recall.
posted by raysmj at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2001


FWIW, a very non-thorough and incomplete search on Google turned up only one relevant thing about recalling a US Senator. It's on FreeRepublic (so apply salt, liberally). It deals with a thread about what it would take for Hillary to be recalled.

Someone chimed in that there is apparently no constitional provision for recalling a US Senator. That senators must be either voted out of office, expelled by two-thirds of their peers, or die.
posted by crunchland at 12:10 PM on June 12, 2001


I always thought Arizona was more of a Libertarian state. Goldwater was a Republican, but he wasn't anti-homosexual, anti-drug etc (at least I don't recall as such) because he simply believed in individual rights. I kind of picture McCain in the same way.

I personally think the more conservatives do to antagonize McCain, the more the moderate-to-leftists will rally behind him. Republicans will be perceived as returning to mean-spiritedness just when they are trying out their new slogan (compassionate conservative).

My opinion of McCain hasn't been finished yet. One one hand I admire him for standing up to the bullies of his party, and pushing for things he believes in even though the leadership doesn't. However, he lost points in my view when he retreated on the confederate flag issue in South Carolina. During the campaign he said he thought the flag was a symbol of heritage, but then after he quit campaigning he admitted that he didn't really think that but said so in order to win votes. Well, I admire people who will admit when they do something wrong, but when one admits to saying something to get elected (I know they all do) when they are running as a truth-teller than it makes it difficult for me to respect them.

But, I would certainly prefer McCain over any of the other folks the Republicans put up for election.
posted by terrapin at 12:11 PM on June 12, 2001


"senators must be either voted out of office, expelled by two-thirds of their peers, or die."

Please don't tempt the Republicans.
posted by dong_resin at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2001


McCain is a true champion of campaign finance reform, but he still adheres to a very conservative ideology. McCain has hardly "gone all [left]" on you.

McCain was one of only two Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cut, supports a patients' bill of rights opposed by the White House, supports a bill to tighten a gun-show loophole and criticized Bush for opposing the Kyoto treaty.

I think it's entirely possible he's making a significant change in his politics. At the very least, he's trying like hell to put himself closer to the middle than Bush, which seems odd to me unless he's seriously considering an independent presidential run in 2004.
posted by rcade at 12:22 PM on June 12, 2001


but moss, Perot's approach to it was from the far left (effect on jobs)
posted by brucec at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2001



"senators must be either voted out of office, expelled by two-thirds of their peers, or die."

Please don't tempt the Republicans.


That's really cheap.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:25 PM on June 12, 2001


Wait....I'm confused. He sometimes votes independently, and this no longer makes him an independent conservative thinker? So what they really want is a Republican whipping boy, right?

Presumably want they want is someone with a conservative ideology, which McCain no longer appears to have.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:26 PM on June 12, 2001


To say that Arizonians voted for a conservative Senator and didn't get one is as ridiculous as saying Vermont voters really wanted a Republican and didn't get one when they voted for Jeffords. Both are independent minded Senators, voters were well aware of that going in. Arizona Republicans also had the additonal opportunity of voting for him for President, which they did gladly.

The effort against McCain will only serve to strengthen his likeability, and make Republicans look partisan. It will force Bush to either come out against the recall or be considered part of it. I actually hope they go ahead with this.
posted by brucec at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2001


Please don't tempt the Republicans.

That's really cheap.


Yes, but it's still funny. Don't get all serious on us, now.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2001


So a party shouldn't have concerns about one of its members who is consistently and constantly railing against party leadership, including an embattled president, who he makes no bones (privately, at least) about hating? That's just silly.
posted by Dreama at 12:40 PM on June 12, 2001


That's not silly at all. If he has different views than the party leadership, he should let them be known -- especially since he was elected based on those views. He shouldn't give up his own opinions for the sake of the party. I don't understand why the political party is such a sacred institution. You join a political party because most of your views align with the majority of the people in a particular party, but that doesn't mean that your opinions are exactly the same as everyone else in your party. Why is disloyalty to party such an egregious sin? Loyalty to your constituency should come above loyalty to your party. No matter what. This is supposed to be democracy, not gang warfare.
posted by jnthnjng at 1:06 PM on June 12, 2001


You join a political party because most of your views align with the majority of the people in a particular party

when i registered to vote, the only choice i was given was to join the GOP or the Dems. i wasn't told i could register as an independent, and i didn't *know* any better (i was a stupid little 17 year old). i flipped a coin. GOP won. thus, i and my party had very disimilar ideological views. but at least i got to vote in some primaries before i left them.
posted by tolkhan at 2:03 PM on June 12, 2001


...sounds like a bunch of votes for mccain in 2004.
posted by clavdivs at 4:09 PM on June 12, 2001


I'd say this is about as "grass roots" as the GOP election protests in Florida.

And, to reiterate the point, McCain's voting record in the Senate is rather damn conservative. If his politics are shifting (I almost said "evolving" - oh, how biased of me!), then well, you know, them's the breaks. It's just fun to see Dubya's panties in a bunch. You know, the one with little pink flowers on them.
posted by solistrato at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2001


ljromanoff:That's really cheap.
Um- have you read Freerepublic.com lately? Many of their posters are really quite "out there", as this op-ed on OnlineJournal.com discusses(not to be confused with WSJ's opinionjournal.com). Take note of the Freepers conduct in the whole Chuy's situation, posting that manager's personal information along with rather threatening suggestions as to what should be done to her....

Funny story:
'bout 13, 14 years ago, say 1987, 1988, I'm walking out of Fenway Park after a Red Sox game and there's a gangly bespectacled petitioner standing in the middle of the sidewalk. He's got a clipboard for signatures, and a nylon windbreaker with a big Space Shuttle-style logo on it. It seems readily apparent he's trying to drum up popular support for more NASA funding... but he uses the most unfortunate slogan, "Return to the moon". You can imagine my bemusement to then witness a squat, mustachioed fellow in an ill-fitting musclecar tee-shirt shouting at him as he walks by, "GO TO HELL, YOU F***IN' MOONIE!".

Ahhh... Good times, good times...

Oh yeah, the point being that the Washington Times is owned by Reverend Moon, a decidely pro-Bush and right-wing 'newspaper'. Whether this story is more wishful thinking than anything else, or whether these quoted AZ Republicans represent anything larger than a girl scout troup in realistic political force (much less questioning how genuine their "grass roots" movement is)... well, you be the judge.
posted by hincandenza at 4:31 PM on June 12, 2001



ljromanoff:That's really cheap.
Um- have you read Freerepublic.com lately?


No, I never read the Free Republic. Don't really know what this has to do with an anti-GOP cheap shot on MeFi.

Oh yeah, the point being that the Washington Times is owned by Reverend Moon, a decidely pro-Bush and right-wing newspaper

Ah, yes, the Washington Times - the only newspaper that the left wing will admit is biased. Anyway, I heard about this story well before the Washington Times reported it. It's not like they dug this recall effort up from under some Arizona rock.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:43 PM on June 12, 2001


Thank your higher being that we have people like McCain, Breaux, Feingold, Zell Miller, Jeffords, Chafee etc. If everyone walked the Feinstein or Phil Gramm walk, I'd have no faith in politics whatsoever. Arizona will get what they deserve, spineless puppets.
posted by machaus at 5:01 PM on June 12, 2001


Thank your higher being that we have people like McCain, Breaux, Feingold, Zell Miller, Jeffords, Chafee etc. If everyone walked the Feinstein or Phil Gramm walk, I'd have no faith in politics whatsoever. Arizona will get what they deserve, spineless puppets.

Oh, I don't know. I think a certain amount of ideological consistency in a political party is a good thing - at least one knows what one is getting. Of course, that would also mean we would need more than two major parties.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:05 PM on June 12, 2001


ljr, your Usenettish respond-to-everyone-who-disagrees-with-you style might be less effective than you think.
posted by dhartung at 5:26 PM on June 12, 2001


ljr, your Usenettish respond-to-everyone-who-disagrees-with-you style might be less effective than you think.

Not sure why you're singling me out here. I could mention at this point that you've actually admitting to liking the American Doctor Who movie, but that would probably be hitting below the belt.
posted by ljromanoff at 6:14 PM on June 12, 2001


Ah, dittoheads, they just gotta have a boogeyman.

There's just no reason for them to get out of bed if they can't hate somebody, is there?

If Arizona does not want John McCain anymore, maybe somebody else does...

It would be just like today's wacky GOP to see it's most popular member removed from office just because he won't fall in line with all of the other sheep.

America will be more than happy to vote for John McCain after four years of The Chimp.

Actually, America will be more than happy to vote for John Ritter after four years of The Chimp.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:11 PM on June 12, 2001


What about Mr. Ferley to fill out the ticket? I think an independent Ritter- Knotts ticket could send this nation into an absolute political frenzy, unseating "the Chimp" in the process...
posted by hincandenza at 9:24 PM on June 12, 2001


Rebecca Blood asked: "wait! did these people vote for the candidate, or just for the party he belongs to?"

..."duh-err!"
posted by ZachsMind at 1:26 AM on June 13, 2001


So a party shouldn't have concerns about one of its members who is consistently and constantly railing against party leadership, including an embattled president, who he makes no bones (privately, at least) about hating?

Well, if he privately hates him, then get a rope. Bush has been in office for five months. McCain has only made a couple of significant moves so far in opposition to Bush's agenda -- voting against the tax cut and proposing an amendment on the highest tax rate. That's enough to justify a recall?

Republicans are making a mistake if they ignore the long-established fact that senators can't be pushed around like House members. I would have thought this was apparent after Jim Jeffords left.
posted by rcade at 5:23 AM on June 13, 2001


« Older Remind me never to cruise for hookers in St. Paul....  |  Attention ChatMonkeys.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments