The Democrat leadership knows how to enforce party discipline, and their members toe the line and vote as a bloc. The Republicans, however, include mavericks, the most prominent of them being Senator John McCain of Arizona:
It’s become a cliché to label McCain a “maverick” for his dramatic, and increasingly frequent, breaks with the Republican Party line. But it’s a cliché because the label fits: Over nearly four decades in Washington, McCain has given a master class in maverickism, and it is for this he will be most remembered. So it is fitting, perhaps that the inveterate fighter is taking on Trump—another Republican politician who rose by bucking GOP orthodoxy—in his final battle, and bequeathing to the nation a bookful of advice on how to be the right kind of maverick. To Trump, McCain writes in his new memoir, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations, the mere appearance of toughness “seems to matter more than any of our values.” He suggests the president is jeopardizing those values by undermining the free press with regular accusations of “fake news”—a tactic “copied by autocrats,” McCain writes—supporting torture, branding immigrants criminals and opening the door to moral equivalence with Vladimir Putin by saying, “We have a lot of killers too.” That, McCain writes, “was a shameful thing to say, and so unaware of reality.”
The problem congressional mavericks can pose is well-illustrated by McCain's slanderous, ill-considered, and personally-motivated attack on Donald Trump. Trump was elected to push a populist, Jacksonian agenda; instead of getting with the program, McCain plays the obstructionist, objecting like a Democrat, talking like a liberal, while the opposition party maintains a unified front. This is why true conservatives consider it a good thing, not that he is dying, but that will no longer be able to obstruct.
I wonder if the typical liberal can understand the distinction I just invoked. Probably not, in this Age of Feeling.
Suppose someone is a serious impediment to your flourishing. You will want his opposition, interference, harassment to stop. Should the opponent die, then his opposition will stop. If the person dies you can legitimately take satisfaction in the cessation of his wrongful and petty opposition without taking satisfaction in his dying. And that is what you ought to do, difficult as it is to avoid all Schadenfreude on the death of an enemy.
As for McCain's slanders, the worst of the ones mentioned above is the egregious falsehood that Trump "brands immigrants criminals." This is a constantly repeated leftist smear. That McCain would repeat it is appalling. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and decency would understand Trump to have said that some illegal immigrants are criminals, which is certainly true, and an additional reason why the nation's borders must be secured. But McCain hates the president and his hate blinds him. I understand why the former hates the latter, but the fact remains.
I'll finish this later. It is 4:50 AM. I have already this morning written philosophy in my journal from 2:00 to 3:30; done my spiritual exercises from 3:30 to 4:10, eaten a little breakfast, two rice cakes smeared with jam and almond butter, drunk two cups of seriously strong java, and uploaded this entry to my blog. It is now first light and time to hit the trails before Old Sol becomes too uppity.
The strenuous life is best by test.