But the real surprise to emerge from Rand Paul’s filibuster is the reaction he got from John McCain. In an unmistakable allusion to Paul and his allies, McCain said, “it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone (source).” This is surprising because, usually, Republicans show an impressive level of party loyalty. They nearly all vote the same way on legislation. They’re willing to forgive Todd Akins for not brushing up on his reproductive biology. They’re even willing to defend the quality of Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention. And when erstwhile Republican heroes like Chris Christie succumb to a man-crush and walk hand-in-hand with President Obama, they are resoundingly ostracized and disinvited from social gatherings.
But there’s more. McCain also said, “People are astonished that President Obama is doing many of the things that President Bush did. I’m not astonished. I congratulate him for having the good judgment to understand we’re at war,” he said. “And to my party, I’m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think we’re at war (source).”
Shortly after he was thrashed by President Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign, it seemed like Senator McCain would remain deeply bitter about the experience. He was gracious in defeat, but it was graciousness-with-gritted-teeth. It was “don’t make me say another kind word about the president because I may explode” graciousness. But now, McCain is praising President Obama for how well he is upholding the Bush legacy. Maybe, in a couple of months, he'll have forgotten all about Benghazi and will be praising President Obama for military action in Syria or Iran. Because, we are at war, and the enemy list changes every other day. And the scary thing is, liberal democrats hardly seem to notice.