For anyone who has been paying close attention to the collapse of the establishment wing of the Republican Party, here is an interesting finding.
In a recent poll, McCain is viewed more favorably by Democrats than by voters in his own party. He is at 63% unfavorability with the GOP and 64% favorability with Democrats. This is quite an accomplishment for the Republican party’s 2008 nominee for the presidency. Perhaps, in hindsight, McCain should have gone with his heart and challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries.
Despite the importance the media gave to Jeff Flake’s retirement anti-Trump oration (almost giving it the same gravity and historical significance as Cromwell’s dissolution of the Long Parliament speech in the House of Commons), establishment Republicans like Flake and McCain were starting to resemble “Democrat Lite.” Voters in the GOP primaries were beginning to realize that on many substantive issues, such as immigration and free trade there was little difference between the position of the Old Guard in the GOP and the Democratic Party. Republican voters were well aware that if you give a voter a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, they’ll pick the real Democrat every time.
McCain has relished being a thorn in the side of Trump, and he was positively gleeful over casting the lone vote that killed Obamacare repeal. McCain’s abandoning ship on repeal is one of many reasons so many Republicans loathe him. It also explains why his disapproval ratings far exceed those of Flake. It is clear that McCain will go to his grave making life as miserable as he can for Trump.
For years, McCain has been solicitous of the mainstream media, who he views as his natural constituency, rather than the voters of Arizona. He loves basking in the adulation showered upon him by the Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex whenever he pokes a stick in the eye of conservatives, or more recently, lambastes the president of his own party.
When Jeff Flake gave his retirement speech on the Senate floor with a stinging rebuke aimed at Trump, he was taking a page right out of Maverick’s playbook. Both McCain and Flake are establishment Republicans and Flake decided to resign rather than seek reelection in the party of Trump — an election he would have lost badly given his dismal approval ratings with voters in Arizona.