Senator John McCain’s staff announced on Wednesday that he has a brain tumor called a glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer.
“A glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, which usually kills its victims between 12 and 14 months,” top neurosurgeon Dr. Lee Tessler said.
“At his age, the prognosis is extremely poor,” agreed Dr. Russell Blaylock, a renowned neurosurgeon, who writes the Blaylock Wellness Report.
McCain isn’t up for reelection until 2022. He also had not indicated that he will relinquish his seat because of his health, even assuring in a recent tweet that he’ll be “back soon.”
Although that is doubtful as glioblastoma is treated with surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, then radiation and chemotherapy. For adults with glioblastomas, the median survival rate is 14.6 months, although some patients have been known to live longer. Still, the five-year survival rate for such a tumor is only 5.1 percent, says the National Brain Tumor Society.
Kelli Ward, who lost to McCain in last year’s Republican primary and is now running to unseat Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Thursday during an interview with an Indiana radio station. “I hope Sen. McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they’re going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible, so that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward.”
We wish McCain the best and pray for his full recovery and remission, he survived communist prison camps, perhaps he can also survive this? It would be best he steps down and puts 100% focus on his health and recovery.
The severity of McCain’s health problems will inevitably usher in a major power shuffle in Washington.
The Arizona senator’s absence creates a unique opportunity for President Trump to alter the course of our foreign and domestic policy. From Iraq to Libya, Syria to Afghanistan and right up to Russia’s borders in Ukraine, McCain’s prints are all over more than a decade of American foreign policy blunders.
Most of these foreign policy nightmares have served, directly or indirectly, to weaken Russia’s western and southern flanks and prevent Eurasian integration. And of all the excrement that has exited McCain’s mouth, his hatred for Russia has always seemed most sincere. Everything else is politically fungible.
His irrational hatred of Russia made him the perfect vessel for neoconservative policy. It allowed him, without irony, to share the stage with Nazi-sympathizers in Ukraine or rub elbows with Salafist head-chopping radicals in Syria while ensuring a steady flow of taxpayer money to these animals.
With him focusing on his health first, the driving force for war will be gone as well. Many who stood with McCain on these issues did so because Washington is the ultimate ‘go along to get along’ kind of place. And few, if any, in the Senate have his drive to continue the work. Notice how quiet Lindsay Graham has been the last couple of weeks.
Many will see the writing on the wall and kiss the ring of President Trump to avoid a primary challenge in the spring.
And some will see this as a great opportunity to retire now that the status quo has shifted. Don’t forget that Diane Feinstein, McCain’s Democrat doppleganger is retiring in 2018. Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are gone. The generation of U.S. legislators that brought us this madness are being put out to pasture. Nancy Pelosi is in trouble as House Minority Leader.
Do you really think many Democrats and RINOs have the will to fight now that their GOP Trojan Horse is battling cancer?
The fact is, that Senate rules as they stand with McCain, Graham, Corker and Rubio, require a two-thirds majority (including filibuster-proofing) to get anything fundamentally changed. There’s still a lot of work to do, but the worst of the opposition to Trump and the people’s desire to roll back our insane foreign policy is behind us, not in front of us.
Make no mistake, the neocons will attempt to regroup. Arizona Governor Don Ducey is now the most important person in the U.S. as he will be the one to appoint McCain’s replacement when that time comes. They will drag this out for as long as possible, holding McCain’s seat open to continue stalling Trump’s reform agenda. But both of these moves are rearguard actions rather than part of a counter-attack.
My biggest fear is that they drag him out, wheelchair-bound, like Old Shoe in the movie Wag the Dog, for one last kick at the anti-Russia can to enact legislation there is no coming back from. The hagiography of McCain began the moment the information was released. Everyone virtue-signaling their tails off to look sympathetic. But, the reality is most are scared of what happens next.
Once McCain is officially retired, appointing people just as bad as McCain to his influential seats on the Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committee will become the U.S. Deep State’s top priority.
The problem is, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now terminally wounded over his mishandling of Obamacare. So, McConnell will have little control over the process. He’s looking back at what happened to John Boehner and seeing his future. McConnell tried to salvage his leadership with an Obamacare full repeal vote that failed.
The Blame in Ukraine Falls Mainly on McCain
But, for right now, Trump has an opportunity to ignore the full-court Russia-gate press being put on by his opposition to make substantive foreign policy moves that don’t involve antagonizing Russia.
He can start in Ukraine.
It’s time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open up talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Ukraine. Now that Zakharchenko in Donetsk has given everyone a way to implement a real solution to McCain’s mess without having to look like they backed down over Minsk II and easing Russian sanctions.
Merkel can save face by throwing Poroshenko under the bus and admitting Malorussia is a viable alternative to Minsk. Because with McCain gone, the EU now owns the mess in Ukraine because Trump is not interested in funding it any further.
That paves the way for what her foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel talked about earlier in the week, ending sanctions gradually and abandoning Minsk II as a pre-requisite for talks.
And that is John McCain’s biggest legacy, one where ideology was more important than discussion. He stifled U.S. diplomacy to such a degree in recent years that it pushed us to the brink of war with nuclear-armed superpowers.