I don’t even know what to make of this piece by David Ignatius in the Washington Post. I have seen precious little evidence that John McCain has mellowed or decided to seriously work with the president. His tantrums over Chuck Hagel and Benghazi are still too fresh for me to credit any soft rhetoric he provides now. McCain is pissed off at his own party for allowing sequestration to whipsaw the Pentagon’s budget and he’d like to strangle Rand Paul like a chicken. But that’s intraparty squabbling. It’s also a demonstration of how little influence McCain has in his own party. He’s made too many lifelong enemies. Even if he wants to cut a deal with president on a Grand Bargain or immigration reform, there’s no sign that he can bring more than a half a handful of his colleagues with him, and the House Republicans could not care less what McCain thinks or wants. They don’t even care what Speaker Boehner thinks or wants. They just don’t care.
I think it is probably true that the president has convinced some Republican senators that the country needs them to make some compromises, but that only gets us so far. Until someone gets a harness on the House GOP, we’re stuck in the tar pits.