One Democratic congressman who voted against authorizing the Iraq War in 2002 believes the media should stop turning to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for analysis of the current situation in Iraq.
On Monday’s “All In,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) if he’d gotten many requests to do TV spots lately considering that he took a “tough vote” against the Iraq War. Meeks hadn’t.
“Which amazes me why each and every time they go right to John McCain,” Meeks told Hayes. “I don’t know when John McCain has had it right. Thank God the American people were smart enough not to elect him President of the United States.”
“Why does the news media go to John McCain to ask him any time there’s anything happening because you know he’s going to be, ‘go to war, send troops,'” he added. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
McCain argued last week that Islamic militants were able to overrun Iraqi cities in recent days because Obama decided to withdraw troops from that country in 2011 without leaving a residual force behind. The Arizona Republican also called for the President’s entire national security team to resign.
But Meeks told Hayes that many members of Congress — at least on his side of the aisle — aren’t quite so keen on intervening in the sectarian conflict playing out in Iraq this time around.
“Even some members who voted for the war now say that was the one vote they regret most in Congress,” he said. “So they don’t want to make that same mistake again. They are concerned about what’s taking place on the ground … Unfortunately, what I’m hearing from some of my Republican colleagues, as you noted on the Sunday shows, they don’t seem to have learned the lesson of 2002.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.