Wednesday, November 21, 2012


        What ever happened to the “loyal opposition” concept? It has been replaced by what I call “the loser syndrome.”
        You encounter this syndrome in every organization, including in the church. A new pastor comes and those who used to be on the “in” with the former pastor start making odious comparisons and finding fault with the changes that usually occur. Those who have lost power seem to feel they have to exercise their influence in negative ways. They aren’t running things any more, so they oppose, and criticize, and second guess everything the new “regime” is doing. I’m sure you have encountered this attitude somewhere along the way. It’s the loser syndrome.
Illustration by Stephen Kroninger for TIme
       It is especially evident in the current political arena, and the prime example is Senator John McCain, who has never got over his loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. His and Senator Lindsey Graham’s unwarranted attack on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice drew a stern rebuke from President Obama, who called the attack “outrageous.” The Senators are accusing the Ambassador of either deliberately lying about the cause of the Benghazi attacks or of being incompetent for not knowing what she should have known. They have vowed to oppose her nomination as Secretary of State, should President Obama choose her to replace Hillary Clinton, who will be leaving the post in January.

        McCain’s conduct was all the more reprehensible, because even as he and Senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte were holding a press conference to blast the Obama administration for what they claimed to be a lack of transparency, McCain was missing the State Department’s closed-door briefing for members of the Senates’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which he is a member! When asked the next day about his missing the briefing, McCain rebuffed the questioner angrily.
        The briefing confirmed the fact that Ambassador Rice had reported the information as it was given her, a fact that was further substantiated by the testimony of recently resigned C. I. A. Director David Petraeus. Ambassador Rice's remarks were completely accurate and commendably tentative. For McCain and Graham to malign a brilliant Rhodes Scholar, whose service to the United States has been exemplary and whose role as the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations has won her high praise, is also hypocritical, for the Senators had no complaints about then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s role in justifying America's preemptive invasion of Iraq, based on the erroneous assumption that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
        John McCain and his allies are obviously using the Benghazi attacks as an opportunity to make trouble for President Obama, instead of cooperating in the effort to find out what exactly happened and how such a tragedy can be avoided in the future. It’s the loser syndrome. It is obvious they haven’t faced the reality that they lost the election. Their policies and ideas were soundly rejected by a majority of the American people.
        Get with it, Senator McCain! Admit you’ve made a mistake and start doing what the American people want you to do: reach out across the aisle and work in a bipartisan way to solve some of the problems our nation is facing. End the side-tracking and the scape-goating and get to work!

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