Senator John McCain, who just weeks ago expressed optimism about his prospects for an Egypt crisis trip with Senator Lindsey Graham by saying that "we have credibility with everybody there," now believes that the U.S. has "no credibility" in Egypt. McCain is one of the few prominent U.S. elected officials to actually call the overthrow of the Egyptian government a "coup," and on CNN's State of the Union the Senator repeated his belief that the U.S. should suspend aid to the country in the wake of the military's deadly crackdown on pro-former president Mohamed Morsi protesters in the country. "We have no credibility. We do have influence, but when you don't use that influence, then you do not have that influence," McCain said, adding, "with Apache helicopters flying overhead (in Egypt), nothing is more symbolic of the United States of America siding with the generals." McCain also criticized the president's handling of foreign policy, particularly in the context of the Egypt crisis: "There is no policy, and there is no strategy. And therefore, we react and we react poorly."
Senator Lindsey Graham, the second half of President Obama's GOP tag team attempt to solve Egypt, also said he believed the U.S. should suspend aid until Egypt moves back towards democracy. On CBS's Face the Nation, the senator said that Egypt was "headed for Algeria," arguing that in 60 to 90 days the country would have an armed insurgency, and not a protest movement on its hands. He added, "Al Qaeda's never going to win at the ballot box," referring to his theory that the Muslim Brotherhood, as it continues to become disenfranchised in Egypt, will end up getting support from the terrorist organization, in part because the Egyptian military is "making these people martyrs." He went on: "The best way to solve this problem is write a new constitution where everybody has a say and have new elections." As for the military's continued crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Graham criticised the decision of the military to detain dissent: "The Egyptian people are not terrorists," he said, adding that it would be impossible for Egypt to arrest the 30 percent of the population that still supports the Muslim Brotherhood.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly went on ABC's This Week to say that those who want to get rid of the city's stop-and-frisk policy (now declared unconstitutional!) might as well just ask the police force to close up shop: "This is something that's integral to policing. This happens throughout America at any police jurisdiction," he said, adding, "You have to do it. Officers have to have the right of inquiry, if they see some suspicious behavior. So I can assure you, this is not just a New York City issue. It's an issue throughout America. And this case has to be appealed in my judgment because it will be taken as a template and have significant impact in policing throughout America." Kelly warned that the end of the policy could reverse the work of law enforcement in the city to reduce crime "What we’re doing – and what we’re trying to do — is save lives,” Kelly said, adding, "Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it." He was also dismissive of a proposal to police the stop-and-frisk enforcement in the city that would have some officers wear cameras "when do you turn the camera on, and when do you turn it off? he asked.
Rep. Peter King continued the GOP tiff between libertarians and GOP hawks on Fox News Sunday by saying that Senator Rand Paul's depiction of NSA surveillance is "just a grab bag of misinformation and distortion." He added, "I totally disagree with that and I fully disagree with what Sen. Rand Paul said." Speaking specifically about the most recent round of revelations about privacy violations by the agency, King added, "Whatever mistakes were made were inadvertent, and If you have a 99.99 percent batting average, that’s better than most media people do, most politicians do,” King said in defense of the NSA. I have tremendous respect for Gen. [Keith] Alexander and the NSA.” he added. “This whole tone of snooping and spying that we use, I think it’s horrible. It’s really a distortion and a smear and a slander of good, patriotic Americans."
Senator Rand Paul, for his part, called for congressional hearings on NSA surveillance in the wake of the latest Washington Post story on intelligence oversight. "You know, I think it would be better with more oversight, but there are some things they are doing that I fundamentally think are unconstitutional," Paul said, speaking to Fox News Sunday. He added, "he thinks that if he gets some lawyers together from the NSA and they do a Power Point presentation and tell him everything is okay, that the NSA can police themselves. But one of the fundamental things that our founders put in place was they wanted to separate police power from the judiciary power."
Rep. Justin Amash was also on the anti-NSA beat this Sunday, speaking to CNN's State of the Union. "the records of every American in the United States are being collected without suspicion," Amash said, while adding that he hoped the recent revelations about the agency's privacy violations would give him another chance to try and pass legislation limiting the NSA's data collection powers.
Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus went after former Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstorm on ABC's This Week after the former aide criticized the RNC chairman's decision to boycott CNN and NBC over their upcoming Hillary Clinton films:
Bad optics for the RNC to block CNN and NBC from sponsoring presidential debates. Attacking the media is a loser's game.— Eric Fehrnstrom (@EricFehrn) August 16, 2013
"Well, I don't know if his Etch A Sketch is on tilt. ... I'm not really taking advice from Eric Fehrnstrom right now," Priebus said, adding, "I'm trying to build a party that's year-round. I'm trying to fix a data and digital operation, I'm trying to get a hold of a primary process and a debate debacle that as you know, I've called the traveling circus." Fehrnstrom, of course, is the Romney aide who famously called the candidate's policies as resettable as an Etch-a-Sketch going into the fall stretch of the 2012 campaign.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.