McCain v. Hastert

Some quotes from their exchanges in recent days, as reported in the Washington Post:

The nasty exchange between McCain and Hastert began with a comment the senator made at a think-tank conference on the budget deficit on Tuesday. “My friends, we are at war. Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice,” McCain said. “But about the only sacrifice taking place is that by the brave men and women fighting to defend and protect the liberties we hold so dear, and that of their families. It is time for others to step up and start sacrificing.”

…Hastert shot back: “If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and Bethesda [Naval Hospital]. There’s the sacrifice in this country.”

…Hastert questioned whether McCain is really a member of Bush’s party. “A Republican?” Hastert said with feigned incredulity. He then criticized McCain’s opposition to extending tax cuts in wartime.

“We’re trying to make sure that they have the ability to fight this war, that they have the wherewithal to be able to do it,” Hastert said. “And at the same time, we have to react to keep this country strong not only militarily but economically.”

…McCain retorted: “The speaker is correct in that nothing we are called upon to do comes close to matching the heroism of our troops. All we are called upon to do is to not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility.”

Makes you almost nostalgic for the fiscally responsible 1980s, doesn’t it, Senator?