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Miley metaphor: McCain likens Kerry's diplomacy to 'wrecking ball'

What do Miley Cyrus and Secretary of State John Kerry have in common? According to Sen. John McCain, Kerry comes in "like a wrecking ball."

Lest your mind reel with the image of Kerry substituting for the reigning bad girl of pop in her recent raunchy video, be advised McCain was referring to his old Senate colleague's brand of diplomacy in conducting negotiations with Iran over its renegade nuclear weapons program.

“Look, this guy has been a human wrecking ball,” McCain said in a departure from the collegial style of the Senate.

His remark, at a Washington symposium dubbed The Ideas Forum, startled the moderator Jeffrey Goldberg. The Atlantic columnist asked McCain if the demolition metaphor was aimed at Kerry or his counterparts in Iran, and McCain didn't hesitate with his answer.

“Look, this guy has been a human wrecking ball.”

- Sen. John McCain, referring to Secretary of State John Kerry

“Secretary Kerry, good friend of mine,” the maverick Arizona lawmaker and former GOP presidential candidate replied.

That friendship may be pushed to the limit as the increasingly fractious debate over sanctions against Iran continues. The Obama administration and Kerry believe easing some sanctions is a better path to negotiating a deal – the carrot and stick approach. McCain and others on Capitol Hill argue sanctions have worked, and to relax them now would be a mistake. He wants them toughened rather than weakened – all-stick, no carrot.

Kerry recently said those who are pushing that idea should, “…calm down, look hard at what can be achieved and what the realities are.”

And then, according to Politico, there’s Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who likened the Obama administration’s handling of Iran to Britain’s handling of the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II.

“This administration, like [former British Prime Minister] Neville Chamberlain, is yielding a large and bloody conflict in the Middle East involving Iranian nuclear weapons, which will now be part of our children’s future,” Kirk said after hearing Kerry’s pitch on negotiating with Iran. He also labeled Kerry’s presentation “fairly anti-Israel.”

With top lawmakers and diplomats trading verbal blows, making comparisons to Nazi appeasers, delivering lectures and invoking a 20-year-old pop star, the dysfunction in Washington over one of the world’s most pressing problems is clear.

Only Washington politicians could make Miley Cyrus seem like the grownup in the room.

Jonathan Hunt currently serves as a New York-based chief correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). Hunt joined the network in 2002 as an international correspondent based in Los Angeles.