The big political story today is John McCain's brain cancer diagnosis. I wish that Senator McCain successfully fights the glioblastoma with which he is inflicted... I've had a conflicted view of McCain for many years- the media has long portrayed him as a 'country before party' guy, but my observations have put the lie to this conventional wisdom.
My biggest beef with McCain, one which I take personally, is his flip-flop on immigration reform. In 2006, I attended a pro-immigration reform rally at St Barnabas Church on the Bronx/Yonkers border which featured McCain as a speaker. Back then, he was an advocate of immigration reform, having co-sponsored a bill on the subject with Teddy Kennedy.
I also had a beef with McCain about his flip-flop on the release of POW Bowe Bergdahl... as a POW himself, McCain should have unequivocally supported Bergdahl's rescue, but he decided to use it to score political points.
I just don't see McCain as the principled 'Maverick' that he's played in the media's imagination- even in this current political climate, he's voted with the man who denigrated his military service almost ninety-percent of the time. Now that he's facing a long battle against a pernicious cancer, he's probably going to vote to prevent the middle-class, working-class, and indigent people of the U.S. from receiving affordable diagnostic care like he did. An elderly man, with numerous pre-existing conditions, McCain would never receive affordable coverage from any of the private insurance carriers that we peons are forced to deal with.
I wish Senator McCain a recovery from glioblastoma, but I would wish that for anyone. Basically, I wish that every single American citizen could receive the 'gold standard', taxpayer funded healthcare that McCain will be receiving. Tragically, Senator McCain doesn't seem to agree with me. Once again, McCain has proved to be a source of disappointment. I hope he recovers, but I won't be singing Fields of Athenry to him anytime soon.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
A Continual Source of Disappointment
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard at 11:57 PM
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I have big issues with Senator McCain, and I'm not sure why he'd say the right thing and then vote wrong. Earlier this year, he said "only an idiot" would vote for nuclear option in the Senate only THRE HOURS before he actually voted for it.
Still, I can oppose someone's voting record and feel bad when I hear they've essentially received a death sentence.
I felt bad hearing that and I wish him the very best.
There's a weird thing that happens with a diagnosis like McCain's--the tendency to prematurely elegize. I wrote about it, but felt a need to point out I wasn't here to bury or praise McCain, necessarily. He has done good things. He has also stood for horrible things--but glioblastoma is a particularly horrible thing. I know the prognosis is generally bad. McCain himself might not stand for the idea of the government making sure that everyone has access to good care when faced with a medical condition like his--but it strikes me as right to use him as an example of why access is necessary, how bad things happen to anyone's health, and why congress has appeared hypocritical in this matter.
It's a straddle. But I'm sure McCain himself would understand those.
McCain, the make-believe maverick.
Also too: Sarah Palin.
Agree wholeheartedly. He was a tough guy who became a hero by resisting the worst his fellow humans could inflict on him. But as a politician, as a statesman and a legislator, his actions never matched his rhetoric. In a way, he's among the worst, because he made it clear he didn't believe the movement conservative/right wing authoritarian messages, but then time and time again he cast his vote for them, not against them.
He is, like Paul Ryan, a media creation. The media needs Ryan to be the 'smart, moderate conservative intellectual/policy wonk', and it needs McCain to be the 'maverick', the one who stands up to the leadership of his own party.
Neither of these narratives are accurate in real life...
If you do what I did back when McCain was running for President the first time, and you go look at what people you loathe think of his voting record, you might be a bit surprised, just like I was. Both the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family gave McCain a 100% approval rating.
With a voting record like that, who give a damn what comes out of his mouth? It's worthless air, glib "maverick" words meant to distract, deceive, and (most importantly) make sure there was always an empty chair waiting for John McCain in every TV news studio.
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