Saturday, August 25, 2018

On the Whole, a Disappointment

The big story of the day has got to be the death of Senator John McCain at the age of 81. McCain had a storied career as a naval aviator, a prisoner of war, a senator, and a presidential candidate, but on the whole I viewed him as a disappointment.

Back when bipartisanship was possible, McCain actually worked with Democratic colleagues to pass legislation... famously, he co-sponsored a 2005 immigration reform bill with Ted Kennedy. By 2008, during his presidential campaign, he tried to shed his 'moderate' image and run as a right-winger. Besides inflicting Sarah Palin on the nation, he repudiated his former stance on immigration:

This didn't win him friends among the Tea Party wing of the GOP, who lambasted him as a RINO. He attempted to woo people who villified his young adopted daughter and denigrated his military service. He sold out his own politics in an attempt to remain a leader of a party which had abandoned any pretense of sound governance. As I said, I viewed him as a disappointment.

That being said, he did have a long, storied career as a public servant, and that cannot be taken away from him regardless of any late-career missteps. Condolences to his loved ones. I will try to remember the John McCain who addressed an over-capacity crowd at St Barnabas Church on the Bronx/Yonkers border, the man who we serenaded with an a cappella rendition of Fields of Athenry as he left the venue:

Goodbye, John, we'll always have Yonkers.


Marc McKenzie said...

Well said.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks, as you can tell, I took this reversal personally.