On John McCain

John McCain stepping off of the plane from Hanoi greeted by Richard M. Nxon

Yesterday I put up a simple “In Memoriam” post marking the passing of John McCain.  There was no commentary; only a picture of the Senator and a video of the Navy Prayer.

McCain was the last lion of the Senate, first elected during a time when it was almost a necessity that those seeking high office have military service on their resumes.  That time has past.  Presidents Clinton, Bush and Trump all evaded the draft during Vietnam.

McCain might have been President but that his timing was never in tune with the electorate.  In 2000 he ran an exuberant campaign for the nomination but the establishment and the donors wanted George Bush.

By 2008 the Republican base hated its leadership and he was greeted at his town hall campaign rallies by crowds shouting epitaphs calling Obama a foreigner, a traitor and a Muslim.  Pointing out the truth earned him only boos.

It can be argued that McCain opened the door for Emperor Don when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate and there is certainly some truth to that.   She did not try to calm the vituperation emanating from her audiences – she rejoiced in it.  When the crazies shouted “Kill him!” at the mention of Obama’s name she just smiled.

Her inability to speak cogently on significant policy questions and the collapse of the economy in the September before the election doomed McCain’s effort.

In the Senate he worked tirelessly for immigration reform (to no avail), supported the Iraq war while vigorously opposing the torture of prisoners, engineered the filibuster deal which allowed Obama to get a number of candidates approved for Federal judgeships (now long abandoned) and cast the deciding vote to retain Obamacare.

While I  opposed most of what he stood for politically I never doubted that he was an honorable man who served the nation.  There is no one like him left in the Senate.  Congress is filled with faceless, nameless spineless men.  Gone are the likes of Dirksen, Dole and Teddy.

Before the 2008 Presidential election I criticized John McCain in the Washington Post;  I said he had learned little from his Vietnam War experience in that he was still a “hawk” ready to send others to life and death or to experience what he had experienced.  The lesson learned should have been peace with war only as a last resort.

I said he was bombing cities and civilians and that perhaps he was lucky the Vietnamese who captured him didn’t kill him.  He and I would have disagreed.

While we disagreed I always felt that John McCain would never have called me “Un-American” for doing so.

I hope you can discern from the above that I, like millions of others have mixed feelings about John McCain.

On October 9, 2010 I posted a comment in the Washington Post about McCain’s and the GOP’s right-wing politics.  It was picked up by a Christian blog the following day and it made at least one Christian think.  I repeat it for you here with the link at the end of the post.

First the bloggers comment:

“Below is from a comment to the Washington Post. I don’t agree with the tone, but this comment struck a chord with me that needed to be struck.

Amazingly, Christians have supported the behavior described below, and called it “conservative.” I’ve been guilty of supporting some of these behaviors myself. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that the Democratic Party is better–I’m just tired of giving the Republican Party a blank moral check, and trusting them to behave in a manner that pleases God. Being pro-life on abortion legislation doesn’t mean that the GOP values life the way God intends. One could argue that, based upon the demonstrated behavior of the last eight years, the opposite is true.

I’m more and more convinced that God will hold me accountable for not speaking out long ago… for not saying to the GOP “You will no longer be allowed to associate yourselves with people of faith. You’ve demonstrated that you’re not morally better, and in countless ways morally worse, than the liberal Democrats you so willingly demonize.

I may not vote for a Democrat in November, but I’m feeling quite certain that I won’t be voting for the Republican ticket. They just don’t deserve another chance.”

The blogger’s comment referred by my post below:


We have been hearing since Reagan that “Government is the problem”; that government should get “out of the way”; that the private sector can always do it better and cheaper.

If one has this philosophy then it is natural to undermine government; to get it “out of the way”. Conservatives since Reagan have systematically undermined the efficacy of the government by gutting any agency which it views as “standing in the way”.

You appoint “your guys” no matter how incompetent; you oust the professionals; you gut their budgets. You oppose anything which might “impede” the private sector corporations – consumer protections; food inspections; road and bridge inspection; financial regulations.

You politicize the Justice Department, so that it finds nothing, even torture, objectionable. Anti-trust enforcement becomes non-existent.

You never lift a voice or use the bully pulpit against corporations shipping jobs wholesale overseas. Our retailers buy their inventory from China and you ship them our money, never insisting that China adjust its foreign exchange rate. Then you borrow the money back from China to plug our budget deficit, caused by corporate tax cuts and cuts for the top 1% of Americans. You ship the borrowed money to our oil suppliers and oppose any effort to reduce dependency by seeking alternative renewable sources of fuel. After all, you’re an oil man.

You start an unnecessary war costing hundreds of billions of dollars much of it going to favored construction companies doing work shoddy enough to electrocute ten soldiers in their showers. Hired thugs masquerading as “security details” rake in more of the money, answering to no one. You “rebuild” Iraq (which we never had to destroy anyway) while the Iraqis have almost $80 billion in the bank.

You shred the Constitution, abridge habeas corpus. You get elected by selling your “values” while robbing the country blind. You never talk about economics. You always scare the voters with the next bogeyman around the corner. When the media disagrees with you, you attack it as “unfair” with “liberal bias”. You start your own propaganda media outlets that parrot the party line.

You take the country into a permanent state of war with a volunteer army – a state so permanent no one even notices it anymore as they go to the mall. You ask nothing from them but their acquiescence. “Just go shopping folks!”

You want to spend a trillion dollars to rescue the financial sector, run up a half a trillion dollar budget deficit and still spew nonsense about “small government, deregulation and lower taxes”.

We are witnessing the impoverishment of America. ….and this Grand Old Party (remember it?) wants four more years.

Posted by: toritto | October 9, 2008 4:25 PM

The Impoverishment of America

And so I will say goodbye to Senator John McCain.  He was an honorable man and I have never had any doubt he would think I am honorable too.

Such man are in short supply today.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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10 Responses to On John McCain

  1. beetleypete says:

    Despite the honours, I suppose I have to admit to an alternative view. He stood against Obama, with a hard-line Republican policy. Then he chose the abysmal Palin a a running-mate. He may have stood up to Trump, but he was still very much part of the ‘Old Guard’.
    Let’s not forget his roots, behind the celebration of his achievements. He was staunchly right-wing, and that would never attract my personal admiration. Sorry.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed your text. John McCain is an American hero. An honest if sometimes mislead man ( the Iraq war for Example). I admire his willingness to step up as he did many times, against torture and racism , against the birthers and harsh critics of Obama based on his race . He had a true sense of morality. You say you may not vote for the Democrats in November. We have watched Scott reject federal funds in an attempt to bow to his heartless party when he himself lived on welfare as a child. A vote for anyone other than a Democrat in Nov. is a vote for the autocratic party of Trump. The Grand Old Party is no more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DesertAbba says:

    There is no reasonable comparison between Senator McCain and #45. 45 is a tiny, minuscule specimen of manhood by any comparative dimension. 45 will not be remembered for anything, McCain will rank among true patriots and heroes. I’m a incontrovertible Democrat!!! Any vote for a Republican is an affirmation of American Fascism.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. toritto says:

    House – no problem. I added clarification after your reading and commenting.

    Best regards


  5. greenpete58 says:

    My impression is that McCain was a good man who was slotted into a bad political party. I think he was infected by the GOP, but occasionally (as with his recent health care vote) he dragged himself out of the muck.

    Liked by 1 person

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