I voted for John McCain for President. There. I admitted it. Actually, I was voting against Barack Obama far more than I’ve ever voted against anyone–OK Hillary too. I certainly wasn’t voting for McCain.
But why not? Wasn’t he a war hero? Didn’t he choose only the second woman in history as his running mate? Yes and yes, and I felt only slightly good about voting mainly because of Sarah Palin, an impressive woman and genuine American. But as every veteran knows, military accomplishments don’t forever define character, and acting heroically at some point in the past doesn’t guarantee sterling character for life. McCain was a terrible campaigner, among other things, temporarily suspending his campaign for no rational purpose discernable by voters.
Losing the election seems to have embittered McCain, or at the very least, removed all internal governors that restrained the angry, spiteful, hateful man he has since so obviously been. I’ve long been disgusted at his frequent embrace of progressives, particularly when such embrace could particularly harm his fellow Republicans. I always had the sense he was doing it not due to honest conviction, but as a means of sticking his thumb in the eye of normal Americans, something in which he seems to take perverse satisfaction.
As most know, McCain is suffering from cancer—of the brain—which will apparently kill him, sooner rather than later. He claims to be ready to return to Congress even as he convalesces in Arizona, but his colleagues do not expect to see him in those halls again. One suspects they are better informed on this matter than the public. And so McCain has produced a book with which he can spew venom, long past his turn on this fallen world, on the Americans that repeatedly voted him into office. The Hill reports:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he regrets choosing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to be his running mate during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“The New York Times reported on Saturday that McCain, while still defending Palin’s performance, said in his upcoming book, ‘The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and other Appreciations,’ that he wishes he had instead selected former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)
His advisers reportedly had warned against choosing Lieberman, who was once a Democrat, stating that Lieberman’s support of abortion rights could divide Republicans. [skip]
‘It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,’ he writes. ‘But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.’
In a new HBO documentary, McCain goes on to say that not choosing Lieberman was “another mistake” that he made in his political career.
Lieberman told the Times that he didn’t know McCain felt that way.
‘It touched me greatly,’ he said of the film.
Sarah Palin, graciously has observed that the slight hurts, but attributes it to McCain’s ghost writer rather than to McCain, who she says has always told her otherwise. Of course, McCain has always had a tendency to turn on friends at the drop of a hat. As one might expect, the book also savages President Trump. Glen Reynolds of Instapundit observes:
WHICH IS FUNNY BECAUSE THE ONLY TIME HE WAS AHEAD IN THE POLLS WAS AFTER HE PICKED HER: McCain says he regrets picking Palin as running mate.And then he promptly fell behind as soon as he ‘suspended’ his campaign for the financial crisis, which was as dumb a move as any presidential candidate has ever made. And now he’s dissing his running mate — whose career was on a promising arc until he picked her — just for a little bit of last-minute favorable press. Sad.
Fuzzy Slippers at Legal Insurrection also points out McCain’s lack of perspective and gratitude, beginning by commenting on McCain’s statement about wishing he ignored advice about not choosing Joseph Lieberman:
This is such a bizarre statement. While I like and even admire Lieberman, a left-leaning centrist brought onto a right-leaning centrist’s presidential ticket would have been a disaster even back in ’08.
Before making his announcement of Palin’s addition to his ticket, McCain’s campaign was stalled. He was doing everything wrong, and there was no enthusiasm at all among Republican voters. President Bush, you may recall, was leaving office with truly abysmal numbers: at one point, his approval was just 25%. McCain, though he tried to distance himself from Bush, was tied to him by his own voting record in the Senate.
Between his campaign bleeding aides and even his campaign manager to his confounding refusal to address Obama’s many many weaknesses and scandalous associations, McCain was on the fast-track to an historic drubbing.
It wasn’t until McCain named Palin as his VP that he took the lead against Obama for the first time. A lot has happened since then, but flash back to 2008 and Palin’s acceptance of the Vice Presidential spot on the Republican ticket.
To this day I remember watching it and literally jumping up off my couch shouting ‘Yeah!’ and clapping my hands together and beaming with joy. I hadn’t leaped off my couch in response to a speech before and haven’t since. She was electrifying.
Everyone knew she was a game changer for McCain’s flailing presidential campaign. She can barely start her speech because the convention was so enthusiastic and joyous. And the left was mortified.
As we later learned, the leftist media was so deeply concerned about Palin that they ramped up Journolist to brainstorm ways of bringing her down. What followed was one of the most vile, disgusting smear campaigns in recent memory, and it was rooted in their admiration of Palin.
Journolist, as you may recall gentle readers, was a secret site for journalists, used primarily to pat each other on the back, and to share narrative talking points against conservatives. They were scared to death of Palin. When it was discovered, many instances of media outlets around the nation using the same talking points in virtually the same words were exposed. The scandal was such it was closed down.
Palin was frustrated with the McCain campaign because after she injected a much-needed boost they refused to let her speak her mind about Obama.
Real Clear Politics reported in 2013:
SARAH PALIN: We show what happened, back in 2008, I believe that’s when it started, when the media decided to just go along to get along with Obama, ingratiating themselves with him and vice versa. What we saw was these attempts to destroy these whistleblowers, those who were telling the truth, even in the campaign. Those who were bringing up the name Jeremiah Wright and the racist church he leads that Obama was a member of for over 20 years.
Though I was during the campaign running for VP, I was banned from talking about Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s friend, Bill Ayers, the character that he befriended and kicked off his political campaign in the guy’s living room. Couldn’t talk about that. Couldn’t talk about Obama’s lack of knowledge and job experience and the things that he said like America had 57 states, things like that.
In the campaign, Greta, this is important for Americans to understand. I was not allowed to talk about things like that because those elitists, those who are the brainiacs in the GOP machine running John McCain’s campaign at the time said that the media would eat us alive if we brought up these things. So what did that get us? That got us this kind of complacency and self-censoring of a campaign where we weren’t allowed to tell the truth about who this kind candidate was, Barack Obama. What it got us was a list of these scandals. This is kind of a redneck version of one of those elitist tactics of Karl Rove, how he uses his white board. This a redneck version of a whiteboard. And on this list, the scandals that are destroying America, Greta.
McCain and his advisors, swamp creatures all, muzzled the only person that could have effectively neutered Barack Obama. And now we discover McCain played a role in the Russian collusion scam, and is unsurprisingly, bizarrely proud of it, as Fox News reports:
In excerpts of his forthcoming book, ‘The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations,’ the 81-year-old senator – who is recuperating at home following recent cancer treatment and surgery – acknowledges that he delivered the information to then-FBI Director James Comey.
‘(A)nd I would do it again,’ McCain writes, according to excerpts published by the Guardian.
‘Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,’ McCain adds, saying he did ‘what duty demanded I do.’
The ‘disturbing’ nature of the allegations against Trump prompted his action, McCain writes.
‘I had no idea which if any were true,’ the senator writes. ‘I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.
McCain is, at least, in bad company. James Comey, and a variety of other swamp creatures, despite having no idea “which if any were true” felt compelled, so highly tuned were their senses of morality, to publically slander the President of the United States in an attempt to drive him from office.
Among rational, moral people, this is despicable, even depraved.
When John McCain meets his end, I’ll feel no joy; the bell tolls for us all. But many of his colleagues will breath a sigh of relief. His ill temper caused a great deal of damage. I suppose there is a temptation to take a few swipes at those we dislike as we near the end. After all, at that point, who cares about social—or other—repercussions? But if one is concerned about one’s legacy, about the way one will be remembered, it is fitting to leave with a modicum of humility and grace. It would appear no one will be accusing John McCain of that.