He deserves respect for his service to the country as a service member. Politically, though, not as much.
The death of Senator John McCain closes the final chapter of his life many regard as a “maverick”. I prefer to think of him as an asshole who should have stepped down a long time ago. I met the man once during a town hall event where he chastised another veteran asking what he was doing to stem the flow of illegal aliens into Arizona.
Within a few short sentences, he dressed down the Korean veteran using political double speak. He said a bill was passed that added language to strengthen border security, but alas, but the veteran was having none of it. McCain raised his voice telling the man to sit down.
When others tried to pursue an explanation, he quickly shut them down proclaiming he had done what they wanted when in fact, he didn’t. In short, he didn’t want to be questioned even though there was nothing tangible to prove his statement. McCain lied about fulfilling a campaign promise.
Ironically, it was later in 2016 that he campaigned on a platform for strong boarder security. In one ad, he claimed to lead the fight to build a wall. You couldn’t help but laugh. McCain, however, changed tunes once elected after the personal rift between him and Trump. Listening to the McCain sycophants on cable shows yesterday about living for a higher purpose made my eyes roll – McCain did not such thing. McCain lived for McCain.
This is just one example of how someone who claimed the conservative mantle as his own often betrayed his own party and principles. In one critical vote, the repeal of Obamacare, he sided with the liberals denying the American people what they wanted. And for Arizonan’s facing triple digit rate increases with only one carrier option, he laughed in their faces.
McCain should have never run in 2016. His health was failing, but because the GOP was scared no candidate was strong enough against a rising Democrat challenger, he held on just to keep Arizona in the Republican column. The problems I have with the Arizona GOP have been long and painful where the entrenched leadership is full of McCain cronies.
After his diagnosis of brain cancer, he still refused to resign depriving Arizona of it’s needed representation. It’s bad enough Arizona still has Jeff Flake, but this was a double slap that could have helped push the Republican agenda forward. Instead, McCain aligned with the Never Trump movement, which included former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt. They wanted Trumps hands off everything and anything Trump agreed with instantly became poison. In other words, Trump Derangement Syndrome on full display to the detriment of Arizonians.
While I certainly pray for the soul of John McCain to rest in peace, it doesn’t mean that I have to give accolades to a man who should have retired long ago. Calling it quits after the 2012 election would have been a great way to let Arizona build a new future towards young candidates aligned with strong conservative principles. Instead, the old man hung on keeping the future of the GOP in Arizona in turmoil.
At some point, the conservatives of Arizona will have to also tear down and bury the apparatchik of McCain. Sure, there will be grand memorials dedicated to the man who dominated Arizona politics for years. It’s just that you can’t point to things Arizonan’s care about, such as reducing the size and scope of the federal government he claimed to believe in.
Another asshole will have an undeserved monument. Godspeed McCain.