It was with great sadness I watched the funeral of John McCain. It could have been a teachable moment. One of the attributes assigned to Senator McCain was that he “reached across the aisle” to bridge the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Senator McCain planned his own funeral, including the guest list, with meticulous detail. He could have bridged the great divide in America today by reaching out to his own party and to the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump. Instead, McCain chose to give the finger to the “deplorables” right into the grave as his family joined in the “screw you” chorus.
Hypocrisy flooded the pomp and circumstance of an unending, pseudo-state funeral. But as an Obama sycophant said in the 2008 presidential campaign…how does being a war hero qualify somebody to be President? Did McCain forget that insult? The feud between President Trump and Senator McCain stemmed from a comment made by candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign saying he preferred heroes who weren’t captured. It was not a nice thing to say. But compared to what the very people sitting in the National Cathedral Saturday morning said about him in the 2008 campaign…and the horrible despicable things about his running mate Sarah Palin…what Trump said was nothing. It’s a political campaign. Put on your big boy pants and get over it.
Go back and read some of the Washington Post and New York Times editorials and watch tapes of the CNN coverage of McCain in 2008. Can anyone reconcile the total fawning over McCain this past week with what these same folks said and wrote in 2008? Obama was the Second Coming. McCain was the devil…and his running mate worse than that. “That was just politics,” they say. Exactly. What is actually in play is the old saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The press would not be so deferential to McCain if he didn’t hate Trump more than they do.
Senator McCain, like the rest of us humans, was a flawed individual. With much pomposity the media declared him to be a “maverick.” I believe he was a narcissist to whom nobody said no. His M-O was look at me…look at me!!
I bet the vast majority of the American public doesn’t know McCain had two wives. Upon his return from Vietnam, he discovered his beautiful first wife whom he married in 1960 was seriously maimed and disfigured in a horrific automobile accident. While outwardly stating his support and love for his first wife, he was secretly telling his friends he was repulsed by her as he started dating his current wife Cindy who was 20 years his junior and very, very wealthy. It was her father’s money that launched his political career and paid off his first wife.
Then there was his role in the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan costing the US taxpayers $3.4 billion. McCain, along with four other Senators, was brought before the Senate relating to his relationship with Charles Keating, the chairman of the collapsed savings and loan. Although he was cleared of any wrongdoing, he was reprimanded for “poor judgement.” Notwithstanding, McCain had a long relationship with Charles Keating taking numerous trips at Keating’s expense. McCain’s wife’s family were investors in some of Keating’s projects. McCain donated $100,000.00 to the US treasury to atone for his sins and then rehabilitated his reputation by leading campaign finance reform. It’s called schmoozing your way out of a problem.
McCain turned out to be a key figure in the Russia-Russia investigation. He was tied to the infamous “pee-pee” dossier that is the illegal and flawed root of the Justice Department/CIA/FBI scandal. He personally delivered a copy of the dossier to the FBI. But he was played because the FBI already had it. We will never know how many other Never Trumpers, along with McCain, were involved in the development of the dossier and what ties there might have been to the Clinton Campaign who paid for it.
Which gets back to the initial theme of this essay. Had McCain chosen a different path than one of hate and derision and insults hurled at the President of the United States, his death and funeral could have a been a stepping stone to ending the divide in our country. Instead…what I saw yesterday and last week and what I will continue to see today before John McCain is finally put to rest was a funeral that also served as the last hurrah for a Washington establishment filled with living former Presidents and their operatives who deliberately chose to look as irrelevant as they have actually become in America’s political discourse.
Maybe McCain was a maverick. What I saw yesterday was a true war hero with flaws, and two former Presidents acting like a bunch of spoiled children because they didn’t get their way.