Senator John McCain

Let’s look at how low the bar has to be set to find a member of either party who did something that was morally right, instead of what would get him/her re-elected. Senator McCain, one of the Keating Five, is being praised and honored for not agreeing with a woman who said Obama was a Muslim.

Furthermore, according to a David Ignatius column (8/28/2018):

McCain had the self-knowledge to understand that he wasn’t very good at waffling. He explained: “Every time I did something because I thought it would be politically helpful, it turned out badly.” As an example, he cited his pandering to southern conservatives during
the 2000 South Carolina primary when he said flying the Confederate flag at the state Capitol was a state issue.

But this is not about John McCain. It is about where we set the bar for politicians’ moral behavior and intentions. A man who admits to doing what is politically helpful is being praised because he was a maverick once in a while. Why doesn’t the media follow McCain’s maverick example and point to when he lowered the bar, too?

Or is the bar so low that nobody can lower it. Here is my summary of recent coverage of John McCain’s career:

We lost a “great” man. There were times when he did not lie, cheat, steal, pander, obfuscate, distort, or denigrate others to get himself elected.

BTW–Now we know that McCain was not tortured by the north Vietnamese for five years at Hanoi Hilton. Instead, based on the perspective of his own political party, he was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. How could he remain a Republican after the Bush administration? Oh — I forgot. He had to get re-elected in Barry Goldwater’s state of Arizona.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Mark J Steger on 08.28.18 at 6:34 pm

McCain was probably the most complex senator in my lifetime. At one time, he favored campaign finance reform, carbon credits, immigration reform. Then he didn’t. He was a war hawk and a deficit dove. He was talked about as a VP candidate on the Democratic ticket with John Kerry. He picked Sarah Palin as his own running mate. He endorsed Trump until the Access Hollywood tape, and then he said he wouldn’t vote for him. His vote against ACA repeal famously saved health insurance for millions. It’s hard to say how many of these things were done on principal and how many for politics. He kept getting re-elected in Arizona despite his all-over-the-map positions. Good or bad, like him or hate him, there aren’t any like him left in Washington.

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