Saturday, July 29, 2017

John McCain

It is impossible not to admire John McCain. His life story is so compelling, his years as a captured soldier so unfathomable, his unwavering devotion to service of this country so remarkable, his return to the Senate immediately after such a devastating health diagnosis so inspiring, his speech to that body so powerful, his deciding vote to derail the latest intended attack on this country's health care system so welcome. But we make him into something he is not if we treat him as a saint and do not declare his journey an uneven one.

For this is a man who was more than willing to take on Sarah Palin as a running mate not for her views or her mental acuity but to appease tea party loyalists and present himself as someone willing to tilt as far right as the next vote required.

And even in the immediate shadow of his Senate plea, this week he was not a consistent passionate voice or vote for those imperiled by this malevolence, not the heart and soul of the Republican opposition to this intended debacle.

If there are any heroes on the Republican side of this story, they are two women from Maine and Alaska who withstood the threats and taunts from the Oval Office and stood unwavering in support of those whose well being was in peril.

That is not to diminish what Mr. McCain's vote Friday morning meant to this country. Mr. McCain has been an important part of our narrative for half a century and for his refusal to allow the House and Mr. Ryan to get their hands on an abortion of a plan we are grateful. But really, honestly, this was not act of great political courage, but of basic human decency. Not his Mount Rushmore moment. 

Not even close.

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