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John McCain: A Republican for the 20th Century

Posted by Rob Mania on


Many of the left are honoring John McCain for standing up to a future Trump voter who had said, “I can’t trust Obama, he’s…he’s an Arab.” McCain was gob smacked for a moment, before he responded that Obama was a good man, but with a viewpoint he disagreed with. The woman he spoke to, just to be clear, misremembered a racist and untrue conspiracy theory, so she was, to be blunt, stupid and racist. I’m in no rush to canonize McCain, because he was a Republican for thirty years, and therefore was on the front line on the Reagan/Bush policies that decimated the middle class, filled our prisons with minorities, and overfed the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about. But I think it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that McCain was, to steal a phrase, a decent man whose ideas I disagree with, but was ultimately unable to separate himself from the enormity of the Trump Republican party that used him as cover to legitimize itself before tossing him out like a Toys R Us catalog.

Trump refused to lower the flag to half-staff, a long-standing tradition, mere days after yet another mass shooting, and then after the death of John McCain, which was petty and small, but would be surprising only to someone who had spent the last decade frozen in ice. I cannot imagine a world where President Obama would refuse to lower the flag if Joe Wilson (The “you lie!” guy) had died during his presidency, but if he had, it would have been the biggest scandal of his presidency, even worse that the “Latte Salute.” That was the standard Obama held himself up to. Trump, of course, is a man-baby who crosses his arms and sticks his chin out when called on his bullshit. But Republican voters eat it up, and McCain realized, near the end, that he helped let it happen.

Which is why Sarah Palin wasn’t invited to his funeral. Palin helped turn the Republican party into the Tea Party. Her aw-shucks mannerisms and her rhetoric about mama bears and moose burgers, hid a truly despicable politician who became more corrupt and dishonest as she gained more power. In 2009, for example, she coined the phrase “death panel,” a lie so egregious it was named “lie of the year” by Politifact. McCain ultimately felt the people who could best speak for him were the two people who bested him in running for the White House rather than the people who used him for support until they turned their collective backs on him.

In the last thirty years, every successful Republican presidential ticket has had one staid politician and one bumbling idiot. Reagan was loveable, Bush was serious, then it was Bush/Quayle, W./Cheney, and now Trump/Pence. So, given a track record that has proven successful, you can’t exactly say that the ticket of McCain/Palin was in any way a break from that norm. McCain, the maverick, must have been stunned that his brand was hijacked by batshit crazy Palin, who turned “going rogue” from a warning into her own brand. Her uncontrolled outbursts paved the way for Trump.

McCain either couldn’t understand the need or never had the energy to take back the Republican party from the Trump voters. And to be fair, “We are your Daddy’s Republican party” isn’t exactly a strong catchphrase. He was a fine senator for his time, but his time was the 1990s, not the 2010s. His party is gone. Republicans aren’t the party of Lincoln, they aren’t even the party of Nixon. And they are no longer the party of John McCain.

 

Other commentaries by Rob Mania:

Trump’s Perfect Lie
Who is to Blame for our Cruel Immigration Policy?
Sean Hannity Did Not Borrow Your Dishes! (Also, They Were Broken When He Took Them)
Calling Bullshit (on my own side)
Why Is there no MPAA for the NRA? 
More Thoughts about the Parkland Shooting
Some Thoughts About The Shooting in Florida 
Never be the first to stop clapping
 

Robert has followed business technology for nearly ten years, and consumer tech for many before that. He has done extensive work for growing small businesses, shaping the voice that others will follow. Rob Mania has been waiting by the door for opportunity to knock, killing time by playing video games. So far it has not.

 

 

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