Conservatism, Inc.

John McCain: A Full Measure of the Man

The recent eulogizing of John McCain by members of the Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex was so hyperbolic, that one would have thought he was being canonized. There can be no doubt that McCain was an unabashed patriot who served his county well and with great distinction. However, the lavish praise and adulation bestowed on McCain after his death, was particularly irksome for two reasons.

Those liberal pundits and Democratic politicians who elevated McCain to sainthood status after he died, hardly had the same reverence for him when he was alive. Their ennobling words following hie death, was starkly at odds with how he was vilified when he ran against Obama in 2008.

Since McCain was a prominent member of the Old Guard of the GOP, his death is symbolic, as it signifies the end of the Establishment Republican Party. Trump put a nail in the coffin of Bush Republicanism, which perhaps is why George W. Bush, along with others, in no uncertain terms, used the opportunity of a hero’s funeral to attack the president of the United States.

The media loved “Maverick” McCain on those occasions when he poked a stick in the eye of conservatives in the Republican Party. McCain was so solicitous of the media, that in a very real sense, his constituency wasn’t the citizens of Arizona, but rather, the mainstream media.

For many Republicans, particularly those who expressed their disapprobation for the establishment by voting for Trump, McCain was the personification of the Republican “useful idiot” who was consistently duped and played fora fool by an obliging media. Because he was particularly vainglorious, McCain on many occasions failed to appreciate how an adoring media was capable of turning on a dime and finding him dispensable when a liberal democrat was his opponent.

I think the irreparable damage McCain did to the Republican Party and why he was viewed with such disdain by many in the party, can best be summarized by referring to an excerpt from my book, Election 2016: How Donald Trump and the Deplorables Won and Made Political History,

“Republican politicians who were unaware or utterly indifferent about the nature of today’s Democrats had managed the party for too long. The GOP sought comity and congeniality, whereas the Democrats continually engaged in warfare both in the halls of Congress and in the media. John McCain was prone to this blindness on countless occasions during his tenure in the Senate. For McCain, the collegiality and comity of the Senate as an institution was of paramount concern when seeking to bridge partisan divides. Yet his longtime “collegial” colleague Ted Kennedy had no compunction in casting the collegiality of the Senate aside with his vituperative and entirely false character assassination of Robert Bork during his 1987 Senate confirmation hearings. Kennedy’s assault on this prominent jurist’s character was so offensive and egregious that it spawned a new dictionary term for the lexicon of the late twentieth century: to ‘Bork.’”

McCain’s lopsided and wholly unrealistic view of “comity”, was one of the reasons why the longer McCain stayed in the Senate, the less enamored many rank and file Republicans became of his leadership position. Over time, McCain’s sanctimony became insufferable, alienating many conservatives as well as some establishment Republicans. His 11th hour vote against the repeal of Obamacare was one such moment. During his career in the Senate, there were many others.

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