John McCain’s Next Great Mission
(This piece was written 12 hours before John McCain cast a deciding vote in defeating the bill that would have taken health care from over 20 million people. I have read Paul Krugman's perceptive column in the NYT, also written earlier Thursday, long before McCain's vote, depicting the senator's erratic stances.
It's tricky to write about a moving story. On Thursday, Laura Vecsey wrote a glimpse of the Scaramucci family from our town. Later, Anthony became Trump's Trump via his vile rant to the New Yorker. It's a moving spectacle. I think I know where this is all going -- sooner rather than later, one can only hope. GV.)
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This is not the role anybody wanted for John McCain – appearing in public with a red raw line above his eye, from the recent incursion toward his brain.
I have been writing for over six months that I fully expected Sen. McCain to be a pivotal figure in the inevitable dumpsterization of Donald Trump.
I spent a few hours with Sen. McCain in his office for a column during an Olympic hearing in 1999, seeing the cranky side and the generous side.
Sen. McCain remains enigmatic – coming back from an awful diagnosis to cast a vote on health care, temporarily siding with the president who once declared him not a hero, and also supporting the amoral Mitch McConnell, to prolong this foolishness.
But then John McCain did what I have expected of him on his good-John-McCain days: he plainly called the Republican health-care “plan” meaningless, empty.
Now he has viscerally reacted to the pathetic tweeter of the White House by criticizing the call to bar transgender people from the military. This pilot served, was tortured. He knows how things actually work in the service, as opposed to the poseur from military school.
The same goes for Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost parts of her legs while serving as a pilot in Iraq. I saw her on TV the other night, talking about the foolish gesture toward transgender military people. She was, as always, so smart, so dignified. So presidential.
John McCain did not get to be president. His best moment during the campaign was to take the microphone back from the bigot in red who labelled Barack Obama “an A-rab.”
It was hard, recently, to watch John McCain stumble while asking questions in a Senate hearing. Now we know what is happening. But I am counting on him to exercise the just part of him. His pals in the mute White Citizens Council posse that materializes behind McConnell cannot pretend things are just fine, when John McCain is reacting viscerally to the disorder.
Unlike Trump, Sen. McCain felt no need to pander to the religious right on the transgender issue.
I originally thought it would take 18 rational months to rid the country of the buffoon, but now I think it could happen by Labor Day. This can’t go on. John McCain can help by calling out a disturbed man.
He flew many missions, but when he and Lindsay Graham pay that visit to the White House one of these months, it will be John McCain’s greatest mission.
7/27/2017 04:42:13 pm
7/27/2017 09:38:08 pm
George, I mostly agree with you about McCain. I regret not voting for him for President. Family members I love did. I couldn't believe it, but now I know they were more insightful than I was. Instead, we got a cypher, nice man, whose only job was to issue get out of jail free cards to the financial guys who ruined our economy (a consequence of the deregulation of dirivatives under Carter and Larry Summers) and it required a doubling of our national debt to bail them out. Out of this swamp we correctly elected Donald Trump. Bernie was knee capped.
7/27/2017 10:47:21 pm
I meant Clinton, not President Carter. I voted for Carter, maybe the nicest man ever elected President. It was also possibly the worst vote I ever cast. It taught me that it's damn hard to be an effective President. It's also hard to be nice and effective. Consequently, President Trump is hugely under respected.
7/28/2017 02:14:28 am
7/28/2017 09:20:31 am
Gene, say hello to Attorney General Sessions if you see him down there today!
7/28/2017 09:28:34 am
7/28/2017 10:03:07 am
Mendel: As for the Mets, I cite Dante:
7/28/2017 09:47:26 am
I know we try to keep things “nice” on this blog, but I just couldn’t let this go by – “this” being Brian’s description of Obama as a “cipher” whose “only job was to issue get out of jail free cards to the financial guys who ruined our economy.” That’s all he did? To take just one example, I had thought – but is my memory deceiving me? – he’d done a thing or two about climate change – things which, of course, Trump and his people have been busy undoing.
7/28/2017 10:11:33 am
Brian: I agree with you about insurance and medical conglomerates. Shareholders want more profits....and work against the opposing impulse to take care of fellow humans. ACA is hardly perfect, but compared to what?
7/28/2017 02:05:06 pm
I agree with George and Gene about Obama. The fact that, in 7 years, not one in several hundred GOP senators and representatives have figured out a logical and palatable alternative to Obama care speaks volumes about the intelligence and sophistication he brought to governing our nation. Of course, it is easier to design legislation that accomplishes a substantial public benefit when you start out, in good faith, wanting to achieve that.
8/10/2017 06:55:34 am
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.