Monday, August 27, 2018

John McCain’s Failed Second Act

Nothing can tarnish the glory of McCain’s first act, but democratic politics is about what comes next.

August 27, 2018 Bruce Thornton

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dictum about no second acts in American life is only partially true. There are second acts, but those that fail to live up to the promise of the first are far more interesting.

An assessment of John McCain’s political career suggests that the Senator from Arizona squandered the immense capital of his five and a half years of bravery and integrity while a captive in Viet Nam.

McCain’s earlier career reminds one of George Armstrong Custer, another “maverick” whose reckless audacity won him plaudits during the Civil War, but ended in failure at the Little Big Horn.

McCain was an indifferent student at the Naval Academy, and at times a careless pilot. During flight training he dumped a jet in Corpus Christi Bay, and while flying too low in Spain took out some power lines. At this point he seems to have been, like several Kennedys, a typical feckless scion of a storied American family whose elite connections mitigated his questionable behavior........To Read More...

My Take - Let's be clear.....the jury is still out on his first act.  Those who were there all tell different stories about McCain when his was a POW.  Some praise and honor him and others villify his actions, and I don't know why.  What would an investigator make of that? 

McCain is a strange man.  It's been said one of the most dangerous places in the world is standing between him and a camera.  I wonder what would happen if he, Schumer, Pelosi and Maxine were running to be in front of the same camera?  

I don't know what happened when he was a POW, and I for one won't criticize what he did there because being a POW has to be mind numbing, and those poor souls are so easily manipulated and bullied into actions they wouldn't normally do.  So, stay at home arm chair critics of those men need to walk cautiously.  I'm willing to give him a pass on all of that, but one thing bothers me.  Why was it necessary to seal his military records.....permanently? 

We need to get this - having once been a hero doesn't give you a pass on the rest of life.  How corrupt has McCain been in his life?  It's always amazed me how he and John Glenn managed to keep their seats in the Senate after the Keating Five scandal.  Glenn and McCain - career military - and tarnished icons.  Glenn retired very wealthy. 

I can remember reading many years ago Glenn was - after retiring from the military - worth $400,000.  After 8 years in the Senate he was one of the richest men in the Senate.  How did that happen?  As for McCain - he's has been largely self-serving and contemptible ever since his hero days...... as the New Phoenix Times reported at the time - McCain was the "guiltiest, most culpable, most reprehensible of the Keating Five". .....nothing changed!

McCain has been irresponsible and spoiled in his pre-POW life and totally contemptible in his post-POW political life.  Maybe what happened in his POW life may be extrapolated from that and maybe not, so let's just dwell on what we know. 

I've watched this play out and watched people who should know better praise this man when they should have been condemning him.   But being a hero doesn't give you a pass on the rest of life.  What he's done for all of his post hero days - at least in my mind - is far more descriptive or who and what John McCain is than his war record.

In the parts of his life we know, he's been irresponsible and contemptible, so any attempt to name buildings after him is totally unwarrented, and probably most assuredly premature.  John McCain was an obvious self serving disgrace, which makes you wonder what's wrong with the people of Arizona? 

The real focus should be on this. Will the nation and the Senate be better off or worse off without him? 

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