Thursday, August 30, 2018

Some Thoughts On The McCain Circus

Here are some thoughts on John McCain. They're kind of mixed.

● I am not a fan of talk radio. It is irrational, sells a sense of false purity, and accepts no responsibility. It is the worst kind of self-righteous Monday Morning Quarterbacking. So this isn't about McCain not hitting some level of purity that I claim for myself... "he ain't no reel 'merican!" No. What bothered me about McCain was his disloyalty. His instincts were always to smear his own side at the outset of any argument and then to do his best to undermine any strategy adopted by his own side. I remember his career from when Reagan took office until his death the other day, and that was his MO in every instance. It wasn't enough to disagree. He needed to sabotage. It wasn't in the name of principle either. It was like pathological disloyalty.

I have no problems with Susan Collins from Maine, for example, because she was always moderate by principle. She stands by her beliefs and you know what that will mean. At some point, she will also always try to work out a deal where everybody gets a little something. I don't like her ideology, but she represents it fairly and I can respect it as an ally. I never had the same feelings with McCain, who seemed to revel in tearing apart his own people. In fact, I can't tell you a single principle the man stood for except helping the Democrats beat the Republicans.

● The media is loving McCain right now. But if you pay attention, the only thing they really love about him is that he was the Republican who confirmed to Democrats that all other Republicans are everything evil the Democrats claim. And let me point out, I remember his (erratic) run for President. The same media who now praises him smeared him with all the usual leftist smears -- racist, sexist, ist-ist, etc. The media should not be getting a free ride to pretend they were ever fair about him. He was a tool to them, that was it. He was their "useful idiot", a term Stalin used to describe Western intellectuals who repeated his lies without question. Don't believe the tears.

● Trump is being petty. Yep. But let's be honest. So is the McCain clan. McCain's last words are attacks on Trump and other conservatives. His people didn't even invite Sarah Palin, a truly petty break of protocol.

● Finally, on the veterans who are upset that Trump has acted like a jerk, I love our military, but I am not a blind supporter. There are good people and bad people in the military like in any other field. Just because someone is a soldier does not make them noble or divine. It's what we do that defines us, not what we are. And while many soldiers are amazing, not all are. I know that's often not a popular opinion in Talk Radio land, but it's an honest one and it's a correct one.

So on McCain, I do respect what he went through as a soldier and I respect how he handled himself. Talk radio has often spread rumors about him to smear his service and I find that despicable. I don't believe he acted in any way that wasn't truly honorable and above and beyond. The guy was a hero. Period.

That said though, that does not grant him a get-out-of-jail card for life. But that is how his service often seemed to be used. When he got into trouble, he often went back to the "I was a POW" thing to try to make criticism somehow improper. I don't accept that as legitimate. And don't get me wrong, McCain is not alone. A lot of veterans try this. Joe Biden waves his dead wife as a shield. Leftist shooting victims use their wounds the same way. People who claim to have been molested as kids, raped, or "victims" of some sort of -ism do the same thing. The thing is, there is no immunity from criticism and it bothers me when people think they can invent that. You may have walked on water and saved leprous children when you were young, but if you're an assh*le later in life, you're an ass, and the fact you were once great doesn't give you the right to shut down debate about your later conduct.

Those are my thoughts. The man was a hero, but a bad Senator and a worse ally. I don't wish him ill, but I won't canonize him either just because of his death.


tryanmax said...

I have never heard of people being told to stay away from a funeral except in melodramatic movies. Even then, it's always someone like the deceased's mistress that he didn't bother to hide very well. I'm sure it happens, but telling the sitting president to stay away has got to be some kind of first. Even that I can understand to a degree; I have no doubt that Trump refused to kiss McCain's ring. But snubbing his former campaign staff—which I have no doubt McCain called for and not his family—is just cold. There's been some question about who will set McCain's legacy, his allies or his detractors. I don't think anyone can outdo the man himself for leaving an image of a petty and bitter character.

As for his pathological disloyalty, I've often wondered if McCain's handlers at the Hanoi Hilton weren't more successful than not in their efforts upon him.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Funerals are usually when even people who didn't like each other show up and pretend not to speak ill of the dead. That this would become some sort of velvet rope thing with people being excluded and then identified in the press as such is bizarre to me... except it fits the McCain MO. That pettiness is who McCain has always been to me.

On the Hanoi Hilton thing, I have had similar thoughts, but in the end, I don't know and I don't like to think that. Moreover, I think there's an easier explanation: super narcissism. Everything about McCain's behavior was about making him the center of attention and forcing everyone else to come through him. Again, if it was a matter of principle, I could understand, but I see no principles that he stood for except "everyone answers to me!"

tryanmax said...

That pretty much underlines my belief that McCain died angry that Trump never kissed his ring.

AndrewPrice said...

I think a lot of this evidences anger. I think he was angry at his staff who "failed" him in 2008... hence, no invite. He was angry at Trump for not kissing his ring... hence, no invite and his steady flow of "last comments."

In fact, rather than treat his cancer or be with his family in his final days, it appears that McCain spent his final days scrambling to get as many attacks as possible on the record (and on film to be released soon) before he died.

Think about what that says. If you knew you were going to die in the next month, would you spend time with the people you loved looking for peace or would you get busy trying to create a steady drip of attacks to be released post death? That's a LOT of anger there and a twisted need to stay in the news even after you're dead to pick that second route. But again, that's who this man was.

tryanmax said...

I wonder what he was so angry about at bottom?

AndrewPrice said...

Hard to tell. Our youngest has anger which I can't explain. It comes out suddenly for the most random triggers and it's very destructive (to friendships and the such). It seems to be based on some sense of personal failure.

George Lucas is obviously angry because Star Wars was such a hit and everything after that became a disaster. He wanted to be a genius and became a one-hit wonder, so he decided to burn the world.

A lot of people are angry because they can't face their flaws and want to blame vast conspiracies. White men keep me down... my boss hates me... I never had a chance... etc.

Hillary is angry because no one recognizes her as a genius and her dumbass husband, whom she thinks she carried, is loved while she is despised.

A certain person I know is angry because that's the only emotion she ever learned to process.

McCain could be angry when he doesn't get the attention he wants. That's typical for kids and something most people grow out of. He may never have. He could be angry because he feels he got sh*t upon in Vietnam and he feels he never got the recognition he "deserves." (I saw that a lot with clients with psychosomatic injuries.) He could be angry because he sees himself as the most wise man in the world and it upsets him when other people fail to bend a knee to recognize that... Steven Jobs. He could be angry because he doesn't really have a true legacy despite spending his entire life bullying the Senate.

I'd guess a combo of those, truthfully.

tryanmax said...

True, angry people seem to have a way of finding reasons to be angry. I personally find anger exhausting. It's a state of mind I can barely relate to.

AndrewPrice said...

I've found anger to be intensely self-destructive. It eats at you and ruins everything in your life. It also feeds on itself and makes you more angry until it consumes you. It becomes an addiction and it shades your thinking to the point that you can't even see it anymore.

I've learned a long time ago to let go of anger. Find solutions instead. I know that's hard to do, but it makes life a lot better.

AndrewPrice said...

Let me add this too, which is sort of related...

I find it despicable that the Aretha Franklin funeral has turned into an "event." When a POS like Omarosa gets to show up, when Jesse Jackass gets to give an anti-Trump speech, when anyone hires Ariana Venti to sing... there is no respect being given to this woman. This is Narcissist-Celeb Con 2018.

Thomas Anderson said...

Just to throw my two cents in: something else I find interesting about the whole McCain situation is how, in addition to the press, many liberals on social media are bending over backwards to praise McCain as an honorable man, the last "decent" Republican, and a true American hero. On the one hand, it's kind of heartening to see ordinary people on that side of the isle still show respect for a war hero. On the other, something tells me they wouldn't be doing it if he hadn't been so disloyal. But I have to wonder if there's any element of genuineness to these displays of respect. I want to believe (cue X-Files music), but...well, I don't think I need to spell out my doubts.

AndrewPrice said...

Thomas, Tough to say. On the one hand, I think there are some genuine people. Some of the professional Democrats did like him personally. I actually think Biden was a friend of his. Most though, I think are just being cynical. As with Reagan, they don't want to be on the wrong side of the public so they suddenly claim to have loved this man they once smeared as a racist dinosaur.

On the drones, I think that a good number of them are genuine in the sense that they've been told he was good, so they believe it. I don't know that there's any true feeling there, but they believe it.

On the other hand, there are people who are largely apolitical -- like Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals, who I suspect are very genuine in their feelings. I also think the military guys are very genuine in their feelings for him.

tryanmax said...

Aretha’s funeral was turned into a circus. Too bad.

Tennessee Jed said...

I agree with your assessment entirely. I always assumed it was a petty grudge against those who defeated him, but you have brought up instances where that would not be a motive. I have also thought it might be his way of trying to make himself more relevant. at election time, he would sound conservative, but never follow through. I suppose it could be possible some of that behavior resulted from his treatment as a pow but that would be just a guess

Thomas Anderson said...

Andrew, that's a good point about apolitical people. The internet makes it easy to forget how many of those are out there, since they naturally tend not to be very outspoken.

AndrewPrice said...

So apparently, Ivanka went to McCain's funeral... and the MSM is mocking her for it. "Have you no shame" and "how does it feel knowing that no one wants your father there."

So they mock Trump for not going... and mocking his daughter for going. Anyone see a problem with this?

AndrewPrice said...

Thomas, Most people are actually pretty apolitical and they tend to follow traditional customs like wanting people to get along, respecting the office, liking people who serve the country, honoring the dead (unless they were monster) and practicing forgiveness. I think that's a good thing and I think those people will genuinely like McCain, even if they don't actually know anything about him.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It's always hard to tell what motivates people you don't know personally. That said, actions do speak louder than words when it comes to explaining who/what we are underneath.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The whole thing really did turn into a circus.

AndrewPrice said...

From Aretha Franklin-polusa (Burning Woman?) (formerly a funeral)

1. Anti-Trump political speeches by multiple political attendees... at a non-political funeral.

2. The anti-Jew, anti-Gay Louis Farrakhan given a spot on stage.

3. Faith Hill criticized for song choice and screechy voice.

4. Ariana Grande? Really? Criticized for wearing too short "club dress"

5. Minister accused of "groping" Ariana Grande's breast

6. Minister who states the black community has "lost its soul" accused of "negating" Black Lives Matter.

7. Omarosa appears... why?

More to come, no doubt.

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