Monday, August 27, 2018
John McCain's passing is too big for us to ignore, yet we don't have a lot to say about the man other than he was unquestionably of importance, and that his personal story was...complicated.
There's debate about whether he was a hero or villain (or both, or neither). Some of the attacks on McCain, such as blaming him for the tragic fire aboard the USS Forrestal which took the lives of 134 men and injured 161 more, are oft-repeated but not true. Additional stories about his comportment during an extended period as a prisoner of war, and whether he truly earned the nickname "songbird" for speaking to the enemy, are hard to verify. Opposing stories describe his heroism while in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."
He did, unquestionably, dedicate his life to public service. And that's something we respect, even if we didn't like most of his political stands (he was pretty much the original RINO), and even if his inept presidential run helped make Barack Obama our national nightmare for eight seemingly-endless years.
In the end, we can't weigh the worth of the man or know the entirety of what was in his heart. Which makes a moment of respectful silence all the more appropriate.
Posted by Stilton Jarlsberg at 12:01 AM
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Well said, sir.
Yes, very well said. Perhaps one could say a heroic character sadly gone amok.
Sorry for his grieving family. For him, not so much.
Stilton, you are a good man.
A complicated man. Early a patriot but in later years a denizen of the swamp. I thank him for his military service to our country but his time in government slowly grew to be what I could not support. He was a maverick but very close to being what I could call a turncoat to Republican ideas. I think his failed presidential run made him bitter and jealous of the Trump victory. RIP John McCain.
Had John McCain's father not been an admiral, it is doubtful that he ever would have ended up in the "Hanoi Hilton" in the first place. He was actually a lousy pilot, having crashed planes three times before being shot down over North Vietnam. It was his daddy that kept him flying as most pilots that bad would have been grounded. It is also probable that his ineptitude is WHY he was shot down.
Then there was his dumping his first wife when he returned, because she had been disfigured in a car accident, and marrying a younger prettier model just one month later.
Let us also not forget his shady dealings as a member of the Keating Five.
I cannot say much good about the man, nor can I say he did much good for us here in Arizona.
He was the original RINO, and I still consider him the poster boy for congressional term limits.
I am no fan but hope he found redemption in the end.........
We will end up dealing with his legacy and actions long after he is gone ...
Look to his despicable actions with john kerry over the POW issue if you need something else to convince you of his .....character...or lack of it ........
I have a difficult time finding empathy for him. He made his bed, now let his legacy lie in it.
McCain never answered for that Article 32 and wasn't named "songbird" by other POWs because he was tight lipped. McCain never held any esteem in my log. I put in two tours in the Nam and like others am glad to have him gone.
He comported himself well in that fire. Other men gave their lives trying to save their ship, Then he cross-decked to another squadron to stay in the fight. I respect that.
The rest, well, he gave us Sarah Palin, but that's about it.
Sailor, rest your oars.
VERY well said. In my mind, it's a lot like standing for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance. Simple respect.
Credit for this to another Marine but I agree completely.
McCain is not sacred. I have seen threats leveled by some at any that would speak against him. He has become deified by some on social media. Yet the true record of him does not go away. He was no war hero, certainly not a Vietnam war hero. McCain had roughly 20 hours in combat, and got 28 medals, and that equals out to about a medal-and-a-half for each hour he spent in combat. Compare that to the records of 58,318 names on the Vietnam Wall. Somebody designed and implemented a reputation for McCain, and he has gone far with it but not on behalf of America. McCain was no American patriot. He has had privilege and favor from the liberal press, globalist, and others. Many of those promoting him now are the same sort that have been silent about the hate hurled towards Donald Trump our American President, unless they join in the hysteria of Trump hate. This country is divided, and its collective head is buried in the sand.
Thank you for succinctly putting my thoughts about Senator McCain into words. A complicated man, indeed.
I see on some other political blogs this morning, comments, posts that nothing more than dancing over the grave. Very unclassy. Every one has the right to hold their own opinion about anyone, but on a person's passing, tongues should be held and in this case, let history make the final judgement.
You, sir, are a gentleman!
@ Geoff King: When you say he did little for the State of Arizona, on its face, was not that a good thing when put in the same light as the late Charlie Wilson, Rep. Tx, who did seemed to have done lite and that was the way his constituents liked it.
There is indeed some dispute about how much John McCain told his communist captors while they tortured him. And who among us can say he would be able to withstand the same torture and keep his mouth shut? But one thing that is indisputable is that McCain did the honorable thing and refused early release when it was offered to him by the North Vietnamese communists.
He seemed to be an extremely arrogant 2-faced weasel, but things may not always be as they seem. I watched "The Manchurian Candidate" last night. Who knows?
Even if he's not responsible for his choices in life in the end he's still accountable. Sincerely hoping he went to a different place than wherever it is that I'm going when it's my time.
I don't believe he was as noble as some are saying, but I also don't believe be was as villainous as others claim. I wasn't there, so I won't judge. That's up to a higher power.
A fitting epitaph for a complicated life story - well done.
'There isn't a problem in this country that wouldn't be solved by taking a select 100 individuals out into the street and putting a bullet in their head."
Well, 99 now....
Well said Stilton. He was indeed a complicated, and might I add, deeply flawed man. His political legacy is very damaging to our country. I'll leave it to the Lord to sort out his personal legacy.
Among other things you are an insightful and skilled artist, Stilt. The distorted and out-of focus image of the U.S. flag blowing to the left with the Sun going down is well done.
@Dave Clark- Thank you.
@Don Brown- That's pretty much how I see it.
@Old Dog- I, too, feel for his family.
@Sue in Oregon- There's an old saying about power leading to corruption that I think applies here. And by "corruption" I really mean a distortion of values and the ability to see the world clearly. Regarding his bitterness toward Trump, I can't say that I blame him after Trump's crack that he prefers "heroes who didn't get captured." Whether one supports Trump or not, it's undeniable that he's frequently an a**hole.
@Geoff King- Good points, all.
@REM1875- No question that McCain's actions have outlived him and will continue to have an impact.
@Jim Irre- I have very mixed feelings about McCain, but as you point out history will be his judge now.
@Ed G. Mann- Your service, for which I genuinely thank you, gives you the right and perspective to judge McCain in a way that would be inappropriate for me. I know there are many who share your feelings.
@NaCly Dog- Reading about the USS Forrestal fire is nightmarish and a grim reminder that no one on that ship was safe. McCain put himself in harm's way and that took courage. As far as McCain giving us Sarah Palin, I consider that a mixed blessing. I like Palin a lot, but her family and lack of national experience made her a very easy target for the media.
@Anonymous- Exactly. When in doubt, I prefer to err on the side of showing respect.
@Fred Ciampi- Far be it from me to disagree with two Marines. A very well written post.
@Bob Lee- My comments were necessarily vague. And frankly, I'm tired of the polarization in this country that has people sorting others into "angels" and "demons." Pretty much everyone is somewhere in the middle, and that "middle" is a moving target.
I watched about ten minutes of the leftists on NBC slathering on the praise for their “Republican” hero John McCain. When the leftist media loves any Republican this much, it tells you about the two-faced nature, the low character and the senatorial bad behavior of John McCain.
They kept saying how McCain was so great because he was holding back the changes in Washington. They were talking about Trump. If anything, McCain represents all of the worst aspects of the Washington Swamp.
McCain’s legacy is one of promising conservatism during campaigns and giving liberals support in the Senate. The liberal complicit media and the Democratic Party will miss John McCain very much. The rest of us, conservatives and Republicans, not so much.
He could have been classy and resigned. He should have. McCain’s pride and his hatred for Trump kept him from doing it.
As a warrior jet pilot he earned respect and honor. As a US Senator he burned it all up. I don’t much like speaking badly of the dead, but I don’t have anything nice to say about John McCain. I’m sorry for his family. —db
@Fish Out of Water- I've been guilty of a little grave dancing in my time (I gave it to Ted Kennedy pretty thoroughly), but don't have it in my heart anymore. Hate and spite are wearying. I'm seeing a lot of really harsh anti-McCain posts around the Internet today (and yes, some are painfully funny) but I can't go there.
@Jack Wiegman- Don't tell anyone. I've got a reputation to protect.
@Fish Out of Water- I wish that more politicians did "little."
@jpb252- Excellent point. Just getting my prostate examined, I'd be screaming state secrets if I knew any. So I'm not going to sneer over the possibility that someone cracked under torture - I haven't earned the right. And McCain did refuse early release and instead waited for others to be released, too.
@Anonymous- Tactfully put.
@CenTexTim- We increasingly live in a world where everything - and everyone - is viewed in terms of black and white, all good or all evil. Life isn't actually like that.
@Cheezy- I understand the sentiment, but wouldn't want to see it in practice. Can you imagine who the "100" on Obama's list would have been?
@TrickyRicky- I'll just say Amen to that.
@Rod- I'm glad you liked the image; all the factors you mention were deliberate choices. Although my artistic contribution was limited to selecting the photographic image then adjusting the colors and applying just the right paintbrush filter (I experimented with a lot of them). I wanted to convey a specific feeling and was happy with how the image turned out.
@Jz- Well said, and I don't disagree.
He was a very nasty, spiteful man.
I, too always thought of McCain not as a Republican or Democrat but a Manchurian Candidate. Somehow, I always felt Soro's heavy hand around his gonads. But, of this I am sure: After this farewell settles down, leaks will occur that will sort this out. As of now, my concern is his replacement. We know that it will be an R but what kind of R we do not know. Oh, yea. From a previous post on President Trump playing golf, that is already brewing.
I appreciate that you have taken the high road and put into words what I am feeling about McCain's passing. A higher power will judge him; it is beyond my pay grade to do so. Sympathies to his family.
I've wanted to piss on a few graves over time, but I always think of what I would want those people to say about me when I reach my final destination. It's easy to pick out a few events in any of our lives where we may not have comported ourselves with the grace, dignity or honesty which we normally would like to think we exercised routinely. You are right - hate and spite are too wearying.
Well put @Stilton.
Most of my angst regarding McCain doesn't do so much with the man himself (beyond the fact that he was the prototypical RINO squishy) than with how the left hypocritically used him.
The media bestowed the label "maverick", mainly because he was more Democrat than Republican. They had to be quite proud of their part in helping his nomination in '08, before they could take him back down for the benefit of Obama.
One of the most interesting aspects I witnessed over the weekend was where my most Progressive friends all posted fawning accolades for the man. I just had to shake that off as shallow virtue signalling, as I have no doubt that had these same people been on Facebook back in 2008, they'd have been posting the same kind of "He's a white male Nazi" invective that they now dispense daily about Trump. But since they like to pretend that they're "bipartisan", they'll feel free to lament the passing of McCain. It's safe.
And yes, the "Keating Five". Thanks to the fact that it was McCain involved, it can safely be said that the whole poster-child episode for Congressional graft was exclusively a "Democratic" affair.
An aside: The last time I bothered to write a letter to a national political figure was to McCain during the '08 campaign, just after the financial meltdown. I generally consider such letters a complete waste of time, since they're usually only seen by the lowest-of-the-low volunteer staffers who will usually file it in the wrong pigeon hole if not just tossing it outright, but for whatever reason I did anyway. In my letter, I emplored him not to "suspend" his campaign to return to Washington to "fix" the problem for several reasons; A) by adding more uncertainty to an already uncertain situation, he'd only make the problem worse, B) there was nothing they could do to "fix" it anyway, and C) it would only play well for Obama and the Democrats. Obviously, my advice was ignored.
Years later, he repudiated his choice of Palin as a running mate. Say what you will about Palin, but the fact was that she was the only thing that was the least bit interesting or energetic about his campaign, and without her Obama would have likely won in a landslide.
Either way, I feel for his loved ones and hope that he can rest in peace.
And anudder thing just popped into my cranium; When McCain got back to US soil, he was pardoned by President Nixon. I can vividly recall the photo in all the newspapers of ex-POW McCain in his dress whites, on crutches, shaking Nixon's hand and thanking him for the pardon. So, I ask thee; if McCain had done nothing wrong, why did he need a pardon? Was it because he gave tactics and strategies to the North Vietnamese? Because he was responsible for the death of almost 150 of his fellow shipmates? Perhaps because his grandfather was a high ranking admiral on Nimitz' staff and present during the signing of the surrender documents aboard the battleship Missouri? Or maybe that his father was the commanding admiral in the Pacific during the Vietnam War? What's that saying; If it looks like a fish, walks like a fish, and smells like a fish, it must be fishy.
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
Mark Twain. I concur.
Trump's comments about McCain were truly cringe worthy and sophomoric, but I've always felt like, after that happened, McCain was so consumed by getting even with Trump, he was even willing to throw us simple folk under the bus to do so.
Still, may he rest in peace, and may his family be comforted in their loss.
It will be interesting to see who gets the nod to be his replacement.
It always gets me when people say that some high ranking politician spent their life’s in “public service” as though they had to sacrifice so much to have the position where they were paid a generous six figure salary, while receiving a great benefit package and end up multimillionaires within a few short years.
A public service job used to be a job that paid a small salary, but people kept it for the benefits and the job was (stable) recession proof.
There were many POW’s, in the same ‘Hotel’ as McCain that also refused an early release. So how come McCain is the ONLY one that is referred to as ‘HERO’ almost daily the rest of his life?
BTW the military code of conduct doesn’t require one not to talk, it requires one to resist as long as possible.
Please see Section 5-3 Policy in Army Regulation 350–30 Code of Conduct, Survival, Evasion Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Training
The AP & Yahoo have tried to hand McCain's death around Trump's neck in a novel manner: The White House has followed U.S. Code in regard to flag lowering, and somehow, that wasn't enough, because Obama lowered five days for the monster Ted Kennedy. Read it here:
The comments are great, running about 99% anti- Yahoo and AP.
Media and Progressive fawning: I have to wonder how much of this would be happening had Trump not recklessly trashed McCain two years ago. I think much of what you're seeing from the left now is a sheep-like any enemy of my enemy is my friend reaction. Trump hated McCain and McCain hated Trump, so we'll like McCain now even though we considered him a Nazi 10 years ago.
Before McCain Was Their Hero Fighting Trump, Media Called Him Unhinged Racist
Joseph ET, I couldn't agree more. Spot on with the public service comment.
Velveeta, thanks for that link. The comments there made me smile ear to ear.
here it is again:
As for the flag at half staff, if President Trump had kept it lower for more than the required protocol the headlines would scream:
"TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE! Trump apologizes to McCain AFTER his death!"
... or some crap like that.
Here's to "respectful silence". That's all he'll get from me.
I will not comment beyond mentioning the guilt I felt at my initial reaction to the news of his passing. Y'all can guess what that might have been...
Make his grave twelve feet because deep down he may not be such a bad sort.
The only "public service" McCain ever did was learning how to serve himself, as much and as often as he could. One of the first times you ever heard of this dick was during the Keating 5 scandal, McCain being the only Republicrat. He constantly sold America down the river. His last two "heroic ventures" were to vote against getting rid of Obamacare and passing the Steele dossier to the FBI. Of course he knew it was a fabrication. Anyway, I'm told you should only say good things about the dead. He's dead. Good!
That was beautifully done, Stilton. Thank you.
I've read that the "I only like heroes who don't get captured" line came from Al Franken, in 2000. Then Chris Rock used it in 2008. President Trump used it after that.
Anybody remember when Barack Hussein gave his acceptance speech in 2008 and said about McCain that "He's been in the Senate for 25 years!" and the Demo_Rats loved it but the Demo_Rat propaganda arm (the MSM) never mentioned that Joe Biden had been in the Senate for 35 years? How about that when McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, the MSM immediately attacked her because she was the true threat to their new messiah? I voted for the guy, but only because a Demo_Rat is worse than a RINO. Not a whole lot, but worse.
Also, I've read that the true cause of the Forrestal fire was someone connecting an arming pigtail for the rocket that fired off before the plane was on the catapult and that McCain had nothing to do with the fire.
I thought the guy was an odd duck politically and the top RINO in the Republican Party. His decisions could never be relied upon, and although I have no personal animosity toward McCain, I was amazed that Arizonans kept him in office for as long as they did. He was a Republican in Democrat garb, and one of the last persons the Repubs should have chosen as a Presidential candidate. Who knows; perhaps his stint at the Hanoi Hilton affected his thought processes.
No doubt that someone will write a book about his checkered life and about the rumors that surrounded his military service record, both during and after his attendance at the Naval Academy.
OMG... I just read that the Arizona Governor may appoint Cindy McCain to take John Boy's place. GAAAAA! Isn't this how we got Nasty Pelosi?
McCain was a paper man. His military career was non-descript and inept. Haven't heard or read one word from his fellow "hotel" inmates about what an upright guy he was while in stir. He certainly played the role to the hilt when the POWs were released. I consider him the poster boy for stolen valor when heroes like Stockdale, Thorsness, and others never got the recognition they deserved. As a pol, a book could be written concerning his shady dealings with the some of the darker characters in DC. I hear all the talking heads in the lamestream groveling over his passing and bleating the accolades of his past achievements. Sorry, I can't name three things he had done while in office to enhance the human condition. Complicated man is not a phrase I'd use when describing his life. Never....
Out of respect for his family I have said little about McCain. However, he was dedicated to the darker side of politics and personally, I am glad he no longer uses up oxygen. I could never figure out how he held on to his post but then, he played footsies with the right people.
You, dearest Stilton, are being too kind, but then you are a good man. Sometimes.
anyone remember "McCain-Feingold", and its true purpose... ?
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