The Honor Of McCain
For the first half of tonight’s juxtaposition, here’s Reliable Wanker David Brooks, salivating over that Paragon Of Manly Virtue, St. John McCain:
All of sudden, my friend interrupted the flow of gossip and said: “You know, there’s really only one great man running for president this year, and that’s McCain.”
The comment cut through the way we pundits normally talk about presidential candidates. We tend to view them like products and base our verdicts on their market share at the moment….
My friend’s remark pierced all that, and it had the added weight of truth. [Am I the only one who’d love to know who this "friend" is?]
The years and the Senate have smoothed some of his rebelliousness, but he still fights a daily battle against the soul-destroying forms of modern politics.
There have been occasions when McCain compromised his principles for political gain, but he was so bad at it that it always backfired. [Really? I have observed no such deficiency.] More often, he is driven by an ancient sense of honor, which is different from fame and consists of the desire to be worthy of the esteem of posterity.
Everyone will make their own political choices, and you might plausibly argue that the qualities John McCain possesses are not the ones the country now requires. But character is destiny, and you will never persuade me that he is not among the finest of men.
FOX REPORTER: During an event in South Carolina yesterday, Arizona Senator John McCain was asked how he planned on beating his democratic rival Hillary Clinton. And his supporter used a term that rhymes with "rich."
MCCAIN SUPPORTER: How do we beat the bitch?
FOX REPORTER: McCain laughed off the comment and then he tried to change the subject.
So how’s that battle against the soul-destroying forms of modern politics coming along, then?
Okay, okay, maybe it’s unfair to hold him responsible for someone else’s incivility (the Right’s one unpardonable sin, as we all know). After all, it’s not like he personally said anything inappropriate about the Clintons, right? Um, well, maybe just that one time… (h/t Teddy)
And as long as we’re talking about what a great guy McCain is, remember when he was Dubya’s loyal little campaign puppy in 2004 even though Rove smeared the bejesus out of him in 2000? Oh, or how about when he sucked up to the same people he used to call "agents of intolerance"?
My own personal favorite was when he teamed up with Lindsay Graham and John Warner to give Dubya a nice respectable-looking figleaf for the Military Commissions Act. Yes, John McCain, the actual factual Torture Survivor, gave cover to a bill that legalized torture. Retroactively. I bet that really burnished the ol’ Esteem Of Posterity, yesireebob.
So please, I don’t want to hear about his ancient sense of honor. John McCain’s sense of honor isn’t ancient, it’s extinct.