There was a time when I liked and admired John McCain. True, I still had hair on my head, and the calendar year began with a “1” rather than a “2.” And I’m glad McCain gave us Sarah Palin, even though I’m afraid she wasn’t quite ready for prime time, and may have actually ruined her long term political prospects.
Still, to borrow Dick Cheney’s phrase about the Clintonistas in 2000, it’s time for him to go.
There’s a reason he’s the media’s favorite Republican to put on the Sunday talk shows: he can be relied upon to go rogue. Yesterday he criticized Robert Gates for the heavy blows Gates lands on Obama in his new book, saying that Gates “should have delayed the release of his memoir” rather than publishing it now. Actually the criticism that can be made of Gates is that he should have resigned in the fall of 2009 in protest of Obama’s cynical dithering over Afghanistan, thereby sending a strong political signal akin to a senior cabinet resignation in Britain.
Even worse: McCain is apparently thinking about running for re-election to the Senate. He just held a fundraiser, and appeared on the Tonight Show to say he was “looking very seriously” at a run for a sixth term in 2016. If ever there was an incumbent crying out for a Tea Party challenge. . .
And don’t even get me started on his assaults on political speech that he calls “campaign reform.”
A joke long in circulation goes as follows: What was the worst job in North Vietnam during the war? Guarding John McCain. I hear the guards are still in therapy.
Yes, it’s a tasteless joke about someone who endured unimaginable torture that left him unable to raise either arm above his head, and who behaved heroically in turning down an offer of early release for cynical political purposes. On the other hand, must McCain go on torturing the Republican Party?