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Decades of service to his country on the battlefield and in Congress!
U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona, died Saturday after months of dealing with an aggressive cancer. He was 81. Immediately the tributes began. If you would like to see a photo biography of his life, the Financial Times has one here.
McCain was a naval aviator who was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 during the Vietnam War. He served as a prisoner of war and endured torture that left him scarred for life. Returning as a hero, he soon won a congressional seat and later a senate seat from Arizona. He was the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2008.
Both conservatives and liberals had a love hate relationship with McCain. He would often criticize his party, to the delight of Democrats but when he ran for President they attacked him savagely, even questioning his war record. Obama too went after him in a deeply personal way.
|U.S. Presidential candidate Senator John McCain being introduced by hostess Paula Bethea on November 12, 2007. Senator McCain’s mother Roberta is to the left. Photo by Mike’s America|
As a conservative I had my own beef with McCain and I took those issues to him personally during a house visit he made in my area in 2007 during the start of that failed presidential run. I asked him a series of questions regarding positions he held that were at variance with conservatives. He was known for his “straight talk” and didn’t hold back on that occasion; telling me “if you don’t like it vote for someone else.” I did just that in the primary.
We talked about the judicial filibuster, he was in favor keeping it, and about immigration among other things. McCain told those gathered in 2007 that he had learned his lesson in the immigration debate and would now put border security first. Several years later he abandoned that pledge and again put forward an amnesty proposal with border security as a weak afterthought.
McCain went on to lose the 2008 election to Obama. Partly because McCain kept his pledge to limit campaign spending to the public money system. Obama made the same pledge and broke it the moment he discovered he could raise and spend a much larger war chest.
In his last year in the U.S. Senate McCain cast the deciding vote with Democrats to keep ObamaCare. Again, Democrats were delighted and conservatives like myself were not surprised even though McCain promised repeatedly to “repeal and replace ObamaCare.” This video should be his political epitaph:
Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State and another failed presidential candidate John Kerry was among the Dems quick to praise McCain on his passing. Kerry said: “John McCain showed all of us how to bridge the divide.” Yes, he might have showed you Kerry, but you never followed him. Neither did any of the other Democrats who will now line up to praise McCain for his bipartisanship. Of course to them, the very meaning of the word is to side with Democrats. NEVER the other way around.
McCain was a lion of the Senate in the old school mold. But that way of working together is gone. Shattered by Dems who demand it all and accept no compromise. Just like ObamaCare. McCain is now gone and after the eulogies we must get back to work and remember the lessons he taught us. Compromise never got him anything but a pat on the back from Dems. Let’s not make that mistake again!