It’s impolite to joke around over somebody’s death, but when it’s the deceased who make the joke from beyond the grave, hey, credit the jokester and pass the gag around. It’s his legacy… and, well, it’s also really cool.
There were few issues where I was on the same side as Senator John McCain. However — and this is in keeping with my past bleatings here at Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind — McCain wasn’t a kneejerk ideologue. He listened to people. Sometimes, after reflection, he’d change his mind or position. This is not what we’ve been getting from our politicians, but it is what we expect from real human beings.
In contrast, there is our president. He is not an ideologue either, but the difference is McCain actually had ideas. POTUS brags how he maliciously maintains his ignorance. He supports whatever he last heard on Fox And Friends is his policy, until he’s next distracted by something even more dark and shiny.
Yes, Donald Trump got his start as a villain in a Max Fleischer cartoon.
It was clear that Trump’s vision of America differed from McCain’s. John was into eagles, stars, and the American morality. Don’s vision is limited to Trump. He will say anything that comes to his mind, even if it only benefits Trump at that nanosecond. During the campaign he slammed McCain as a loser and, most certainly, not a hero. Even then, we were appalled by the Donald’s behavior, but we were not in the least bit surprised.
There is no evidence that indicates McCain reacted to that insult in any professional capacity. However, after death the senator reached out from the grave (yes, I know he’s not being interred until this Sunday; it’s a goddamned metaphor!): John McCain left explicit orders that President Donald J. Trump not be permitted to speak at his memorial.
That’s simply… perfect. You just cannot diss a weasel any better than that. I would respect McCain for this alone. John flipped Don off from beyond the grave!
Trump handled this rejection with all the finesse and modesty that we have come to expect. On Sunday, he issued a terse two sentence comment offering sympathy to McCain’s family without a word about the senator himself. The White House flag was lowered to half-staff, as per tradition. The following morning, as if to say “okay, that’s enough” Trump’s flag was raised to full height. Boo-hoo, McCain, boo-hoo.
True to what has become a bankable tradition these past two years, Trump acted without giving any consideration to its consequences… and people went batshit. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), whose membership clearly overlaps with Trump’s so-called base, started a loud and massive social media campaign to get the White House flag back to half-staff where it belonged. This tumult was as furious as it was successful. Trump relented and had the flag lowered, and he issued something much closer to (but not quite) a statement eulogizing the poster boy for our Great American Conscience.
Since POTUS won’t be eulogizing McCain, who will? Senator McCain chose the previous two POTUSes, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. In addition to their last known jobs being the same, there is something else these two have in common, something much more telling about McCain’s selections that reveals his moral fiber. McCain ran for president twice. The first time he was defeated in the primaries by George W. Bush. The second time he was defeated in the election by Barack Obama. That shows how McCain learned from experience: he wanted two presidents he respected to eulogize him, and not the current poser-in-chief.
Totaling that all up, John McCain was a class act.
When was the last time we had a class act in the White House?
Oh, yeah. 2016.
Man, that seems so long ago.