Anybody see a Maverick around here?
We have all been on a coaster ride with John McCain for the past 17 years. I was a fan of his in 2000 and supported him. I was disappointed and disheartened when Karl Rove’s dirty tricks sunk him in South Carolina, and we got stuck with the moronic George W. Bush instead. The next eight years were an epic disaster for the nation and the whole world. Bush and Cheney set our country back forever, but I was always relieved to see McCain’s face on TV whenever he came on to speak his mind. He was the voice of the reason of a party gone mad. McCain’s strong support for the war in Iraq is why I did not support him in 2008 (Palin was the final nail in the coffin), but he did have a few shining moments standing up to the Bush Administration in regards to torture and campaign finance reform.
I just altogether grew apart from following him and his ongoing support of the Bush Administration. It was tough to see him palling around with Bush having cake while Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and knowing all of the nastiness that went down in South Carolina back in 2000. Bush was a terrible President, and McCain could’ve done more to stand in the way from the Bush Administration throwing us all off a cliff. That time of my fandom came and went. It was time for a massive shakeup and change in our country. I then enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in 2008, but I always had a soft spot for McCain. The whole stunt of having Sarah Palin as his VP pick was a poor last minute scramble that never paid off—he had wanted Lindsay Graham or Joe Liberman, but the GOP did not let him have his pick. Fall of 2008 became a major shit show when voters expressed their displeasure with and Palin. McCain’s concession speech after losing to Obama was gracious. I was hoping he would be a solid bipartisan leader in the Senate in helping unite the country during the Great Recession, but instead, he stood behind Mitch McConnell and didn’t do a whole lot in the Obama era. Sour grapes. I was disappointed that he never lead the Party of Lincoln while Tea Partiers teabagged our political system. McCain put his tail between his legs to fit in with the newfound Tea Party just to get re-elected in 2010. By that time, Sarah Palin was a major fixture on TV, and I would always have to curse McCain’s name for bringing her into the mainstream. He fucked that one up—one thing that I can’t ever let slide. It is a major blemish on his remarkable life.
When Donald Trump attacked his military record, I knew there’s no way that McCain could ever respect this loudmouth clown. Trump got five deferments for bone spurs to avoid military service and the least he can do is shut his mouth since he never served. At least George W. Bush severed in the Texas Air National Guard for a short time. Trump attended a military prep school for troublesome rich kids—no way a man like McCain looks him in the eye and has an ounce of respect for him. I was hoping that McCain’s “Maverick” persona would come back once Trump was sworn in. It took a few months, but some mavericky behavior started to emerge from McCain’s soul. Perhaps not the full-blown star-spangled maverick of the late 1990s but did it glimmer through. The Trump-Russia investigation has been a daily mystery novel played out one page at a time. I keep hoping that McCain barges in the next chapter in a full-on Captain America costume with proof of the pee pee tape and money laundry receipts to put Trump away for good but that has not happened though McCain has been a staunch supporter of the Mueller investigation. Instead, the real Maverick emerged from the shadows when he voted against the Obama repeal this summer that sunk Trump’s agenda to erase anything and everything of Obama’s legacy. It was a game-winning shot set up beautifully by Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It was a night for the ages whether it was payback for Trump’s tasteless remarks last year or a renewed sense of purpose in light of his recent brain cancer diagnosis. The Trump Administration has been scrambling on their domestic agenda ever since. Senators Murkowski and Collins deserve most of the credit for making that happen—but McCain did cinch it. I wasn’t ready to call him a maverick again, but I certainly did smile with a sense of relief.
Just recently, the Republicans came back to the floor to introduce the Graham-Cassidy Bill—one last-ditch act of cruelty that has been roundly denounced. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AARP, the American Heart Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, and the American Cancer Society are but a few notable opponents. They include Jimmy Kimmel too—yes, that guy from late night TV. With all of those voices speaking out against it, this massively unpopular bill was well underway for a vote in the Senate, and McCain’s support was vital for it to pass with the required 50 votes before the September 30th deadline after that 60 would be needed. Once again, Senator McCain bucked his party in opposition to another nasty Obamacare repeal that puts the GOP’s agenda at risk. The Maverick is back.