The Loser

An interesting look at where John McCain, only a few years removed from a time when he was widely considered the most honorable politician in America, currently finds himself. A few lines that sum up the man as well as anything:

McCain admitted that in the 2000 presidential primary, he’d supported South Carolina’s right to fly the Confederate flag against his own belief that it was a symbol of racism.

“I didn’t want to do this,” he says. “But I could tell from the desperate looks of my staff that we had an enormous problem. And that it could come down to lying or losing. I chose lying.”

“I chose lying.”

And that says it all, doesn’t it?

It’s one thing to do wrong because you’re stupid or uncaring or bigoted. Bad as that it, it’s at least genuine. You’re doing what you believe. In contrast, here is a man who knows the right thing to do and, in a cynical political calculation, ignores it.

Just as he currently does with a whole host of defining issues, descending to the nether regions of the far right, be it immigration reform, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, tax cuts for the rich, carbon emissions and, most perversely of all for someone who’s experienced first hand its horrors, torture. John McCain knows the right position to take on every one of these pressing issues, and I know he knows because he was once on those sides. And now he’s not, because he got spooked by a small-time, teabagging radio kook and feels the need to prove his bona fides to the batshit crazy crowd that comprises the southern Republican primary electorate.

It’s shameless. It’s petty. It’s indecent. It is, above all else, unthinkable – to knowingly, willingly and calculatingly choose to do wrong.

Whatever else he once was, John McCain is now shameless, bitter, obsessive, opportunistic, and (rather anachronistically) an infantile old man. He is, simply put, a loser, and in a way that has nothing at all to do with the last presidential race.

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