Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018|2 a.m.
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John McCain’s “No, ma’am” clip from the 2008 presidential project has been replayed countless times given that his death Saturday, and with good reason.It’s a testament to the quality of McCain’s character and the strength of his concepts, both which are shamefully doing not have in his celebration today.The moment
came during a town hall meeting in October, when a woman informed McCain that she could not rely on Barack Obama because he was “an Arab.”
“No ma’am,” McCain said, taking the microphone from the lady. “He’s a decent, married man, resident that I simply happen to have arguments with on essential concerns, and that’s what this project is all about. He’s not.”
That wasn’t exactly what the crowd wanted to hear. But despite being booed, McCain stood his ground and refused to play into the falsehood of Obama not being a U.S. person. He also was making a statement about the value of focusing on policy and realities, not conspiracies and partisan attacks, to establish a civil discussion and preserve a healthy democracy.
10 years later, with the GOP in severe risk of ending up being the celebration of Donald Trump, America more than ever needs champions of those values.
Trump is all too eager to release personal attacks, make incorrect allegations, play to tribal impulses and otherwise lower the bar of American politics, as he showed yet once again with his petty action to McCain’s death.In raising the White House flag Monday afternoon– it normally stays down through the day of interment– Trump drew criticism from veterans groups and raised the flag once again. Likewise Monday, he folded his arms and pouted when offered many chances to comment about McCain. Ultimately, he released a four-paragraph statement.This is not a surprise, naturally. McCain was a rare Republican with the self-control to hold Trump liable, so Trump treated him the same as others who cannot reveal him unwavering commitment– he assaulted him.It was another shameful moment in a long, long line of them for Trump, whose childishness stood in plain contrast to the profusion of respect and affection that originated from McCain’s colleagues.Certainly, McCain should have praise. He identified himself with his enthusiastic opposition to abuse, his dramatic thumbs-down vote on Obamacare repeal and the bipartisan work he made with Democrat Russ Feingold on campaign-finance reform to get huge and dark cash out of politics, among others of the defining components of his legacy.Then, naturally, there was McCain’s defense of Obama and his commitment to the greater perfects of campaigning
and public discourse. He was far from perfect, as he would acknowledge. His reputation was tainted in the Keating Five scandal, and he stumbled badly on his concepts when he flip-flopped on immigration and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays serving freely. McCain also devoted a serious judgment mistake in not following his instincts and instead permitting a plainly unqualified Sarah Palin to be added to the ticket in 2008. Palin lowered the bar in politics, assisting lead to the reality-show version that triggered Trump. However McCain had the decency to admit when he was wrong, and the character to hold himself responsible.”The Tao of John McCain was unlike that of any other political leader I have actually ever covered,”seasoned politics editor Todd S. Purdum composed in The Atlantic.”Ed Koch was as vibrant, Mario Cuomo
as wise, George W. Bush as human. However no one integrated McCain’s unflinching mix of bracing candor, impossibly high standards, and rueful self-recrimination when he (undoubtedly )failed to measure up to the perfects he detailed for himself. “McCain will be missed, particularly as Americans deal with a president who disdains the ideals that McCain embodied.His death leaves our neighbors in Arizona with a choice to make– to honor McCain’s service and memory or to support Trump’s pettiness toward an American hero.