WaPo Columnist: McCain Colleagues Need to Push Back

John McCain at a town hall in Phoenix, Arizona.
 
 
 

As part of a eulogy for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who passed away on Saturday after battling brain cancer, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post called on some of McCain's colleagues to push back against Trump the way McCain did before his passing.

According to Max Boot, who has become a vociferous critic of Trump, "McCain was the rare celebrity who was even more impressive in person than on television. I remember on a flight to the Munich Security Conference wandering to the front of the Air Force executive jet to find McCain engrossed in a lengthy historical tome. Imagine that -- a politician who spent his spare time reading history. Or anything at all."

"A good deal of his political appeal lay in his ability to avoid sounding like a politician -- perhaps the only thing he and President Trump have in common," Boot continued. "Unlike Trump, however, McCain did not establish his authenticity with ignorant or deranged statements. McCain could be politically incorrect (I remember how hard he laughed watching 'Borat' on one flight) but he was never cruel or bigoted."

The conservative pointed out that he worked with McCain as a policy adviser, saying the late senator -- unlike the current president -- had a clear-eyed view of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, once remarking, "I looked in Mr. Putin's eyes and I saw three letters--a K, a G, and B."

"McCain will be remembered, above all, for his character and courage. While other privileged young men were discovering ailments such as 'bone spurs' to avoid the Vietnam War, McCain requested a combat assignment and spent more than five hellish years in the 'Hanoi Hilton' POW camp," Boot wrote in a direct shot at Trump.

He then challenged GOP lawmakers to step up and do the job McCain was doing from the Senate floor.

"McCain's passing, tragic at any time, is all the sadder now," he wrote. "His dedication to America's global leadership, advocacy for human rights, steadfast opposition to despots, devotion to bipartisanship, willingness to break with his own party, insistence on putting the nation's interest above self-interest, and, above all, his unwavering sense of right and wrong -- all are desperately needed at a time when his party has embraced an amoral, narcissistic demagogue who fawns over tyrants and flirts with isolationism and protectionism and white nationalism."

"Trump hated McCain and insulted him at every turn because McCain was everything Trump is not -- and everything that we need in our politics today but tragically lack," he concluded.

You can read the whole piece here.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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