I have never liked John McCain, and I can recall being angry and frustrated on a number of occasions when his status as a war hero was used to make people like me feel like we weren’t morally allowed to disagree with him on contested political issues. His presidential campaign slogan “Country First” helped pave the way for the disastrous return of “America First” to national prominence, and that was a symptom of a more general problem with McCain.
But there has never been much doubt that McCain was a man of honor, and that was proven again this week. The shadiness of the GOP strategy – corral legislators to pass a shell bill, and then write the real bill in conference committee – is breathtaking. Once you start doing that, where do you stop?
I can recall how angry we on the Right were when Obamacare was rammed through using procedural shenanigans. Did we object because making law by shenanigans is bad, or because it was the other side doing it?
The descent of the American constitutional order into chaos requires that at some point one side refuse to use the other side’s tactics. The GOP in general gets no points for this, because the GOP in general has proven itself willing to stoop as low as any Democrat. The GOP and Trump have earned each other.
McCain, however, gets to retire with honor. Well done.