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Bronze-level article

John McCain

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John McCain eats zombies. You heard it here first!
Guide to:
U.S. Politics
Icon politics USA.svg
Hail to the Chief?
Persons of interest
He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.
Donald Trump, dead angle slogging an unprepared John McCain[1]
Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump.
—Donald Trump, taking it right on the chin in retaliation from John McCain[2]
I was in a conference in Germany over the weekend and president Putin of Germany gave one of the old Cold War style speeches.
—John McCain, demonstrating his well-preserved cognitive skills[3]

Senator "Jihadi John"[4] Sidney McCain III (R-AZ) is a former Navy lobbyist[5] and was the Republican Party's candidate for the Presidency of the USA in 2008.[6] He did very well, coming in a close second to Barack Obama. McCain's running mate was Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.[7]

Since his defeat, McCain and his sidekick Senator Lindsey Graham have devoted themselves to complaining about an insufficiently bellicose foreign policy of President Obama. "More war" — everywhere — demand the neoconservative duo.[8] Weirdly enough, once Obama was replaced by Republican president Donald Trump, they didn't start praising him--on the contrary, they became Trump's most outspoken critics within his own party.[9]

The good[edit]

John McCain (b. 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone) is the senior senator from Arizona, and a strong force in the GOP. Over the years, he has been vital in crafting bi-partisan support for generally supported initiatives, including the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCFRA).[10] Until 2008, he was a strong opponent of torture, having suffered a similar fate, in the internment which has earned him the title of "war hero."[11] McCain also once stood up against the American Religious Right, referring to them as agents of intolerance.[12] These sensible, moderate policies made him persona non grata among fundies, earning hate and scorn from Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity.[13][14] He is de facto leader of right-wing opposition to the Trump administration, and he was the deciding 51st vote to not repeal ObamaCare.[15][16][17] And it was glorious! Seriously, check out the reaction of the Senate to it. McCain also condemned Trump for pardoning Joe Arpaio, who was/is known for discrimination toward Latinos, staging an assassination plot during his re-election bid, causing one man to spend four years in jail awaiting trial because of it, and let one teenager be repeatedly raped by her uncle for four years.[18][19]

The bad[edit]

John McCain's age was a significant factor in the 2008 presidential election
In the Senate in 2009 McCain has moved to the right, shedding his maverick image with full-throated attacks on the Democrats' proposals for health care reform, cap-and-trade environmental taxes, and wasteful stimulus spending, while supporting President Obama's aggressive policies in the Afghanistan War.
Schlafly's Soap Box[20]

He modified many of his positions rightward when he became a presidential candidate. While he's no George W. Bush, Americans probably don't didn't want four more years of Dubya policies, from failed tax cuts to continuing the war in Iraq, and (at least attempting to) privatize Social Security.

He wants the U.S. military to police the entire Middle East to make it safe for Saudi Arabia, the other authoritarian Arab monarchies and Israel. Ergo, he wants to bomb Iran.[21][22] However first he wants to bomb Syria.[23]

He supported Don't Ask, Don't Tell,[24] attacking President Obama by insisting that he believes in honoring all of the US troops — and because of that the US needed to keep DADT in place.

His unofficial economic advisor is Phil Gramm, chief architect of the Enron collapse and sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate,[25] who would have become president in the possible event that McCain died of old age while in office.

The ugly[edit]

John McCain thinks emergency rooms are a good way to get health care.

Justice Stevens has retired. Justice Souter wanted out (and got it). A couple other Justices are looking a little tired. All of this means that, since 2009 (when Obama was sworn in), the Supreme Court was being set to empty, losing a couple of the sane staples of the Rehnquist court, and possibly more. In all of this, the question is - who would President McCain have nominated to the Supreme Court?

It was not a good picture. For all of his maverick political style and independence on some issues, McCain — like any Republican — would have been beholden to the Religious Right for re-election, and for political clout. This means that his caves to the Religious Right were the beginning, rather than the end, and they are not outliers. A President McCain would have nominated Justices who would be all too eager to torpedo the right to choose and other important precedents.[26]

Also, McCain aligned himself with some true nutjobs, including John Hagee, who blamed the gays for Hurricane Katrina,[27] and Rod Parsley, who believes the United States was founded in part to destroy Islam.

The really odd[edit]

To the chagrin of Birthers, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which is now part of the Republic of Panama and was once a U.S. colony protectorate but never really part of the U.S. At best its status was similar to that of the Swan Islands (now part of Honduras), or Palau (now an independent nation). However, the Supreme Court decided that nobody cared, and said that it didn't matter, because his parents were off playing Navy in Panama during the whole thing.

As a Panamanian-American, it was questionable whether McCain is eligible to assume office if he was elected. This question came up previously with regard to Barry Goldwater (born in the Arizona Territory before it was admitted as a state), and George Romney (born in Mexico to U.S. Mormon expat parents), but since both were failed candidacies the courts have never had the opportunity to decide whether a natural born citizen is limited to those born within any of the states.[28] Many are generally of the opinion, however, that if someone was born a citizen, that would qualify for the "natural-born" requirement, whether it was within the US or not.

As a Vietnam veteran and POW, one would think John McCain would do everything possible to make life better for veterans, right? Yes, one would think that, but events have come to show that he seems to do little if anything at all to "support our troops," including opposing a Senate-passed legislation to increase college financial aid given to veterans.[29] Wave that flag, Johnny.

Senator McCain has no idea how many houses he and the Beer Baroness his wife own.[30]

His campaign had been circling the drain for some time, and to remedy this he called on the services of Joe the Plumber to unclog his stopped-up toilet.

The flip flops[edit]

This guy switched his standing on so many issues, he makes Mitt Romney look like the Rock of Gibraltar. Such as:

  • McCain used to criticize TV preacher Jerry Falwell, but has later decided to cozy up to the man, agreeing to be the graduation speaker at Falwell's Liberty University on May 13, 2006.[31]
  • McCain opposed Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but reversed course in February 2006.[32]
  • In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April of 2006, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.[33]
  • McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands.[34]
  • McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.[35]
  • McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.[36]
  • McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.[37]
  • Now, he’s both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade.[38]
  • Due to being a product of a POW swap at the end of the Vietnam War,[39] it's not a surprise that McCain pressed to exchange Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Try guessing how he reacted when the move would result in a diplomatic win for Obama.[40]
  • He was the biggest cheerleader in the Senate for backing the rebel forces in the Syrian civil war, claiming that they were not extremists but moderates. Then in mid-2014, he went on the Senate floor to demand the United States take action against ISIL.[41]
  • He was the only sane Republican who believed that global warming was real, and caused by human activity, and supported a cap and trade law. He was vocal about his opposition to the Bush Administration regarding the same.[42] Of course, once Hussein became President, he flipflopped and said that the science was now somehow "unclear", and we don't really know about the extent of human contribution to climate change.[43].

Plumber’s friend[edit]

During the 2008 campaign season, John McCain’s aides picked up on a conversation between a certain Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka. Joe the Plumber, and Barack Obama. Distorting the conversation wildly out of context and quote mining for details, Joe the Plumber became a symbol for "ordinary Americans," with John McCain making an inordinate number of references to ‘Joe the Plumber’ during the debates, despite the fact that Joe had a tax lien on his house and didn't have a plumber's license (and therefore couldn’t run a plumbing business), and would in fact be eligible for Obama’s tax cut. Before the election season was over, references had been made to: Joe the Hunter, Wendy the Waiter, Tito the Builder (a Mexican immigrant, and the Mexican equivalent of Joe the Plumber, despite the fact that he may have employed illegal immigrants!), Stitches the Tailor, Patches the Beggar, Carrot the Vegetable Stand Owner, C-4 the Munitions Manufacturer, Idaho the Potato Farmer, Andy the Idiot, Jose the Stereotype, and Billy the Goat.

Things younger than John McCain[edit]

John McCain's electric delivery.

Hilarious-in-hindsight quotes[edit]

Not wanting to miss photo ops due to his needed naps, Senator John McCain has trained himself to smile and keep his eyes open whilst he sleeps.

On missions and their accomplishment[edit]

Neil Cavuto: ... Senator -- after a conflict means after the conflict, and many argue the conflict isn't over.
Senator McCain: Well, then why was there a banner that said 'mission accomplished' on the aircraft carrier? ... The conflict -- the major conflict is over, the regime change has been accomplished...
—June 11, 2003, on Fox News.[44]
This is a mission accomplished.
—December 14, on ABC's This Week, referring to the capture of Saddam Hussein.
I don't know if you could ever say, quote 'mission accomplished,' as much as you could say 'Americans are out of harm's way.' And that's the key to America's concern — casualties.
—May 1, 2008, at a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.[45]

On modern peace and war[edit]

In the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations.
—John McCain, on the Russo-Georgian war.[46]
The world is in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime.
—John McCain, on being born in 1936.[47]
[He] used to say talk softly, but carry a big stick...what you’re doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick, in fact, a twig.
—John McCain, calling Teddy Roosevelt "my hero."[48]
Most naive president in history.
—John McCain, on Obama not starting World War III after Russia invaded Ukraine on a trumped-up pretext.[49]

On our allies[edit]

You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who is still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it.
—John McCain, on foreign relations.[50]
I feel badly about the British, they're our dear friends, but they’re no longer a world power. It’s just a fact of life.
—John McCain, on the United Kingdom.[51]

On our enemies[edit]

Interesting meeting with an interesting man.
—John McCain, on Muammar Gaddafi, when Gaddafi was good to him.[52]
This is a victory for the president, the Obama administration.
—On the death of Gaddafi, as he didn't like him anymore.[53]

On US healthcare[edit]

I want the families to make the decisions between themselves and their doctors; not the federal government
—John McCain, on why he opposes universal healthcare.[54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/republicans/11748859/Donald-Trump-tells-John-McCain-I-like-people-who-werent-captured.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/08/john-mccain-donald-trump-sex-boast-tape
  3. Russia Sidelined in U.S. Campaign
  4. John McCain Admits On Fox News He’s “Intimate” with ISIS
  5. When John McCain turned to politics, he went all-out, Los Angeles Times
  6. The McCain Math, The New York Times
  7. McCain picks female running mate, BBC News
  8. Sunday Talk Show Guests, The New York Times
  9. McCain, Graham torment Trump
  10. Later ruled unconstitutional in a particularly egregious example of Chief Justice Roberts' bloviating. See Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC S. Ct. 2007.
  11. McCain: Close Guantanamo Bay, AOL News
  12. Republican Says Bush Panders To the 'Agents of Intolerance': McCain Takes Aim At Religious Right, The New York Times
  13. [1]
  14. Nonetheless, Hannity has long since taken the "pragmatic" approach and jumped behind (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) McCain wholeheartedly.
  15. Obamacare Repeal Fails: Three GOP Senators Rebel in 49-51 Vote, NBC News
  16. GOP Obamacare repeal bill fails in dramatic late-night vote, CNN Politics
  17. Senate rejects Obamacare repeal, Politico
  18. https://www.yahoo.com/news/john-mccain-rips-donald-trump-133022111.html
  19. https://static.currentaffairs.org/2017/08/wait-do-people-actually-know-just-how-evil-this-man-is
  20. cp:John McCain
  21. Yes, he went there. (Around the 1:15 mark)
  22. And again.
  23. Crazy Talk - If We Say No This Times
  24. On The Issues
  25. Although some theorize that she was forced on him by the fundamentalist base in his party.
  26. President John McCain and the Supreme Court, The Wall Street Journal
  27. Will MSNBC devote as much coverage to McCain's embrace of Hagee's support as it did to Obama's rejection of Farrakhan?, Media Matters
  28. Hmm...what about somebody born in Washington, D.C.?
  29. McCain criticizes Obama on Iraq, AP
  30. Obama raps McCain for ignorance of his own houses, AP
  31. McCain Woos the Right, Makes Peace With Falwell, ABC News
  32. McCain, 2.0
  33. Gearing Up for '08? McCain Befriends Old Enemies, ABC News
  34. Kafka's Legacy, Washington Monthly
  35. The Old McCain condemned Bob Jones; the New McCain...
  36. Meet the Press Transcript for November 12, 2006
  37. Despite McCain's many hedges, Borger asserted that "no one would accuse McCain of equivocating on anything", Media Matters
  38. Flip-Flops, Supports Immediate Reversal of Roe v. Wade, Think Progress
  39. Operation Homecoming, if you were wondering.
  40. Did John McCain flip-flop on the Bergdahl deal?, Washington Post
  41. 'Thank God for the Saudis': ISIS, Iraq, and the Lessons of Blowback, The Atlantic
  42. http://mccain.senate.gov/press_office/view_article.cfm?id=803
  43. http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/17/mccain-never-favored-cap/
  44. [2]
  45. McCain says no ‘mission accomplished’ in Iraq, MSNBC
  46. Video of McCain's quote
  47. Not the worst of times, Washington Post
  48. McCain, Kerry Have Tense Exchange at Foreign Relations Hearing, Roll Call
  49. John McCain slams Obama on Ukraine: "Most naive president in history", CBS News
  50. McCainisms
  51. Sen. John McCain to Leno: Britain ‘No Longer a World Power’
  52. It's still on Twitter.
  53. McCain Offers Praise to Obama Administration
  54. Transcript of first presidential debate, CNN
United States 2008 presidential election articles on RationalWiki
Topics: Debate:Religious beliefs and public office - Mission accomplished - Same-sex marriage - United States Electoral College - Values Voter Debate 2007

Parties: Constitution Party - Democratic Party - Green Party - Libertarian Party - Republican Party
Candidates: Baldwin (Con) - Brownback (R) - Clinton (D) - Giuliani (R) - Huckabee (R) - Keyes (R) - McCain (R) - McKinney (Green) - Obama (D) - Paul (R) - Romney (R) Running mates: Biden (D) - Palin (R)
Winner: Barack Obama