In 1999, I was planning to vote for John McCain in the 2000 election if he got the GOP nomination. I was already a “lefty” but Al Gore just looked like more years of Clinton’s Moderate Conservatism Pretending To Be Moderate Progressive, and at the time McCain was just a center moderate as Clinton & Gore. If it is to-mate-oh/to-mah-toe, why not go with the guy who be less likely to have to deal with Gingrich-esque shenanigans if he won the presidency? My parents were also pro-McCain, and it was to be the last time we agreed on a political figure to vote for.
At the time McCain wasn’t rabidly anti-choice, and in “one 1999 interview, he even went so far as to say that [Roe v/s Wade] should not be overturned because of the impact it would have on young women who would then be forced to seek medically unsupervised abortions.” He then had to scrabble to appease the extremist anti-choicers by saying he would overturn Roe, but it was clear this was not going to be on his priority list. Moreover, embryo-American bills hadn’t started popping up all over the place at the time, and the idea that abortion, let alone the morning after pill and all other forms of birth control, would be endangered was laughable. It didn’t seem like that important an issue at the time.
Furthermore, in 1999 the entire GOP hadn’t jumped on the far right crazy train. They didn’t appear to have plans to hurt poor children any worse than what Clinton had already done with his Welfare Deform. They were a little militaristic, but it’s not like Clinton hadn’t been sending the troops all over the place. The US decision to intervene in Bosnia to halt “ethnic cleansing” had been the right thing to do, and it was inconceivable that any idiot would try to occupy a country in Middle East.
Then George W. Bush’s “brain”, Karl Rove, pulled one of the dirtiest campaigns hitherto known. Thinks to lies, more lies, and damn lies, McCain was knocked out of the primaries in South Carolina. Since I would’ve rather walked on my lips than vote for an entitled buffoon like Dubya, I went firmly into Al Gore’s camp. My parents, whose motto remains “Death Before Voting Democrat”, started backing Bush. Ironically, my Dad said it was because he felt Bush was “honest” and “spoke like straight shooter”. Yeah, that turned out great.
But I wasn’t traumatized by the idea of Gore loosing. I had no idea that the Republicans were soon to be controlled by Rove and his ilk, becoming dimwitted puppets of the Koch brothers and Big Business. This was not the GOP that I had ever known, nor ever suspected could exist. My first inkling that insanity now reined came when Bush and his cronies stole the election from the legally elected American President, Al Gore.
At first Bush was criticized as the moron he is, but then 9/11 happened and the world changed. The vast majority of my fellow Americans decided that their rage at the attack should be transmuted into a jingoistic fervor and solidified as a crown for George Bush. Those of us who spoke out against him or his decision to go into Afghanistan (because there has NEVER been a country that was able to successfully invade Afghanistan so sending in troops to “hold” the area was freaking doomed) were castigated as villains and Un-American. This extended even into demonizing those of us who resisted the patently bullshit excuses to get revenge on Saddam Hussein, who Dubya blamed for the loss of his Daddy’s 1992 election. The majority of Democratic politicians, more desperate to win their next election than to do the right thing, took out the very few remaining vertebrae in what used to be their spines and rolled over to give Bush their tummy. The far right extremists of the GOP took control and, excited by the idea of controlling the government, far too many Republican politicians jumped on board the “who needs tax revenue?” gravy train. Shit got real, then headed to hell in a hand basket.
Nevertheless, for many years I retained an admiration for McCain. I felt that if his nemesis, Dubya, had not cheated him out of the primaries then he would have made a decent President because he (like Al Gore) wouldn’t have ignored warning that 9/11 was coming or have wanted to invade Iraq. When he campaigned against Obama in 2008 he reinforced my respect when he would not stoop to the “Obama is a Kenya Muslin” garbage. If McCain had not swung such a hard right with the rest of the GOP there is even a distinct possibility I would have voted for him. If felt like Bush’s idiotic mistakes pulled the Republicans down so much that it cost McCain the 2008 election as well. Dubya is truly McCain’s Bane. McCain concession speech was one of the classiest I had ever seen. I didn’t like his politics, but I liked his integrity (and thus him) a whole damn lot.
Sadly, 2008 seems to have been when McCain’s choo-choo done run off the rails. He went batshit right wing, dancing into the arms of the Teabaggers and jettisoning his honor and humanity along the way. It kind of broke my heart to watch. Now, he has done something that I would NOT have believed him capable of 15 years ago.
McCain has sunk so low, and is so eager to maintain his cozy relationship with the extremist whack-jobs, that he was disdainful of, and rude to, a woman whose son had died in the Aurora Theater Massacre. When she “told McCain that her son, Alex, was killed in the massacre, and she urged the senator to support a ban on assault weapons. McCain responded: “I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States.” A bunch of asshat goat blowers “burst into cheers and applause at McCain’s comments”.
Listen, I do not give a rat’s fuzzy ass what your politics are, or how much you disagree with the politics of another person, if you can not be compassionate and respectful of the desperate, agonizing, heart-searing, soul-rending agony a parent feels upon losing a child then you are not fit to live with real humans and should rejoin your cohorts in hell. Some things are evil, and casually sneering at that kind of pain is one of them. I would not let people like that lick my dog’s asshole out of a belief that no dog’s asshole should have something that nasty on it. Seriously, fuck you in the eye sockets with my ginormous metaphorical dick.
ALL THE RAGE
As for McCain, I no longer have anything resembling a kind thought for him. Shame on him and shame on everyone there who applauded his actions. I no longer think of him as superior to Georg W. Bush. He has sunk as low as a human can in my estimation.