John McCain, RIP

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It's not polite to speak ill of the dead, especially when the decedent has recently earned the mantel of a Good Republican. So be it.

For a guy who demonstrated great valor as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, John McCain had a lot of Stockholm Syndrome in his political career. He claimed to be a conservative and, at times, was one. But he never really challenged the premises of his political opponents and seemed to accept their worldview. He was clearly more comfortable with losing honorably than with winning. I suspect that's because winners get to decide, while losers get to react, and there was always a lot more potential for praise in Washington if you were reacting, rather than deciding. Especially if you reacted in a manner that granted the premises of those you ostensibly opposed. John McCain was a master at this. If you really wanted to see his anger, you had to challenge him from the political right. And if you doubt that John McCain didn't like to be challenged, consider his role in promulgating the odious campaign finance law that bears his name. Free speech, along with every value conservatives hold dear, was always negotiable.

As far as I know, John McCain never drowned a woman in an Oldsmobile. We have no evidence he was a thief or a sexual predator. That's not enough. I had great respect for the valor of John Glenn, but he was not much of a senator, either. John McCain served his country for his entire life. Longevity and value are not the same thing. I will pray for his family in their time of grief. But I will not miss his political career in the slightest.