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The John McCain legacy of anger and his politicized tone-deaf farewell

Written By | Sep 3, 2018

WASHINGTON. It is finally over. Last week, John McCain died and the long goodbye began. It was the full display of American pomp and circumstance. Beginning last Wednesday in Arizona, it concluded Sunday with his private burial at the U.S. Naval Academy from which he had graduated a lifetime ago. It was the John McCain Legacy of Anger show.

As the funeral mass progressed to the Washington National Cathedral, observers could see the pain McCain’s other children felt.  McCain was loved by his friends and family who knew a man the general public never did.  What America knows is his legacy. Unfortunately, that legacy of service has been replaced with a legacy of anger toward Donald J. Trump.

Screen shot Meghan McCain

As the extended family’s designee, daughter Megan McCain addressed the throng of mourners at the Cathedral, one could assume his other children — Bridget McCainJohn Sidney McCain IVJames McCain, and Sidney McCain Trending  —  who did not take public part in the non-stop progression that was McCain’s funeral, were also grieving.

But Saturday, it was all about Meghan’s grief. Which I understand.  However, her choice to demonize the President and bring politics into this solemn ceremony takes away from any honest emotion she felt.

There is a time for all things. This was not the time for politics

The feud between the President, then a candidate, and the congressmen is the thing of one-sided legends.  In the retelling of the tale, journalists, pundits, and Miss McCain forget that old adage, “It takes two to tango.”

McCain, in his gruff, opinionated, and blunt manner that so many applauded and eulogized him for, gave his stamp of approval to the Never-Trumper resistance that divides America right now.  The John McCain legacy of anger has done as much as any Russian to further the anger in America.

The Russian Investigation: Robert Mueller and John McCain’s “ongoing” embarrassment

John McCain Legacy of anger, and hate, for  Donald J. Trump.

And that hate was brilliantly on exhibit, tainting his final memories. It was at best sad, at worst petty and disgraceful. It is shameful that neither McCain, in the orchestration of his public exit from the mortal plain, his daughter or the speakers at his many services could not rise above the feud.  Could not take a moment to magnanimously try to weave a little bit of America back together.

Past President’s Obama and Bush ignominiously swiping at the President, despite the fact that he honored McCain’s wishes and did not attend the Democrat lovefest masquerading as a state funeral, was shameful.

The unfair demonization of President Trump

The President was demonized for not keeping the flag at half-mast after two days. Few noting that the length of time that the flags are to fly at halfstaff for a member of Congress.  The families response, we assume, was not a polite phone call to the White House protocol office. Or General Mattis. Or General Kelly. The media took this as just another excuse to lament over the cruel, cruel President.

Using the death of McCain as yet another excuse, everyone got up on the soapbox to whine that the President is obviously disrespecting McCain. I don’t think the President cares one way or the other how long the flag flew at half-staff. He followed the established protocol.  Always damned regardless.

Damage to America will never be enough for the John McCain legacy of anger

John McCain was committed to his hate for Donald Trump. And yes, Trump made a remark about liking people who aren’t captured. It was a reference to McCain being captured after he crashed his plane in Vietnam. Trump has paid for it over and over. No one denies that what prisoner McCain endured were remarkable.

But those horrors are not an excuse for future bad behavior.

Meghan McCain delivered much of the unrelenting punishment making Trump pay again at the funeral to which he was banned.

But let’s remember the damage McCain’s hate for Donald Trump has done to this country. McCain was instrumental in passing off the unverified dossier to the FBI. He participated in a newly-released docudrama accusing Trump of colluding with Russians. He has made numerous unsubstantiated attacks against the President.  His final gift to America was the continuation of Obamacare. (Why can’t anyone be honest about John McCain’s legacy).

And that’s only recent history.

The angry Arizona Cardinal is now the John McCain Legacy of Anger

Looking like one of those Angry Birds from the once popular video game, McCain was either scowling, most often scowling, or laughing at some private amusement with his crony Senate pals.

He had a wicked sense of humor, they say. He fought for his beliefs.

Unfortunately, he was also bitter over losing the Oval, not once but twice.  It is obvious in how he dis-invited his former running mate Sarah Palin from attending the festivities.  The pettiness in that action speaking volumes.

John McCain’s legacy of disdain for women.

There are stories of his being, at best rude to women (A Mad Men cameo for John McCain?) and at worst “a creepy, fighter-jock attitude toward women has left a trail throughout his public career” misogynist.

While stories are out there, the worst is his actually calling his wife the “c” word (Report: McCain’s Profane Tirade At His Wife), saying:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

And for all the good or bad John McCain may have done,
his legacy is now his hate for Donald Trump. 

Now a life of eight-decades and he will be remembered for a petty feud he had with the man who got the one thing McCain felt he was entitled to, but never got. The Oval. In the future, instead of the article starting John McCain, Senator and surviving POW it will be John McCain, whose very public hate of President Donald Trump divided America.  

Instead of John McCain, the Maverick for Arizona it will be John McCain who, despite campaigning against it as bad for America, voted against overturning ObamaCare. Because his hate for Trump was bigger than his love for America.

President Obama eulogy included the well-delivered line over McCain asking Bush and Obama to speak:

“It showed his irreverence – his sense of humor, little bit of a mischievous streak. After all, what better way to get a last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience?”

Personally, I think the last laugh goes to President Trump.  He changed John McCain’s legacy forever. And his daughter’s remarks cemented that he will be remembered for his hate, not his many moments of grace.


Meghan McCain insults to the President during her father’s multi-day funeral, are many.  She attacked his slogan, “Make America Great Again.” She attacked the president because her father served, and the president did not. Meghan McCain attacked the office of the President and the President himself, because of political differences.

In her emotional eulogy,

“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.”

MAGA is about Making America Great Again after eight years of Obama rule.

For her and her political elite family, maybe.  But not for those that struggled financially, without a job, addicted to opioids or homeless following the eight years of Democrat rule under Obama. Eight years where Obama told us that America is not exceptional. Eight years of his apologizing for us.

A true honor to her father would have been to put the politics aside and focus on her father, not the politician.  Politics was what he did, not who he was. As it would have been for George Bush, as one of the few Conservatives invited to speak, who could have talked about his friend John McCain. Or Joe Lieberman’s politicized speech that could have focused on the man’s achievements.  Or even President Obama whose remarks are being reviewed as being “disingenuous and conniving.” Remember Obama felt he needed to apologize for America, over and over.

In his eulogy Obama said:

“That’s perhaps how we honor him best, by recognizing that there are some things bigger than party, or ambition, or money, or fame, or power, that there are some things that are worth risking everything for.”

Unfortunately, political differences, in McCain’s mind, were bigger than everything. Bigger, even, than his own death. While Obama’s words are well written and delivered, they are also false.

Making a funeral into a John McCain legacy of anger over Trump is not dignified. But it is what the senator planned prior to his death. And as the Air Force gave him a final honor, the missing man formation flyover, it seems the Maverick, the John McCain of old, has been missing for a very long time.


Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.