John McCain died

This happened faster than I expected. Wasn’t it just two days ago that Senator McCain announced that he was abjuring all further treatment for his brain cancer? But what treatment would they have been giving him when he was so close to death, save morphine? But here’s the new CNN announcement (click on screenshot to read the article):

Yes, I know he was conservative, and yes, I disagreed with many of his policies. But as I’ve said before, there was a fundamental decency in the man—a decency hard to detect in today’s Republican congresspeople, who seem not only robotic but positively nasty.

CNN quotes McCain from a memoir he published in May, and he surely knew then he was on his way out:

“It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make peace,” McCain wrote. “I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I’ve enjoyed the company of heroes. I’ve suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation.
“I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”
McCain was 81, and yes, he had quite a ride.


  1. Blue
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    O dear.


  2. Posted August 25, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Labels don’t matter…character does. Although I disagreed with him on many issues, he did try to follow his heart and do what he thought was right.

  3. JohnH
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    It is a shame that his fellow Republicans couldn’t rally behind him and his sense of integrity at the end the way it seems many Democrats are so doing. Truly a representative of all the people, not just his base. RIP John McCain.

  4. GBJames
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Mostly he was wrong and I can’t forgive him Sarah Palin. But sometimes he rose above his party and demonstrated his decency. That’s something these days.

    • Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I wonder what John McCain’s historical legacy is going to be?

      He was responsible for inflicting Sarah Palin on us, which in a way (the popularity of an unqualified and non-Washington candidate who would ‘shake things up’) led to Trump’s Presidency. At least he stood against most of his own party against Trump, but I still see things as a logical progression.

  5. s.sigurdur
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Disagreed with him often ~ all made tolerable by his honesty & decency.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    His death leaves a gaping lacuna in today’s GOP. I see not a soul among current congressional Republicans who might step up to claim a “Profile in Courage” award.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      For the most part, the more rational the Republican you seek the farther back in history you have to go.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        Especially if we take it all the way back to Abe Lincoln. 🙂

  7. Hemidactylus
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Sad to see him pass. Surely not on same side of aisle as him, but he was a decent person. I felt bad how Dubya’s campaign did him wrong in 2000. His daughter Meghan has far more tolerant views than much of GOP. That’s a prouder legacy than his unfortunate gifting Palin a platform in punditry.

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    McCain, 2004:

    “…courage is the enforcing virtue, the one that makes possible all the other virtues common to exceptional leaders: honesty, integrity, confidence, compassion, and humility. In short, leaders who lack courage aren’t leaders.”


  9. W.T. Effingham
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    After being shot down, captured,tortured physically and psychologically, he recovers and continues serving his country and keeping his ego in check. His father’s grandfather would be very proud of his progeny.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I voted against McCain in 2008, and if he were on the ballot tomorrow I’d vote against him again, early and often. But the man had character, and the man had magnanimity, and the man had a sense of humor, and those go a long way, whatever the hell your party affiliation may be.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      What hits me is this: the GOP lacks any sense of humor. We talk about lacking morality and normalcy and ethics when it comes to the GOP. What about humor? Trumps admin is the most humorless…the smiles are snide, the happiness is sardonic, the laughs are nervous titters. The happiness is farce.

  11. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    John McCain lived an exceptional life and experienced many things that few of us ever will. I am sure he would consider it a great run.

  12. Filippo
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s a pity we’ll never have the privilege of witnessing Donald Trump flying a military aircraft, in harm’s way, avoiding being shot down on account of his consummate skills as a pilot.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Trump did avoid being shot down on account of his consummate skills as a bone spurist.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      One hopes he will have the wit to keep his mouth shut beyond the generic condolence already offered.

  13. Diane G
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    RIP, Maverick.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      No, no. RIP “Goose”; “Maverick” survived (much as it pains me to admit I ever saw that movie). 🙂

      • Diane G
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        *blush* Had to ask Diana wth you were talking about. I’m SO unhip…

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          You’re fortunate, Deej; seeing Top Gun was 110 minutes I’ll never have back. 🙂

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            And now I have that “Danger Zone” song in my head.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Hahaha as if I’m hip for knowing who Maverick and Goose were. I think it’s the opposite.

  14. Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Sad. I have little to no conservatism in me but McCain types are what we need instead of the present GOP.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Those on the other side of the aisle could also use someone with his courage, integrity and humanity. I, too, disagreed with many of his positions, but he was principled and though he was a politician, his convictions were rooted far deeper than in politicsl I can’t but wonder what he, the son and grandson of military men, thought of those corrupt generals in the president’s train, who strutted around, steely-eyed, taut-jawed, stomachs sucked in, telegraphing that they epitomized military values, integrity and courage, etc., — those corrupt sonsabitches had their grubby hands in every pie. It must have saddened and infuriated him.


  15. Bart W
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    After reading WEIT for many years, and agreeing with almost everything on this site, but never feeling the need to complain about things I don’t agree with, I have to disagree with lionizing McCain. He was a bog-standard right-wing republican, who managed to convince journalists into thinking he was not so bad by feting them. His actions belie his image. He was nasty to people that could not help him, started out as a corrupt congressman, foisted Sarah Palin on the nation (and thus enabled (not caused) most of the nastiness since then), and ended up voting 100% with McConnell, up to and including agreeing not to give Obama his supreme court justice – he could have been a decent person, but decided not to be. So, no, he was NOT a decent person. He was only presented that way because he talked a good game. For a proper obituary that acknowledges the few not-horrible thing he did, but otherwise is just the facts, see:

    • YF
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I am shedding no tears over McCain. All GOP have proven themselves to be Greedy Old Pricks. The bar for ‘decency’ has been set very very low for them.

  16. Ken Pidcock
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    The best we can hope for is that some of those seeking careers in public service possess some of his character.

  17. Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I believe I would have found the company of Achilles to be lacking in comparison to the Senator’s.

  18. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    He may have received whole brain radiation therapy (wrt). It can be used to prevent seizures. He also could have been taking steroids to help as well.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 25, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t they say his refusal of treatment was actually some time in the past. The recent announcement of that decision made his death seem sudden.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think it was so much a refusal of treatment but stopping treatment which is done in consultation with your medical team. Usually you entire hospice at this point where the only treatment you receive is to manage symptoms and make you comfortable.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          Enter not entire.

  19. Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Possibly a death with dignity case? If so, another reason to admire him.

  20. JB
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Too bad Clinton isn’t President or there would be an appropriate acknowledgement of McCain’s legacy, heroism and patriotism. Instead we have Trump, who has pledged to hold his grudge against McCain for eternity.

  21. Hempenstein
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    When I heard he’d stopped treatments, I hoped he’d renounce his GOP membership.

  22. Posted August 25, 2018 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  23. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Several facebook posts show him rebuking a question from a woman in a Q&A session where she states Obama is a secret Muslim.

  24. Dick Veldkamp
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    I am a bit surprised at all the “De mortuis nil nisi bene” here. For example, for the most part, John McCain voted reliably republican, hence supporting many terrible policy proposals.

    Good overview here:

    • GBJames
      Posted August 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that is accurate. (The “de mortise nil…” bit.).

      Most of us here had little good to say about most of his policy positions. At least that is true for me. But that wasn’t his entire life and he had the rare ability (these days among Republicans) do do the right thing from time to time.

  25. Marta
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    McCain tried to be a decent person and a great Senator. He seemed to me to be a person continuously at war with his own better nature. Too often, it seemed he did the political, expedient thing rather than the right thing, or the thing that would benefit the country rather than the Republican party. And, of course, his decision to put Sarah Palin on the ticket in 2008 permanently tarnished his reputation as a “maverick”.

    He annoyed the hell out of me, but I liked him–more than I thought I did, and more than any of my Republican friends.

  26. mikeyc
    Posted August 26, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The saddest thing of all is that he was what passed as a sane and good Republican.

  27. Posted August 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    A “Republican moderate” – so still a warmongering religious plutocrat. But a mild one, which seems to be extinct now.

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