This giant of the Senate, this leader of men, is a principled fighter. And he’ll keep fighting. For his life, for his family and for his country. Danielle McLaughlin, journalist
While the president fulminates, the senator acts
By Roger Childs
As Donald Trump was banning transgender people from the military, saying inappropriate things to a Scout Jamboree and insulting his own Attorney General, John McCain rode into town.
Although recently diagnosed with brain cancer, the senior Senator for Arizona had come to Washington to vote on contentious and hastily conceived plans to repeal Obamacare and replace it with …. something else.
He was also going to respond to Trump’s on-the-fly, tweeted decision on transgender members of the armed services.
An honourable man
John McCain is a man who engenders huge respect across the political spectrum and the nation. In the American (Vietnam) War he was a navy pilot who was shot down and spent over 5 years in North Vietnamese prisons.
He became a Senator for Arizona in 1987, and has served ever since. Currently he is the Chairman of the Armed Service Committee.
In 2008 he was the Republican presidential candidate facing the young Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Unfortunately McCain, in a moment of political madness, decided to appoint the Governor of Alaska – hockey mom, moose shooter, sled driver and one-time beauty queen – Sarah Palin, as his running mate.
The rest is history. McCain ran a vigorous campaign, but the tide was flowing in favour of the first African-American to run for president. Never at any point did McCain play the racial card and, in his gracious concession speech, he acknowledged the huge historic importance of Obama’s victory. He also insisted that his supporters show respect for the momentous occasion.
“Wait for the show”!
Before getting involved in the Senate vote of replacing Obamacare, McCain responded to Trump’s arbitrary decision on transgender military personnel. He said that any changes should only happen after being … thoroughly reviewed by the secretary of defence (James Mattis) our military leadership and the senate. Mattis wasn’t consulted, and McCain made a comment many other politicians would endorse, that this was … yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter. (Scroll down to July 29 to see Andy’s cartoon take on the decision.)
Heading for the Senate McCain was asked by reporters how he would vote on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a hastily cobbled together Republican alternative.
He responded: Wait for the show!
It was worth waiting for. McCain joined the Republican woman senators from Maine and Alaska to end this phase of attempting to change American health care provisions.
Not coping with the high office
So Trump has failed once again to throw out the Affordable Health Care Act, and most political commentators see it as another ill-conceived project of a president who more and more seems to be out of his depth as chief executive of the most powerful and influential nation on the planet.
The White House currently resembles a circus rather than a government. Disputes among Trump’s staff have been constantly in the news, and over the last week became a public, foul-mouthed slanging match.
The outcome was the sacking of chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who joined Paul Manafort, Sally Yates, Michael Flynn, James Comey and Sean Spicer as casualties of the Trump regime.
Republican politicians around the nation are losing faith in the president who represents their party, and would probably wish that someone with the respect of the nation was in the White House. Someone like John McCain.