Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Profiles in Disapppointment - Sen. John McCain

The John McCain memorial in Hanoi

IN A RECENT TOUR of Hanoi, our tour bus cruised past a memorial commemorating McCain's imprisonment. The bus didn't stop, didn't even pause for photographs. By the time the guide announced it, we were way pass the monument to see the details. 

Sitting in the back seat of the bus, I was able to get a better look than others on the bus and managed to click a few shots of the memorial. 

I couldn't believe what I saw. The memorial was of a man being hung by his arms, head bowed. That was John McCain and the reason the senator can't raise his arms above his shoulders to this day. The torture he endured in his six years as a POW during the Vietnam War is unimaginable.

McCain's heroism and patriotism cannot be questioned. But Donald Trump ridiculed the hero during the 2016 presidential campaign. "I like people who were not captured," he said.

Sen. John McCain giving his speech Tuesday.
I have had so much respect for the man since he first ran for office. That's why I'm disappointed in the John McCain of 2017.

Senator McCain gave one of his best speeches today (July25) when he spoke in front of the Senate after the vote to open debate on the House's Trumpcare bill that would have 22 millioin people lose their health insurance.

Just days after an operation, Arizona's senator gave an emotional speech seemingly rebuking the GOP's procedure that created a health plan behind closed doors. “I. Will. Not. Vote. For. This. Bill. As it is today," he pronounced emphatically. "It's a shell of a bill right now. We all know that.”

A few hours later, he inexplicitly voted for the Republican-sponsored Better Care Reconciliation Act—the Trumpcare bill McCain said he would could not support. Fortunately, the Republicans lost that vote, 43-57, far short of the to votes needed to pass. (It would be 50-50 and then Veep Pence would break the tie as he did in the vote to open debate.)

McCain has not hesitated to criticize Trump, especially in regards to the Russia connection. He has questioned Trump's knowledge on national security issues and foreign relations. McCain has even been the target of Trump's slings when Trump rediculed the former prisoner of war's service record.

But when it comes to a vote, as in the Obamacare repeal vote, McCain has consistently followed the party line, choosing party over country.

McCain's own state is one of 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is worried about tens of thousands losing their health insurance. His constituents would applaud him if McCain voted against any version of Trumpcare and instead helped the Democrats fix the flaws in the ACA.
His vote Monday to repeal the current health care law even though there is no plan to replace it, was in stark contrast to the inspirational words that he uttered earlier in the day.

McCain blasted the way Republican leaders conjured up the healthcare proposal, “coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them that it was better than nothing.

“I don’t think that’s going to work in the end, and it probably shouldn’t,” he said

“I. Will. Not. Vote. For. This. Bill." proclaimed McCain. 

The senator will have a chance to redeem himself in the coming days when Trump and the GOP try to repeal Obamacare or make it so watered down it will be doomed to fail. Words - no matter how noble or eloquent -- ring hollow and mean absolutely nothing if they are not turned into action.

UPDATED: This date was updated to clarify the Senate vote that took place Tuesday night.