On October 26th, 1967, John Sidney McCain III was shot down from a bomber over Vietnam during a failed mission to blow up a Hanoi power plant, landed in a lake, and suffered multiple injuries, including getting stabbed in the groin by his captors. He was tortured during more than five years of captivity and returned home a hero.
Fast-forward fifty years and McCain, now in his sixth term as a United States Senator from Arizona, was diagnosed with brain cancer and received treatment at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, presumably on the taxpayer’s dime. Yet days later he mustered the energy to leap from his hospital bed and vote to begin dismantling former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, stripping health care coverage from 32 million of his fellow Americans.
In other words, McCain gets the best health care money can buy but everyone else can go screw themselves.
Trump’s attack on McCain a few years back, when he said of his Vietnam experience, “I like people who weren’t captured,” was vile, especially given that Trump never ran the risk of being captured since he received five deferments for alleged medical and educational reasons, and never went to Vietnam.
But the polite civility liberals are insisting that McCain be treated with at the moment is a bit hard to stomach. Deputy editor at BuzzFeed Sarah M. Mimms tweeted on Tuesday: “If you have something shitty to say about John McCain, here’s a thought: Don’t.”
This didn’t go over well on Twitter. Her tweet managed to rack up over 4000 mostly disapproving replies and only 150 retweets; an extremely bad ratio for those familiar with the intricacies of Twitter’s dark underbelly.
So what of civility toward Senator McCain?
Maybe we should have something shitty to say about a man who, despite being eligible for taxpayer funded health care both as a military veteran and as a United States Senator, couldn’t wait to leave the hospital so he could vote to take away such benefits from others.
Maybe we should have something shitty to say about a man who never saw a war he didn’t like, who in 2008 said he would like our involvement in Iraq to last a hundred years, and whose first statement after announcing his brain cancer was to blast Trump for “playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin” for reportedly canceling a CIA program that supported extremist Syrian rebels and that virtually everyone has recognized to be a total failure and utterly useless.
Maybe we should have something shitty to say about a man who at a Republican fundraiser in 1998, called then-18-year-old Chelsea Clinton “ugly, because her father is Janet Reno.”
Maybe we should have something shitty to say about a man who consistently votes against raising the minimum wage, a man who supports a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion, a man who voted against a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a man who sings light-hearted songs about bombing Iran.
Thankfully, many of us do.