Monday, July 16, 2007

The McCain Mutiny

With mass departures today from his campaign staff, it may be time to write John McCain’s political obituary. The captain of the Straight Talk Express deserves to go out on his shield like the honorable warrior he has always been.

In an eerie parallel to Herman Wouk’s “The Caine Mutiny,” the Senator from Arizona morphed from a lifelong by-the-book career serviceman to the unhinged Capt. Queeg of the popular 1950’s novel, play and movie.

In the anger over his support for an insane war, it would be an injustice if McCain’s service to his country were swept out with the Iraq wreckage. Unlike Bush, Cheney and, yes, Bill Clinton, he served and suffered through Vietnam, another unjust war not of his making.

Born in the Panama Canal Zone where his father, an Admiral, was stationed, John Sidney McCain III went to Annapolis, was wounded in Vietnam, and captured and tortured during his five and a half years as a prisoner, most of it in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

As a Senator, he has advocated gun control, campaign finance reform and a humane approach to immigration legislation.

McCain might have been a quirky President, but unlike Bush, an honorable one if he hadn’t been derailed by the Rove smear machine in 2000 and his own mistakes for 2008.

But the Republican field of candidates he leaves behind provides the best possible contrast to his integrity.

Ave et vale, Senator.

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