Sen. John McCain’s funeral put Washington’s vicious political hypocrisy fully on display.
Hypocrisy, they say, is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. If so, then much tribute was paid this weekend.
I am speaking, of course, of the funeral for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and the concomitant speechifying by politicians and pundits. And I wasn’t the only one to notice. As Tim Alberta wrote in Politico: “There are, after all, disparate realities — one inside the holy halls of the National Cathedral, where powerful people mourn the death of civility; and another in the surrounding city, where many of those same powerful people drive nails ever deeper into its coffin. And there is a greater juxtaposition still — this one between the virtue-signaling, convention-worshipping insiders of Washington and the mad-as-hell, burn-it-down voters in the provinces. This might not be Donald Trump’s town, but it’s still his country.”
McCain’s funeral puts hypocrisy on display
Well said. Though some operatives tried to walk it back the next day, the McCain funeral was, despite his absence, all about our current president. As someone said on Twitter, they came not to praise McCain, but to bury Trump. And yet, despite solemn encomia to civility, honor, and integrity from the likes of Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger, amplified by the press’s Greek chorus, the notion that we used to live in some golden age of civility and bipartisanship exemplified by the career of Sen. McCain is belied by, among other things, the career of John McCain.
Now that he’s dead, McCain is a Good Republican. But when he was alive, and a threat to other people’s power, he was treated as a racist, a warmonger, and potentially unstable. He was vilified by the press, and by some of the very politicians who were speaking on his behalf. In the South Carolina primary, George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, for example, used push polling to circulate the (false) rumor that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. Bush operatives also, according to a lengthy article in Vanity Fair, spread rumors that Cindy McCain was addicted to painkillers, and that John McCain visited prostitutes and was mentally unstable as a result of his time in a prisoner of war camp. Bush won the primary, and the nomination, and was on hand Saturday to praise McCain’s integrity at his funeral.
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