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The death of John McCain

John McCain has died. He’s been senator from AZ for the entire time I have lived there. Although he is responsible for foisting the odious Sara Palin upon us in his presidential run, his death still saddens me. Perhaps because he could have been so much better, could have battled Trumpism (and the preceding Bush bungling) more than he did. Though he marketed the “Maverick” image, he almost always fell in line with his fellow Republicans. As too often is the case with old men, McCain stood up to the foulness of other men, questioning the cruelty and corruption of the very system that empowered him, but that rebellion needed to have come sooner, stronger. He was undoubtedly a physically fearless man, enduring torture in North Vietnam that most of us would find unendurable. Yet he squandered his moral power defending too many reactionary tenets, too willing to fit the mold of the Arizona Republican, privileging private property, states’ rights, reaction and rigidity.

The surviving junior senator, Jeff Flake, is also making an exit, political instead of medical. He is not running for re-election. Sen. Flake should honor and buttress his dead colleague’s maverick image by rejecting President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. As this week has seen two of Robert Mueller’s investigations of Trump and Russian collusion in the 2016 election result in conviction of both Trump’s former campaign manager and his personal lawyer, it’s time for some of the rats to abandon that ship.

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