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John McCain has died (nytimes.com)
628 points by aaronbrethorst 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 210 comments

I got to live in Iowa in the summer of 2007 for an engineering internship at Rockwell Collins. One bonus of that was getting to go to all the rallies. I went to a McCain rally and an Obama rally.

I remember the energy of the room when Obama came in. The crowd was young and loud. Obama got up and gave his usual stump speech and then went around to shake hands. I shook his hand and got a word or two in but I could tell he wasn't really interested in talking to me and moved on.

I went to a McCain rally a couple weeks later. A much older crowd and a little more subdued. This was around the time MoveOn was criticizing General Petraeus over his surge in Iraq policy. McCain was upset about this so the mood at the venue, which was a VFW, was a little more bitter. McCain gave a speech which was different than Obama's, a little more off-the-cuff and a little more angry. I remember him talking with the audience rather than to the audience like Obama.

Afterwards, he shook hands with everyone and paused for a conversation. I remember talking to him about STEM programs and the importance of producing more engineers here in the U.S. He looked me in the eyes the whole time, was genuinely curious about my background, and wished me good luck at the end [0].

I ended up voting and working for Obama but I'll never forget that day and how genuine and down-to-earth McCain was with me.

[0] - https://twitter.com/manishsinhaha/status/1033516157343387648

David Foster Wallace had a similar reaction to McCain when he covered him in the 2000 election [1].

[1] https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/davi...

This might be a dumb question but how does a prisoner refuse to leave? Can't they just kick him out?

He was given the option to “skip the line” since his dad was an admiral. I think the way it worked is the POW who had been there longest would be first to leave when there was an exchange opportunity. McCain saw it as unfair for him to take someone else’s spot just because of who his dad was.

It is also against the military code of conduct to accept parole or favors from the enemy. [0]

[0]: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/readings/code_of_conduct...

I think this is one of the circumstances where if he took the opportunity, it wouldn't be consider favoritism but rather of a strategic necessity considering how John Mccain's admiral father's decision making could be compromised by any risks such decisions could have towards his son's welfare.

Of course there are way more variable involved, but I think his refusal was mostly on the basis of maintaining solidarity with the other POWs. In that situation, I could imagine that one of the few things that would keep me going was knowing that the thing i was fighting for back home wasn't just a delusion.

If the other POWs saw Mccain released for on political reasons, then who is to say that the POWs loyalty to their nation wouldn't have been compromised?

I maintain this was a major reason for Bush defeating Kerry. I saw news stories on both of them one night and they were both in jeans. Kerry looked like they were purchased so he could dress down as the people do. The jeans looked like they had never been worn, maybe a dress shirt tucked in. Bush on the other hand was at Camp David casually talking to the press outdoors while his dog happily circled him.

It's not really how we should be deciding the presidency, but Kerry put off a strong vibe that he's not one of "us". The democrats need to embrace the actual people in their popularity.

This is a genuine question, I'm not leading here. Do you think this has to do with anti-intellectualism, jealousy or is there more at play here? I wouldn't want an average joe to run the country, I want someone truly extraordinary. Better suited to the role, more experienced, smarter, better dressed and showing it. I don't want the stereotypical truck stop waiter/waitress, you know? It's not fair as they may be just as qualified of course. What is so wrong with being an 'elite' in the political sphere?

How do you think an average middle-of-the-road person would feel if an 'average joe' was promoted to be their boss? I'd guess probably not great...

I think its about trust. We believe like individuals will have aligned interests. Elites will serve elites but regular Joe knows what its like for us. 9/10 times the Joe becomes elite and serves himself...

The reason politicians try to dress down is that they want to give off the impression that they can relate to the experiences of most Americans. The general idea being, "How could this person ever promote policy that benefits me, if they don't understand what it's like to be me?"

The irony is that most successful people in the world were rarely ever born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Kerry was actually one of those few candidates that I wished got their shot because his war record wasn't anything less but admirable. John Mccain's war record was far and beyond even his considering his many years being a POW.

They sacrificed so much for this country and yet the people only resonate with the candidates that seem hip nowadays.

Those candidates were more “hip” to older demographics because those people actually lived through those wars and knew what it meant to serve in those wars.

> I want someone truly extraordinary. Better suited to the role, more experienced, smarter, better dressed and showing it.

I think someone who’s truly extraordinary shouldn’t have to try very hard to look “relatable”. JFK comes to mind immediately— he didn’t dress or act like a man of the people, but you still got the sense that his family life was like what your family life would be like if you had a lot more money.

Kerry in jeans simply felt inauthentic. Nobody had any idea what his life was actually like behind closed doors.

" ordinary Americans also refused to defer to those possessing, as Tocqueville put it, superior talent and intelligence and these natural elites could not enjoy much share in political power as a result."


I think it's simpler - we just want to know that whoever leads understands our perspective. Being relatable is a very strong (and yes, fakeable) signal.

I appreciate the honesty of your question. I think you probably miss a lot of nuance about what it's like to be a middle-of-the-road person. As someone from a lower middle class background and being of mixed race I can probably give you a few hundred answers for what's wrong with being 'elite' in the political sphere, but I'll leave at this to think about: Which political party has painted itself into a corner of perceived 'elitism' the last election cycle?

The 'elites' underestimate the middle-of-the-road at their political peril.

Its not about running the country, there are smarter people in his cabinet that will do that. It's about being an average person and recognizing the problems that the average person goes through, and hopefully solve those problems, not the ones that the elites have.

Better suited to the role, more experienced,

The experiences of the elites are typically very different from that of the Average Joe. As such, they are frequently wholly unqualified to understand the needs of the people.

The people want someone capable of relating to them at least a little.

I think Democrats desperately need to admit that charisma is a necessary qualification for a presidential candidate. An un-charismatic candidate is likely going to lose the election, and even if they do win, they will also probably be an ineffective president. A president not only needs to choose the right policies, they need to convince people to go along with them too.

I’m a dyed in the wool liberal who voted for obama every chance I got, but it was a positive vote for obama, not a vote against McCain or really even Romney who both seemed like decent people who happened to support policies I disagree with.

Unlike 2016 which was a complete horror show all around.

I always felt that this country would have been in such a better position if McCain had beaten Bush in the 2000 Republican primary. When he ran in 2000, I felt McCain was extremely principled, even if I didn't agree with some of those principles. He even had a little momentum until the smear campaign in South Carolina, but once that happened, it derailed his campaign. When he ran again in 2008, it felt like he compromised on some of his principles because he felt he needed to "play the game" to have a chance of winning.

Given how much of a disaster Bush's 8 years were (and we shouldn't let the colossal disaster we're currently experiencing shift our perception of those years), it's a real shame that McCain didn't get his chance then instead of Bush.

It's interesting hearing stories like this. One thing to remember is that for the same time you got to experience his presence while shaking hands, you were also a part of his life experience too. It sounds like you certainly remember him, but he likely remembered those experiences too (as is the case with other celebrities thought as "too important to care about those moments").

> I got to live in Iowa in the summer of 2007 [...] One bonus of that was getting to go to all the rallies.

Unrelated to Mr McCain, but living in California during the Clinton/Trump election, this struck me as extremely odd.

With California being essentially pre-decided due to the majority vote system, I saw zero campaign ads. Except for the news papers, the election simply didn't happen in California. What a weird system, where huge parts of the population get no representation.

McCain might have beaten Hillary, but when Obama locked up the drawn out Democratic nomination, the race was over for the reasons you described.

Also making the ridiculous decision (which says a lot about his judgement) to run with Sarah Palin as his VP.

This is complete conjecture, so grain of salt and all that, but I'm not so sure it says what you think it does about his judgement. He had run before. Honest campaigns, little to no mud slinging, not what you typically see from politicians. He lost.

He gave in to the RNC advisors and others around him that time around. Palin obviously turned out to be awful (maybe not strong enough a word) and he didn't care for her very much either, but I imagine he just wanted to get into office so that he could institute what he felt were good policies.

I think he was fundamentally a good person and would have been a good leader, though of course we can debate the merits of his policies. Everything being equal, I'll vote for the person I believe has the interests of the populace at heart.

I remember reading that McCain picked Palin over his handlers’ strong objections. Was it the other way around?

As far as I'm aware, he wanted Lieberman and caved to more conservative members of his party. Wikipedia seems to agree[1]. It does also say that he selected Palin because she appeared to be someone who would bolster his "maverick" image. He later regretted the choice.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_presidential_candidacy_of...

A McCain/Lieberman ticket would have been a dream.

For Obama. A Jewish candidate would have been like Al Smith in 1932. Good luck turning out the base.

Obama won in a post 9/11 America while being black and having Hussein as his middle name I don’t think a Jewish VP would’ve been harder to sell even to the Republican base.

Not to mention two old white guys going up against the first black nominee. The fact that Palin was a women likely bolstered the arguments to choose her a great deal.

There’s a few stories out there. The common thread is that the vetting process wasn’t done and nobody realized what a shitshow Palin was.

Whomever made the decision, it was a rash move that proved that a low caliber, not so smart, but media savvy national candidate could win the support needed to be president. It led to 2016.

His campaign manager picked palin, and later admitted it was a mistake. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.slate.com/news-and-politics...

Having a gun toting female vp on the republican ticket would have been a strategic move had she not been such a dumpster fire, so I see where he was going with it. Unfortunately for America it propelled her into the national spotlight and we were subjected to her idiotic rambling for years.

"Not so smart guy" that somehow reached the peak of 3 major fields, including one where he was grossly outgunned and outfunded. "Low calibre" that's somehow supercharging our economy.

I remember reading an AskReddit thread about "have you ever met Trump, what was he like?", it was nothing but amazing stories about his incredible gifts of memory, his intelligence, and his generosity. This of course was back when Trump was still a Democrat. After becoming a Republican he's suddenly a bumbling senile fool who just stumbled into the Presidency over someone who raised 3x the money and had all the establishment support. An amazing example of the Dunning Kruger effect.

> "Low calibre" that's somehow supercharging our economy.

You might want to take a look at what ”cum hoc ergo propter hoc” means.

> An amazing example of the Dunning Kruger effect.

That’s... not how the Dunning Kruger effect works.

At this point, everyone wants to claim someone else made that decision.

McCain presidential run is a perfect display of one of the weaknesses of the primary system. To win as Republican in the primary you have to appeal to the worse stereotypes of the Republican Party - racist, nationalist, “Christian right” etc. Neither McCain nor Romney ever governed to the far right but they had to pretend like they were to appeal to primary voters.

I’m in no way giving Democrats a pass, they have to appeal to the “tax the rich”, we can give everything to everyone and they stay in the mushy middle not really standing for anything.

I'm not really sure that's a weakness. Sure, you can point to the things that are used which are harmful or hateful, but this is how a party decides it's policy. The idea is that the platform you pick informs the government you create, yes? Sure, you can argue about whether it's "listening" or "pandering," but the whole foundation of representative government is that the officials elected represent the policies the population wants. Then when they're in office, they're forced to compromise with members of other parties representing other peoples. The fact that immutable obstructionism is the political tactic of the day doesn't mean that the core idea is bad.

"People are idiots" is a known fault with democracies, but it's a known fault with all governments or, indeed, all human endeavors.

Not really, Reagan, and the Bushes may have paid lip service to the “moral majority” but they never governed that way. Every modern Republican president supported sensible immigration for instance.

I know it seems like I’m giving Democrats a pass, but living in a southern state, I don’t see Democrats veer to far to the left on the state level. They can’t and still have any chance.

McCain recounts fighting with his campaign staff over his first pick, the Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who had been Al Gore's running mate in 2000. Relenting, McCain looks around as the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., looms. Desperate for a way to reframe the election, McCain goes with the upstart, populist governor of Alaska.

"She was a popular, energetic and accomplished reformer as mayor, governor and as a campaigner," McCain writes. He also thought she would appeal to Democrats who had preferred Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama in that year's primaries. McCain notes her knockout speech at the party convention, but he admits it was downhill thereafter.

"She stumbled in some interviews," McCain relates, "and had a few misjudgments in the glare of the ceaseless spotlight. Those missteps too are on me. She didn't put herself on the ticket. I did."


Honestly, I don't think she was a bad choice. I know this sounds ridiculous in hindsight.

At the time, she was one of the most popular governors in the US. She was young (44), female and in charge of the largest state in the country by landmass. She was a rising star in the Republican party and on the short list for the next opening for the US Senate.

She was also a Westerner like McCain, at a time where the Republican party wanted to make sure it didn't become the party of just the Southern US and voters were sick and tired of the Bush administration and the career Republicans running the place.

McCain was losing, and losing momentum. People were scared, companies were going bankrupt, and the stock market crash was imminent.

His top choice was Lieberman, but he couldn't choose him. Republicans would hate to see one of the Senate's most senior Democrats (who was pro-choice) as VP. Many Democrats really disliked him too for his support for the Iraq War and opposition to Obama. He lost his primary seat in 2006 and ran as an Independent against the Democrat, basically winning by consolidating the Connecticut Republican vote.

The others on the short list were Governor Pawlenty (MN), Governor Jindal (LA), Governor Romney (MA) and Former Governor Ridge (PA). All governors. Pawlenty and Romney were the safe choices, but I don't think they would've been able to turn the tide and shift attention away from the Obama campaign.

I was a strong supporter of Obama, and I remember getting worried when McCain chose her. I was really disappointed to hear her first speech - it was patronizing and vindictive, but red meat to the Republican base. I think she basically was told what she needed to do -- i.e. serve as the attack dog and rile up the Republican base and fuel get out the vote efforts in those last two months. And she did a pretty good job at it. She did fine in the VP debate, though Biden did as well, and she looked very comfortable on the national stage.

I think the Democrats ran a great campaign, and were able to define her as a political neophyte that was unqualified to serve as President. I also think that McCain personally wanted to run an ethical campaign focusing on the issues, and her full embrace of the red meat partisan issues undermined his campaign. But if he had chosen someone else I don't think there would've been a different outcome. Republican strategists would still have come up with 'death panels' and trying to tie Obama to Bill Ayers and all that other conspiratorial nonsense, it just would've been a different politician saying it.

Interestingly, when you look at the last election, maybe he was just ahead of his time

Nothing ridiculous about it. He could see where the wind was blowing. 50+ million ppl voted for Trump.

Who do you think is going to get that vote bank post Trump?

Someone even more ridiculous unless a better McCain-Palin type arrangement happens.

We are just one Wall Street/Silicon Valley/Pentagon created fiasco away from Alex Jones being president given the current "us VS them" narratives 24*7 news, social media keep amplifying.

>Someone even more ridiculous unless a better McCain-Palin type arrangement happens.

We basically got that relationship with Trump/Pence, just flip the ticket and replace War with Religion.

John McCain did somethings that I disagree with but the one thing I will always remember is when during the 2008 election there were multiple times during town halls and rallies that people would verbally attack Obama and McCain always shut them down without fail.

His concession speech:

> I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

> It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

If I might add, ten years later: it seems "the necessary compromises to bridge our differences" were not found.

There is a quote, (miss-)attributed to Voltaire: "I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It". I think McCain could have said it too. I don't think there are many people like that left in politics.

Given McCain-Feingold a more accurate representation of McCain's view is "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, except for certain ads discussing political issues within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election."

You can saw whatever you want. What you can pay to have broadcast on television is another matter entirely.

Of course he also said if Hillary won that he would refuse to confirm Garland for the entirety of her presidency...

I mean that's due to a disagreement in politics. He wasn't calling her a demonic satan-worshipping child trafficker like some on that side of the spectrum were.

Certainly, but that doesn't make it okay. In general things weren't rosy with his political career, his reputation for being a "maverick" that would buck party leadership was laughable since he ended up toeing the party line more often that not, even when he decided to speak out against {X} idiotic move they made he would still put a "Yea" in for the vote.

With that said I think he genuinely wanted what was best for the country, even if we never saw eye to eye on what "best" actually was.

Yep. There's good and bad in there. When people die, it's usual to recall the good more than the bad.

And? That's the entire point of checks and balances.

That isn't checks and balances. That's partisan bullshit.

His reason was not "because you're a democrat", so I'm not sure how you can make that claim.

“McCain spokesperson Rachael Dean later said that McCain "believes you can only judge people by their record, and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees."‘

Albeit, McCain had historical perspective.

Obama did a similar thing when Trump started to become a potential winner.

McCain was an honorable man. But not the only one. Guess who said these words:

> It will be a stirring sight to watch President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House. I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have awaited so long.

George W. Bush for those googling.

I've found 1 clip so far [1]; would you happen to have more? I'd love to be able to refer back to these in the future.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIjenjANqAk

Well shit. I wasn't going to celebrate John McCain's funeral, but now I almost have to, after all he did to keep my country peaceful. I'll look him up, and be humbler in judgement from here on out. God damn it. :-(

it's celebrate the right for this in English? it sounds to me like you would be happy he has funeral, there must be better word than "celebrate", isn't?

We often celebrate a person's life and accomplishments upon their passing. The exact phrasing of the above is a little odd, but celebrate can be the right expression here without necessarily meaning "I'm so glad they died."

Celebrate is the right word

Ie Celebrate his life

He tried to do the right thing. Sometimes it came out a bit awkward like the infamous "He is a decent human being" comment, but his heart was in the right place


Unfortunately his party did not follow his example and instead went all in on the nutjobs.

He was truly one of our last great Republican leaders.

My dad died from the same cancer about a year before McCain was diagnosed. Terrible, terrible thing to go through.

I feel bad writing it out, but it gives me a bit of comfort to know it isn't something that could have been managed with the added resources of someone on the national stage like McCain.

The first surgery is pretty amazing because they can get almost all of the cancer out, and all the weird behavior just disappears and you have a normal person back. And then you have a year or so to swallow that fact that it's all going to come back and you've been handed a death sentence. Since the cancer is in your brain, they can't be as aggressive as they are in other parts of your body. Also, the cancer cells worm their way into all the cracks and crevices, so what started out as one tumor turns into a whole pile of tumors the second time around.

Probably the most painful memory I have is we were watching a movie and my dad didn't believe me that it wasn't a movie about my life and he thought I was lying to him when I said it was just a movie we were watching. Seeing someone you respect laid low like that is rough. Sort of like a very fast moving alzheimers.

Puts life in perspective though. Dad died at 58. I'll be 30 this year. Halfway to the grave. No time to waste putting things off till "later".

> No time to waste putting things off till "later".

As someone going through something similar (for the second time), thank you for sharing this.

Lost my mother to the same. Doctors gave her a year, but in the end she died less than 5 months from the diagnosis. She was 62.

I had a similar experience. My mum had cancer, they gave her “good 7-10” years, she died after 3. I don’t get why they not say instead: “we don’t know. Say everything you want to say, do everything you want to do. Quickly. Be greateful for every (additional) day.”

I guess it depends. I prefer to be given the available data, even though there are large variances attached to the estimates.

So no, I'm not bitter at the doctors because my mother didn't "beat" their estimate. Not everyone can reach the average. Sadly my mother was one of them, but that's just how things go sometimes.

I lost my mother when she was 61. When she got admitted to the hospital she put her age as 62. I think she miscalculated her age as her birthday was going to happen in a few months. She died of cancer too. Few years before that my father passed away due to complications from diabetes. She used to ask me such hard questions - "your dad was walking and talking all along and he is gone now. where do you think the soul goes after a person passes away". I understood the grief she was going through. of course I had no answer to her question. In in the day of scientific enlightenment we still have no proper answers. All the religions give such contradictory answers.

"Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain said: 'He served his country, and not always right—made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors—but served his country, and, I hope we could add, honorably.'"

Last part always gets me. It takes a lot of humility to accept mistakes. RIP an honorable man

"McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the U.S. Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during war have left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, most recently in 2016. "

Well, I just finished a cool CRUD app.

> McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer

I'm not sure I can imagine how difficult that would be in practice, though it's nice to think you could do it in theory.

I'm dealing with some family members not doing the right thing recently by not respecting the final wishes of their own mother. With that on my mind, it makes for such a stark contrast.

I dislike this mentality and wish to dissent.

I feel bad about playing video games sometimes and have to remind myself of the photograph called Hubble Deep Field. Look it up if you haven’t seen it before.

Do what you want to and don’t stop yourself from enjoying it by comparing your life to some famous person or some blogger. It’s easy to feel bad when you read a biography of Augustus....why aim low and settle for comparing to McCain?

If you want to attempt great things, go for it, but don’t start thinking a comfortable and peaceful life (which is the only thing so many people throughout history yearned for and were denied) is “not enough.”

I don't think the parent was implying that everyone could or should live a life like McCain, or that anything else is "not enough", only that this is a remarkable person who led a remarkable existence on earth. He touched the lives more people and affected more change than most of us could ever dream of, and that's something to admire.

Further, not everyone is fighting the same fight. I have the ability for more education than I have, but I also face about 31 migraines out of 31 days without constant medical intervention. I won’t make a dent similar to John McCains, but I have fought my own pains.

Thank the universe for McCains contributions. I didn’t agree with his politics much of the time, and I’ll miss his approach to his fellow humans and politics.

I think both of your mentalities are good. I like my ambitions with a side of chill out and take it easy.

I agree largely. On the other hand, such contemplation could be the motivation to be the next "Augustus".

> and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer

Thats serious integrity and loyalty.

On the plus side, I'm guessing your CRUD app hasn't killed, maimed or otherwise destroyed buildings and lives for several years. (If nothing else because you just finished it)

CRUD apps kill one soul at a time.

What a nice way to put things back into perspective. It would be a much better world if there were no war heros from any country whatsoever.

And you probably were paid more!

I once described John McCain as an unprincipled torture apologist for his political positions during the Bush administration. I think I was probably mistaken, and I apologize to his ghost.

You were completely and indisputably wrong about McCain and his stance on torture. He has always, always been against it and never wavered.

Why, I seem to remember him as one of the lone voices that spoke against torture. A point of view that came from his time as a POW.

From the article:

"As a torture victim, Mr. McCain was sensitive to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the fight against terrorism. In 2005 the Senate passed his bill to bar inhumane treatment of prisoners, including those at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by limiting military practices to those permitted by the United States Army Field Manual on Interrogation. His 2008 bill to ban waterboarding as torture was adopted, but vetoed by President Bush."

Yes, I'm wondering why the op thought he was a torture apologist.

Anyone can fight in a war or even be a senator. Very few people have the capability to develop software. You should be proud of your accomplishments. Building software is a much bigger accomplishment than winning a popularity contest or killing people because others order you to.

You're missing the obvious.

Very few people would be capable of enduring torture across nearly six years, while letting numerous other prisoners go free in their stead.

McCain signed up to the military willingly. He comes from a family line of professional soldiers. Who knows how many of those others he put before himself were forcibly drafted into it, plausibly many of them (late 1967 was near peak US troop levels, a lot of soldiers taken POW at that time forward would have been drafted; in 1968 300k were drafted, 1.7m total across the war (38% of which served in Vietnam)).

Personally I'd never agree with the US involvement in the Vietnam civil war. McCain is a hero for his actions in captivity, not for his war fighting.

If he was drafted, you might have a point. Yet he willingly joined a war that even back then everyone knew was unjust and pointless. I don't see how that makes anyone a hero, no matter what they do in said war. People in this country sure have a really fucked up conception of what a "hero" is.

I am glad in hindsight your understanding of the situation was so clear. I promise you at the time things where not a black and white. Also he joined the military as a graduate of the Navy Academy way before the war in Vietnam was a real thing. He was a brave, honorable man deserving of our respect. It is easy to sit back after the fact and make grand judgments.

“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics. But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed. We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible – and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.

Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”

-Barack Obama

There's nothing respectable or heroic about any war. The longer we keep pushing this narrative about soldiers being heroes, the longer we get stuck in this mentality that it's somehow justified or reasonable to start wars, of which we have started so many it's almost impossible to count at this point. Despite his experiences in war and being tortured in Vietnam, he still supported torture and other hideous practices. If that's the kind of man you want to respect and call a hero, go ahead, but don't ask the rest of us to respect someone like that simply because he was a POW. I'm not sure what your definition of hero is, but mine is about as opposite of McCain as one can get.

Any man or woman that signs up to give up their life for their country is a hero. Period. Soldiers don’t start wars. Soldiers, however, many a times, do give ultimate sacrifices in them.

So we should have not fought Hitler?

Also he did NOT support torture and was an author of a bill that was passed that forbid it.

You are idealistic with no understanding of the facts.

He voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and against the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. At best his record on torture is mixed and clearly despite all his talk against torture and even his sponsoring of one anti torture amendment (McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005) he still supported it later in his career. Those are facts. You haven't provided a single fact in your response, just an insult that alludes to unknown alleged "facts."

McCain was a war hawk who voted for both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars amongst others and constantly supported overthrowing other governments by force. To support a war like Iraq was unconscionable. Everyone knew the allegations that led to to it were bullshit without having any access to classified information. It seems the idea of a hero here in America is one who goes and sends others to die in war for no reason, without thought, without any consideration for the massive loss of human life that entails. These aren't wars of self defense like WWII, to address your question above, they are wars of aggression, hate, cruelty, and racism. Yeah that sure makes a real hero, killing and sending others to kill for a hateful, cruel agenda.

"There's nothing respectable or heroic about any war." -mnm1

Yet, you are okay with WII? Which is it? Are the those that fought in a war you agree with not Heroic?

As to the 2nd Iraq war - A large number of good people were mislead by President G.W.Bush. There is no proof that Senator McCain had any knowledge beyond the reset of the members of the Senate. Furthermore I would argue that having fought in a war, having been tortured for 5 years, he more then others would have a very clear understand the consequences and cost of his vote.

All of you arguments deal in absolutes in a world that has way to many shades of grey. Ideally I agree with you - all war is wrong. Unfortunately not everyone in the world shares your view, and there are still bad people. Senator McCain was far from perfect, but is he quite distance from the monster you make him out to be.

There's nothing respectable or heroic about WWII either. I did not imply that there was. It was, for the US, a war of self defense and that's the only justification I can accept for war. It doesn't make heroes out of the people that fought it either, however. It was just as dark and horrible an event for the allies as it was for the axis. Both sides were dragged down into the ugliest pit of human existence possible. Unfortunately, it only takes one side to drag every other side down into such a dark abyss and turn men into savages. It's horrible that this ever happens; it's even more horrible when it's your own country dragging down everyone else into this dark abyss by starting wars. The worst is when men like McCain lead us into this abyss without logic or reason. Why were we in Iraq when it was Saudis trained in Afghanistan that attacked us? Just because they are Arabs with darker skin and a different religion. That's not much different than the insane reasons Hitler had for starting his war. It's despicable and unforgivable in both cases.

The fact that you see the brave men that ran out of the landing craft on Normandy into a hail of machine gun fire as unheroic just...sorry, we have nothing more to talk about.

McCain joined the Navy in 1958, the US wasn't at war in Vietnam at that time.

In 1969, as John McCain was strapped into his fueled and armed aircraft, a missile accidentally fired from an aircraft across the carrier. The missile ruptured his aircraft's fuel tank, and wrecked the aircraft next to his. Both aircraft, and all the spilled fuel caught on fire. Both aircraft's bombs, old and with decomposing explosives, began to explode in the fire much sooner than the should have. McCain escaped injured. The pilot next to him was killed by the bombs, as was most of the carrier's fire team.

In all, 134 men on the carrier died from the fires and explosions that day.


This story is not supported by the article you posted.

Per the article:

> At about 10:51 (local time) on 29 July, an electrical power surge in the Phantom occurred during the switch from external to internal power. The electrical surge caused one of the four 5-inch Mk-32 Zuni unguided rockets in a pod on external stores station 2 (port inboard station) to fire.

What's interesting is that if you dig into the sources cited, they explicitly call out bullshit like yours:

> In recent years, articles have appeared on the internet that are extremely inaccurate and generally intend to unfairly tarnish the reputation of Senator John S. McCain III, who survived the fire.

From: https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/about-us/l...

What actually happened:

At 1050, Forrestal commenced early launch of two KA-3B tankers, an EA-1, and an E-2A in preparation for an 1100 launch of a 24-plane Alpha Strike, the second of the day. At that time, a VF-11 F-4B (No. 110,) was spotted on the extreme starboard quarter of the flight deck. As the pilot of F-4B 110 shifted from external to internal power, multiple electrical malfunctions ignited one of the four 5-inch Mk-32 Zuni unguided rockets in a pod on external stores station 2 (port inboard station), which fired across the flight deck and struck VF-46 A-4E No. 405, piloted by LCDR Fred White, rupturing its fuel tank, igniting the fuel, and initiating the fire. Although the board of investigation reached the opinion that the Zuni rocket hit 405, there is some ambiguity in eyewitness accounts as to whether the rocket hit 405 or the plane next to it, 416, piloted by Lieutenant Commander John McCain. The rocket itself actually impacted the ocean beyond both aircraft. Regardless, shrapnel ripped into both aircraft, and both were immediately sprayed by fuel; a pool of fuel ignited between and under the two aircraft. Both pilots initially escaped from the flames around their aircraft.

Maybe the original post was edited, but I don't see a difference between your "what actually happened" and what was in the post you are referring to: A missile was fired from a third plane, wrecked the plane next to McCains (White,No 405), and damaged his plane seriously. Fuel spilled and ignited. Bombs exploded. White died by that explosion. I also don't see how that tarnishes McCain?

(Edit: Except of course of the year, 67, not 69)

That seems to be exactly the same story I'm describing. An unguided missile was fired from a different aircraft across the carrier and set both McCain's aircraft and the aircraft adjacent to his on fire. The missile was not fired by McCain's aircraft.

Some video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chuiyXQKw3I

Not the person you replied to, but I think the issue they took was with the phrasing ‘accidentally fired’, which could be (mis)read to imply user error instead of malfunction. I know I read your post in the former sense until I saw this one and read the original more carefully

I admire people who put country ahead of party. Therefore I admired John McCain, even when I disagreed with him, I never questioned his motives.

Good guy, who served with honor. Will be missed.

Here goes sadly one of the last remaining examples of a respectful and dignified politician, no matter the political party of the other.

May he rest in peace. Being tortured and refusing to leave before other americans from prison camp alone makes him a hero.

It says something about the state of US politics that the sitting president unapologetically denigrated McCain's service and sacrifice. And did it on the campaign trail, just eight years after McCain was the nominee!

Washington Post had something about it yesterday https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bad-blood-between-mc...

The comment section on the story about this on Foxnew.com [1] is eye-opening. At the moment it is about 1/3 celebrating his death and complaining that he was really a RINO or closet liberal, 1/3 not commenting on his death but complaining about the RINO/closet liberal stuff, and 1/3 expressing sorrow at his death.

[1] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/25/john-mccain-dead-...

Addendum: the comments section seems to have been removed from that story.

Midterm elections are near. The astroturfing is strong. You should believe less than 1/3 of the comments you read are actually genuine.

I hope you are right. I had the chance to read some of it before it was removed. Atrocious.

I wouldn't judge too much from a comments section. Seems like those attract the worst of the Internet, no matter what the subject.

You do realize you’re commenting in a comment section, right? :-)

They haven't removed the comments from this one yet, and it's just as toxic: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/25/tributes-pour-in-...

That's not surprising considering McCain wasn't much like by many people.

You are forgetting that the Bush republicans hated mccain and one of the most toxic republican campaigns was in 2000 between Bush and McCain.

The 2000 toxicity was superceded by the 2008 Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin election. Now that was a vicious campaign. McCain and Palin was attacked mercilessly by the media, the democrats, social media and even some republicans. The same celebrities who are praising mccain today were the same ones calling mccain a racist and all kinds of awful names in 2008.

If you are young, you probably don't remember any of it. But the 2008 was the first "social media" election and nobody got more hate than mccain. It's so strange to see social media and the media praising mccain. It was something unthinkable 10 years ago. It would be like CNN praising Trump in 2028 or Trump praising CNN in 2028. That's how toxic the 2008 environment got. I'd say it was worse than the 2016 election. To me the 2016 was more cartoonish than vicious.

Anyone else feel like 2008 was a lifetime ago? It's only been 10 years, but at the same time it seems like an eternity ago.

> Addendum: the comments section seems to have been removed from that story.

The same thing is being done all over social media too. Though I'm against censorship ( especially of political figures ), I guess it is understandable. The guy just died. Not sure what kind of precedent it sets to scrub the internet of speech against a politician though.

Listing Palin on the ballot did an unjust disservice to McCain's campaign chances.

It was easy to understand why she was picked, yet it turned the whole run into a farce and diluted his message. A meaningful lady VP (maybe Condoleezza Rice) would've won it for him. It seemed they positioned for that, but calculations probaly didn't support. It would've needed a different Republican party.

Great man passed.

Revolting cheers at Scalia’s death were similar. Any hint at possibly gaining control of The Precious brings out the very worst in people.

Hivemind N.B.: I had strong disagreements with both Scalia and McCain. Don’t taze me, bro!

People have seemed to formed this evil caricature of Scalia that I really don't understand. Guy truly loved the law and loved teaching it. My understanding is that is why his opinions were so verbose. Also guy was always expansive on 4th Amendment which I'm, and likely a lot of people on here, a big fan of.

America lost a publicly principled man today. RIP sir.

As a related meta-analysis of the response to his passing, i am surprised how many comments here include disclaimers to the appreciation offered. "I didn't agree with him but...".

Have we become this partisan as a people? Our semi-anonymous respects for the passing of a prominent figure must be disclaimer-ed with political editorials. A worrying trend.

> Our semi-anonymous respects for the passing of a prominent figure must be disclaimer-ed with political editorials.

I mean, he was a politician.

And I don't think people are saying that to disclaim their appreciation at all, they're saying it to underline the fact that their appreciation exists despite a deep disagreement with his politics.

As someone who does agree with a lot of positions McCain represented, I can't blame anyone who feels the need to distance themselves from his political party before paying respects. Some of our key political disputes today aren't good-faith disagreements about policy. They're attacks on peoples' families and livelihoods. And when you attack people personally like that, decency is something that goes out the window: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-BQi0JjY2w.

Political disputes these days are about identity, not ideas, values, or policy. They're not even about politics, really, since politics means compromise, changing minds, and growing support. Everything these days is about discouraging opposition, enraging base coalitions, and running off everyone in the middle. It's about forming tribes and battling.

That's no way to build a healthy society. It scares me more than any given issue of the day. I have kids growing up in this world.

Political disputes are about identity because one side keeps insisting on making them about identity. When you attack peoples’ livelihoods based on their identity (e.g. threatening the jobs of transgender people in the military), you can’t complain when people get tribal. When you have police departments that target one group based on skin color, you can’t be surprised when they get tribal. Tribalism is how you protect yourself from threats to yourself and your family. Many people feel like they’re under attack, and when you’re under attack you don’t care about ideas, values, or policy.

I’ve seeing it happen before my eyes over the last 20 years. Where I grew up, lots of rich Indians and Middle Eastern people were Republicans. Identity politics wasn’t a thing. No longer. The current political climate is forcing people to pick sides, and people aren’t stupid—they’ll pick sides along tribal lines. You might not agree with your tribe, but you can trust them not to turn on you when things go sideways.

It's easy to say nice things about members of your own tribe. It's easy to overlook the faults of someone on your side. "I didn't agree with him but..." just emphasises the sincerity of your admiration.

Good opponents are the foundation of a strong democracy. You're in real trouble when you honestly struggle to say anything nice about your opponents, or you're too tied up in tribalism to entertain the possibility that your opponents might be decent and principled people who just happen to have different principles. "I don't agree with you, but I respect you as a person" is the essential basis of civilization.

Good ideas and rational discussion is the basis if a strong democracy. Opposition is a means to an end. Just like the Socratic method is a way to encourage understanding.

So I agree with you that people should be civil, but the premise of respecting the other still hinges on identifing others.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of American politics is the total lack of accountability. You really don't see this sort of blind loyalty outside of third world banana regimes. Here you have a guy who is self-admittedly responsible for the destruction of half a million mostly innocent human beings [1], a key architect of the greatest crime of the 21st century that led directly to the scourge of ISIS and the destruction of Syria, and it's like -- "He was an American hero! Don't dare criticize him!"

The only actual anger towards McCain comes from Trump extremists. And this is the interesting bit: accountability is supposed to be a key aspect of democracy but you can literally push your country into a totally unnecessary and that's A-OK. You'll only be criticized if you deviate from the party's leader.

And while McCain may have eventually admitted Iraq was a mistake it did nothing to lessen his efforts to bomb brown people. He was a key supporter of Saudi Arabia's carpet bombing of Yemen [2] which is now literally blowing up school buses of children. I guess you don't even have to learn from your mistakes.

[1] https://www.vox.com/2018/5/25/17394466/john-mccain-memoir-ir...

[2] http://observer.com/2017/06/democrats-trump-administration-a...

It’s not partisanship to make such a disclaimer. It’s an acknowledgement that McCain was a huge force in politics, and led initiatives that had serious impact on American policy, for better or worse.

> Have we become this partisan as a people.

It's a human thing. econtalk had an interesting interview this week with someone who wrote a book on this topic.


Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.

> Have we become this partisan as a people?

Yes. Will Wheaton apologized for his privilege as an introduction to his public confession of his mental health issues. The post was on the front page here. I typically get disapproval unless I mention I did not vote for Trump when discussing anything political these days.

Given a lack of context, people jump to a lot of conclusions these days. So people feel required to volunteer context. It might stop if we learn to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

But that requires trust.

Because admitting political sympathies other than progressive around here draws harsh responses from the HN hivemind.

Just a reminder that Republican vs Democrat doesn't ultimately matter. I think McCain embodied that belief through his long years of service to the USA, his willingness to reach across the aisle and through his values and ideals (integrity, respect, honesty) from which he did not waver.

> Republican vs Democrat doesn't ultimately matter

It shouldn't matter. But unfortunately, all too often, it does.

> Just a reminder that Republican vs Democrat doesn't ultimately matter.

Sadly, all too many voters (and politicians) treat it like a football game.

Sports, Religion, Politics

Could you explain your opening statement a little?

The way I'm interpreting it implies that the platform differences between those parties isn't really important in any way.

I mean a few things. For the most part I'm being a bit fatalist: we are all going to die and we are all going to end up in the same place. So the journey through our lives should be one where we embrace other people's differences instead of rail against them.

McCain, to me, seemed to embody values that showed a willingness to work with people who shared different views. He put his nation before himself. That's partly what I was alluding to..

The platforms don't make any difference. What matters is whether the political leaders follow them, and for Dems at least they mostly just act like Republicans but are really sorry about it.

John McCain was a true American hero, dedicating his life to the United States. I did not always agree with him, but he will truly be missed, especially during the current political climate. May he rest in peace.

FWIW, This American Life ran a great piece by Michael Lewis on John McCain's relationship with David Ifshin.

Ifshin was a prominent Vietnam war protestor (and Democrat) who later developed a relationship with McCain.


May he rest in peace.

Glioblastoma is particularly awful, even in the realm of cancer. Two books I found quite interesting on neurosurgery and cancer as a whole.

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

by Henry Marsh


The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Not everyone is convinced about John McCain’s heroism and integrity.


John McCain’s first wife was a model who had a car accident that left her crippled and eroded her good looks. John McCain then cheated on her and then left her, eventually remarrying a younger, very attractive, very heiress.

By most biographical accounts he was not a nice man in private, very egocentric, and had a very carefully constructed and well-maintained public image.

He also was a POW to a brutal, Communist regime, a real war hero.

It was sad to see him go to such a terrible disease.

A complicated man indeed.

> John McCain’s first wife was a model who had a car accident that left her crippled and eroded her good looks. John McCain then cheated on her and then left her, eventually remarrying a younger, very attractive, very heiress.

...and then stayed married for 38 years until his death.

Also, he and Carol were married only 2 years before he was shot down and they then spent 6 years apart, and then 6 years together post- her accident.

So it's a bit cheap to cast him as just a trophy-wife chaser, who ditched his amazing first marriage the moment her looks got messed up.

Yes he waited long enough to ensure a divorce wouldn’t sink his political career, which it could have back in those days...

You know what they say… speak ill of the dead.

You may not have liked McCain politically, but it's probably best to keep quiet about intimate things such as his romantic intentions or past relationships, your comment is sleazy and cheap, and I'm almost certain you're not an authority on those aspects of his life.

Great example of inversion right there. What McCain did to his first wife was sleazy, reminding people of it is not sleazy. This is the #metoo era, we are all moral absolutists now, particularly in the treatment of women.

Of course I am not an authority on those aspects of his life, doesn't mean I can't speak about it or have an opinion about it. This is after all a discussion forum, which by its nature should encourage alternative views and opinions.

I like McCain, I voted for him twice (primary in 2000 against Bush, and again in 2008 against Obama). I even liked Palin, before she self-imploded.

He was very close friends with Joe Biden. Biden himself said on many occasions that if McCain ever called him up for help, Biden would be on the next plane to wherever he was in the world. I don't doubt that he had his enemies that hated him, but I doubt that sentence "he was not a nice man in private, very egocentric, and had a very carefully constructed and well-maintained public image." No one is perfect but there are more than enough honorable people that have painted McCain as both admirable, honorable and loved by them.

Thats not complicated. Uncomplicated men are as faithful as their options. This is a timeless tale and largely irrelevant to me, unless I wanted to look past the well-maintained public image and notice "oh hey he's human too".

You are right. “Human Too” would have been better than saying “complicated.” I thought it was relevant to this thread because every other comment has the word “honorable” in it, but in fact he was no better or worse than any of us.

ah I understand now

John McCain dedicated his entire adult life to serving America with dignity, courage and honor. We need more McCains in the world, not fewer. RIP.

I don't want to insult the dead. But if we had more McCains, his stubbornness and militarism would lead to greater welfare and warfare states with American soldiers fighting someone else's civil wars all over the world.

I agree with few of McCain’s political positions.

However, he served with dignity. He was willing to compromise and admit mistakes. I believe he cared more about America than about being a politician, and that he voted what he felt was best for the country, not just his party line.

If I have to disagree with a fellow American, McCain is the type of person I want to disagree with. You could box with McCain without worrying whether he’d try to hit below the belt.

In an era no-holds-barred politics, McCain represents a past way of doing things that will be sorely missed.

I can honestly say as someone who can’t support a Republican President because he would give too much power to southern regressionist Republicans and while I might have disagreed with a lot of their policies, I never saw any of the Republican Presidents or nominees as people who I didn’t think did or would have represented the country well.

Until 2016...

But they all had to veer to the right a little more than I thought they were comfortable with to win the election. But McCain shut down anyone who tried to make the election about race.

McCain was treated terribly by his own party in the 2000 primary.

McCain was in the wrong party.

There really isn't a McCain party today. He was too conservative for Democrats and too moderate for Republicans.


He and Kerry considered running together in 2004. It is sad that such a ticket could never win. :-(

No, McCain was very much a Republican by policy positions; sure, he wasn't completely lockstep, but outside of rhetoric he'd usually fall into the standard Republican position in substance. His notable maverick positions weren't mostly in between the typical R & D positions but instead things that were controversial in both parties.

Yeah, post-Trump he may seem to have been in the wrong party, but post-Trump even much of the conservative establishment is questioning the Republican Party (George Will encouraging conservatives to vote for Democrats in the midterms, for instance.)

There are two types of Republicans. There are the standard pro military, pro business, pro sensible immigration, pro trade conservatives. Those are the type that usual rise to prominence nationally.

But then you have the Southern Republicans who use to be Democrats before the Civil Rights Era in the 60s - the Confederate Flag waving, “Moral Majority”, hate immigrants, anti-trade populists, who see the world changing and “ruining American culture”.

But when I look at the Republican Party today, I don’t recognize it. How did they get overtaken by The far right? If they had focused more on rural America instead of big business would that have helped?

Yes my view of the Republican Party has always been viewed through the lense of keeping southern republicans out of power - no matter if the Republican Party had some ideas I agreed with.

Democrats on the other hand are just weak and don’t have the courage of their convictions. They could easily have brought the middle class and rural America and minorities together. Except for the South, until the demographics change, there was no way a Black man was ever going to win the southern states.

You've been lied to. Count the party switchers in that time period:



It's just 2, Strom Thurmond in the senate and Albert Watson in the house. If the "party switch" narrative were correct, you'd expect many more. What is going on here is that nobody wants to own the history of the KKK or voting against civil rights legislation because that is an unelectable position to take in modern America. An effective way to evade this ugly history is to throw it at the opposing party, falsely claiming the illogical idea that the parties just decided to swap sides one day.

Not the politicians - the electorate. If you think voting against civil rights makes a politician “unelectable” in the South....you haven’t lived in the South.

Let's see how that holds up:

Prior to the supposed switch, democrat politicians voted against civil rights laws and even filibustered them. They were also KKK. Republican politicians were trying to pass civil rights legislation. The electorate for democrats presumably liked democrats (else why vote that way?) and the same for the electorate for republicans.

So you say it wasn't the politicians that switched, but the electorate. OK, so now people on both sides suddenly change their views... say what? That would be like a 2020 election with all the Hillary voters choosing Trump and all of Trump's original supporters picking Robert Mueller.

Want to make it that the politicians switch views but stay in their party, while the voters switch views and/or party affiliation? Aw, come on... this is completely implausible. Suddenly the republican politicians all become racist, and suddenly the democrat politicians all decide they like civil rights? What could possibly make that unproven event happen, and why would only 2 members of congress resist going along with it?

None of that is believable at all. This whole thing is just marketing.

I have in fact lived in the South, and anybody running for congress WILL LOSE if they take a position against civil rights. When your political party has a history seeped in this unelectable position, you'll do anything to evade it, including dishonestly claiming the other party somehow inherited your past.

The world lost a true statesman. What a sad day.

Yeah, if hackers are known for anything, it's being big fans of statesmen, especially ones that approved the PATRIOT Act (twice), extending its wiretapping provisions, and sponsoring a bill that would let the US government detain anyone in the world indefinitely without trial.

Truly a sad day.

Agree Hacker News really isn’t an appropriate name for this forum anymore, but that is a topic that deserves its own thread.

On topic, loss is sad when anyone dies, even if they hold views you find abhorent. They leave behind friends and family and remind us of our own mortality and the one thing we all have in common (finite existence).

Ascribe whatever personal significance to the death of a famous person you wish. McCain's "views" and career as a statesman have little relevance to hackers and hacking except where he personally acted in ways which affect hackers and technology they use. This is the basis on which I commented.

So you are saying it's a happy day?

OP isn't a true hacker unless he dances on McCain's grave

This is a very weak, thoroughly tasteless comment.

John McCain, a hero of a lost war, a senator whose signature law was overturned, a contender in a lost presidential race. For all of his integrity, accomplishment and hard work his life's efforts were largely futile.

Except for his family. A more fitting epitaph may be: John McCain, Father, Husband, Son. And that's not bad at all.

> his life's efforts were largely futile

Tell that to the guys he provided close air support for. I've been on the ground when it comes down. Years later I'm still thankful and it brings tears to my eyes.

Agreed. I was searching for a word to use in the epitaph to represent that, maybe Wingman or Comrade.

I disagree. His integrity, accomplishment, and hard work in his life has inspired many others to follow a principled life. He is a role model for the new generation.

"Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran" -McCain

That's what I remember him for. He later said he was just joking. As if joking about killing thousands of people is somehow better.

I mean, that's pretty obviously a joke, even with no context. It's a riff on the lyrics to a Beach Boys song.

McCain himself points that out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zoPgv_nYg

I remember him for that one but also for advocating the permanent military presence, like South Korea, going forward in Iraq. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf7HYoh9YMM

I'm somewhat surprised that HN seems to have such a hardon for the man, and every negative comment is being downvoted / flagged. I remember pretty clearly how Obama-obsessed the tech world was in 2008, and even Family Guy did a "we're not saying he's a nazi but nazis support him" routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRHL5QlwA-g What happened to make the HN crowd change their opinion (did McCain fight back against software patents at some point despite being a self-admitted computer illiterate?), or was it always glowing and the subject just didn't come up?

> What happened

He died, and most people tend to talk only about good stuff out of respect immediately afterward. You don't see people getting up and criticizing the deceased at funerals.

If you didn't respect the person when they were alive, it makes no sense to respect them when they die. A lot of people are happy he's gone. Funerals are only typically attended by people who personally care, so of course you won't hear criticism there; this forum is not a funeral.

Many Democrats who voted against him and disagreed with his policies still respected him as a person. I count myself among them. It's sad that people let their political tribalism get so intense that they're happy that their opponent is dead.

I would hope that most HNers don't get their political views from Family Guy, so I don't see what that's evidence of.

not a big fan of mccain's, appreciated his service to the us during the vietnam war and senate, and pity to see him go out that way lately.

Met him once and was oddly taken aback and impressed. The nation has lost a hero that while I did not agree with on many issues I respected.

John McCain came to give a talk at the place I worked in '07. I got to shake his hand and say a couple of words to him. I remember exactly two things:

- His hand was very soft. Notably so.

- His face, his skin, looked translucent. Scot-Irish background indeed.

So, not much of a story to tell, but if you want to know what it was like to see him up close... ^^^

Wish I wasn't so young when he ran against Obama in '08. Paid no attention and missed my opportunity to vote for him. Ran a really respectful campaign. HBO doc on him was really good too. Nasty stuff about his adopted (Bangledeshi) daughter when he ran against Bush. Just an amazing guy.

I live in country that would not be in NATO or maybe even egzist without his unconditional principals and restless dedication to them. I respect this man

He was a complicated guy. I wish his family well.

Man had integrity. And I respect that about him. Even though I didn’t agree with everything he stood for. Rest In Peace, sir.

Didn't agree with his politics, but the guy left a legacy. RIP and thank you for your service to our country.

As a Georgian (The country one) we are immensely grateful for all he has said for support of our country while we needed it the most.

While Russia is invading and expanding occupation and impotent Europe is "Concerned" and Obama or Trump did not do jack shit, McCain was only one to voice up and support really small country against huge money he could have earned from Putin like others do.

Fuck cancer and Fuck Russia

RIP McCain

So Sad heart goes out to the family.

So sad, heart goes out.

Hero, Gentleman.


He never missed a chance to shill for war.

for the sake of humility, shouldn't we be saying "passed away", instead of "died"?

Not sure it's in any way un-humble to use the plain and simple verb "died" instead of a euphemism.

The man never saw a war he didn't like. Good riddance.

I'll always feel a little bad for guys who get stuck with the bound-to-lose candidacies. From Adlai Stevenson to Bob Dole to John McCain, it's basically, "Here, the fix is already in and we need you to lose to this other jerk." That's not the footnote I'd prefer for myself.

He was a real RINO though.

The RINO label was always very stupid. As if politicians in the USA had to always be factional, that they couldn’t have their own positions that came in either side of the spectrum. Just idiotic.

There is no such thing as true Republican anyways. I mean, look at Trump, he, like Bush, obviously isn’t a fiscal conservative and doesn’t care about the deficit. That anti deficit position only comes up when a democrat is in charge, and is promptly forgotten afterwards.

McCain was an effective politician because he was a maverick, and he shouldn't be chastised for his independence.

His most important legacy is this chart:


(we are now at 415ppm, so +22 Fahrenheit expected)

Remember he would have been president if the military (Cheney+Bush) had not taken over.

Just a reminder that McCain advocated for the violent overthrow of multiple other countries. How dignified you sound in a speech doesn't matter when there's the blood of the many on your hands. He reached across the aisle because the Democrats love killing people too. Rep. Barbara Lee was the sole no vote on the AUMF.

For those of you that met him in person and were impressed by his personality, most halfway decent politicians can pull that off, that's how they got elected. His domestic politics were standard conservative fare, and was against raising taxes on the rich to provide for human need. McCain failed us and menaced the world.






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